Laois Connects: Olympian Jessie Barr leads the way on walk to start Mental Health Week

Laois Connects: Olympian Jessie Barr leads the way on walk to start Mental Health Week
By Conor Ganly conor.ganly@leinsterexpress.ie@laoisnews

Laois Connects Mental Health Week kicks off in an energetic way with a walk lead by an Olympian.

Get Out, Get Walking on Saturday October 8 at 10.am for the 4k Family Walk in Emo Community Centre with special guest, Olympian Jessie Barr.

Everyone knows how a good walk can help you collect your thoughts, especially at

stressful times – but there’s more to it than that. Walking improves your overall wellbeing, and helps fight depression. Even just being in the outdoors in green natural spaces is beneficial to your mental health. And walking can even help you make new

friends.

• Walking, like other physical activities, releases endorphins which improve mood and

reduce stress and anxiety.

• Regular walking improves sleep patterns.

• Active people have a reduced risk of suffering clinical depression.

• Regular physical activity is at least as effective as antidepressant drugs in treating

mild and moderate depression – and has positive rather than negative side effects.

• Exploring your community on foot makes you feel more at home there and makes

you more likely to talk to people and make friends.

• Walking in a group is a sociable activity that can help improve mental health and

overcome feelings of isolation.

• Spending time in the outdoors and in contact with the natural environment – for example by walking in parks, woodland and green spaces – can have a positive

effect on mental health.

• Feeling fitter and controlling weight helps improve your body image and confidence.

Laois Sports Partnership is delighted to support all the walking groups hosting walks throughout the week and especially to our new Get Ireland Walking groups. The GIA Active Community Walking Programme aims to support the creation of vibrant walking communities throughout Ireland.

This programme works with communities to increase the capacity and potential of people with low levels of physical activity to become more active through walking. Interested in setting up a walking group in your area contact us for further information Laois Sports Partnership (057) 8671238 or email info@laoissports.ie

Walks across the County, All Welcome and all Free of Charge.

Laois Connects Weeks Walks Diary

Saturday 8th October 10am Emo 4K Emo Community Centre Get Out, Get Walking, improve your 5 ways to wellbeing” Laois Sports Partnership (057 86 71248)

Sunday 9th October 11am Luggacurran 8K Assemble at Luggaccurran Community Centre Olive Lacey 086 1567758 – All Welcome – Free of Charge

Monday 10th October 6pm Togher Woods, Portlaoise 3 – 5K Arthritis Ireland Laois Branch Assemble at Togher Woods Entrance Caroline Cahill 086 1020431 – All Welcome – Free of Charge

Tuesday 11th October 10am Mountmellick 3 – 5K Mountmellick Walking Group Assemble at MDA Car Park, Mountmellick Tina Murray 086 1020431 – All Welcome – Free of Charge

Tuesday 11th October 10.45amMountrath 5K Mountrath Ramblers Assemble at St. Fintan’s Hall, Chapel Carpark, Mountrath Anne Delaney 087 9067386 – All Welcome – Free of Charge

Tuesday 11th October 7.30pm Portlaoise 3 – 5K Portlaoise Walking & Social Club Assemble at Portlaoise Leisure Centre Noel Conroy 087 2749536 – All Welcome – Free of Charge

Thursday 13th October 6.00pm Portarlington 5K Port Trail Walking Group Assemble at Oriel House, Portarlington Donie Molloy 086 3288858 – All Welcome – Free of Charge

Thursday 13th October 7.30pm Portlaoise 3 – 5K Portlaoise Walking & Social Club Assemble at Portlaoise Leisure Centre Noel Conroy 087 2749536 – All Welcome – Free of Charge

Friday 14th October 6.45pm The Swan 7K Assemble at The Swan Cross Padraig Fleming 087 2801677 – All Welcome – Free of Charge

Sunday 16th October 12.30pm Rossmore 6.5K Assemble at Oisin Park, Rossmore Pat Whelan 086 1657435 – All Welcome – Free of Charge