Obesity is a major public health concern in Ireland, 38% of Irish people are overweight and 23% are obese. One in five Irish children and teenagers is overweight or obese.
The less active you are, the more you are at risk of being overweight. Alarmingly the report from the Department of Health & Children, Health Service Executive states the following: ‘’It is clear from these studies and the figures presented that Irish adults and indeed children are not active enough to be healthy.’’ (Nic Gabhainn et al. HBSC Ireland (2006). To be a healthy weight, you need to take regular physical activity and eat a healthy diet. This ensures a balance between the energy you get from food and the energy you use.
Now for the good news if you participate in tag rugby regularly you will increase the number of adults who achieve the minimum requirement for physical activity. Remember it is only a minimum you can also try to add physical activity units to your lifestyle outside of tag.
Now for more good news below are 7 benefits of regular physical activity as described by the Mayo clinic in the USA .
Seven Benefits of Regular Physical Activity
You know exercise is good for you, but do you know how good?
From boosting your mood to improving your sex life, find out how exercise can improve your life.
Want to feel better, have more energy and perhaps even live longer? Look no further than exercise. The health benefits of regular exercise and physical activity are hard to ignore. And the benefits of exercise are yours for the taking, regardless of your age, sex or physical ability. Need more convincing to exercise? Check out these seven ways exercise can improve your life.
No. 1: Exercise controls weight
Exercise can help prevent excess weight gain or help maintain weight loss. When you engage in physical activity, you burn calories. The more intense the activity, the more calories you burn. You don't need to set aside large chunks of time for exercise to reap weight-loss benefits. If you can't do an actual workout, get more active throughout the day in simple ways — by taking the stairs instead of the elevator or revving up your household chores.
No. 2: Exercise combats health conditions and diseases
Worried about heart disease? Hoping to prevent high blood pressure? No matter what your current weight, being active boosts high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or "good," cholesterol and decreases unhealthy triglycerides. This one-two punch keeps your blood flowing smoothly, which decreases your risk of cardiovascular diseases. In fact, regular physical activity can help you prevent or manage a wide range of health problems and concerns, including stroke, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, depression, certain types of cancer, arthritis and falls.
No. 3: Exercise improves mood
Need an emotional lift? Or need to blow off some steam after a stressful day? A workout at the gym or a brisk 30-minute walk can help. Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed. You may also feel better about your appearance and yourself when you exercise regularly, which can boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem.
No. 4: Exercise boosts energy
Winded by grocery shopping or household chores? Regular physical activity can improve your muscle strength and boost your endurance. Exercise and physical activity deliver oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and help your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. And when your heart and lungs work more efficiently, you have more energy to go about your daily life.
No. 5: Exercise promotes better sleep
Struggling to fall asleep? Or to stay asleep? Regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster and deepen your sleep. Just don't exercise too close to bedtime, or you may be too energized to fall asleep.
No. 6: Exercise puts the spark back into your sex life
Do you feel too tired or too out of shape to enjoy physical intimacy? Regular physical activity can leave you feeling energized and looking better, which may have a positive effect on your sex life. But there's more to it than that. Regular physical activity can lead to enhanced arousal for women. And men who exercise regularly are less likely to have problems with erectile dysfunction than are men who don't exercise.
No. 7: Exercise can be fun
Exercise and physical activity can be a fun way to spend some time. It gives you a chance to unwind, enjoy the outdoors or simply engage in activities that make you happy. Physical activity can also help you connect with family or friends in a fun social setting. So, take a dance class, hit the hiking trails or join a soccer team. Find a physical activity you enjoy, and just do it. If you get bored, try something new.
The Bottom Line on Exercise (By Mayo Clinic Staff)
Exercise and physical activity are a great way to feel better, gain health benefits and have fun. As a general goal, aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day. If you want to lose weight or meet specific fitness goals, you may need to exercise more. Remember to check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program, especially if you have any health concerns.
Playing Tag rugby is also setting a good example to the children of Ireland. In Ireland the recommended physical activity levels for children are –
Health Service Executive (2009)
The amount of children who achieve this is low only 39% of 13 year old boys and only 29% of 13 year old girls achieve this minimum requirement (Nic Gabhainn et al. HBSC Ireland - 2006). It is important for us as adults to set a good example to get the children of Ireland active.
As you can see from the information above, it is so important to be physically active and playing Tag rugby, particularly, official IRFU Tag rugby will help you get active with an enjoyable activity. If you are changing from an inactive lifestyle to an activity lifestyle it is important to gradually change from one to the other please go at your own pace and gradually increase the intensity.
Please see the below link for more information on how to enjoy a safe and healthy season.
1. Department of Health and Children, Health Service Executive (2009). The National Guidelines on Physical Activity for Ireland.
2. Morgan K et al. SLAN report. Survey of Lifestyle, Attitudes & Nutrition in Ireland. Department of Health and Children, Dublin, 2007
3. Nic Gabhainn et al. HBSC Ireland 2006: National Report of the 2006 Health Behaviour in School-aged Children in Ireland. Dublin, Dept of Health and Children. www.nuigalway.ie/hbsc
4. Mayo Clinic (2011). Health Benifits of Exercise. Available: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/exercise/HQ01676 (Accessed 16 April 2012)