How the I-PARC Team are staying active

How the I-PARC Team are staying active

As we enter what feels a lot longer than Week 6 of lockdown, it can be difficult to find the motivation to keep active and healthy, but staying active is crucial to our physical and mental wellbeing in these challenging times.

The I-PARC team have all been trying their best to stay active in their own way, and wanted to share what they’ve been up to:

Fiona Mansergh, Department of Health

I’m very lucky in that the 2km radius around my home includes both Killiney Beach and Killiney Hill. So, in order to keep my activity levels up, we’ve been going for long family walks along the beach and up over the hill. There’a also a large park across the road from the estate which is relatively flat; my youngest daughter uses it sometimes to practice cycling. I’m succeeding in getting to 10,000 steps most days. The walks are more scenic than my usual walks to and from the station and into work, but it’s amazing how the steps add up with active travel, without my really noticing. On the plus side, the hill is steep; the current situation probably means more effort per step! I look forward to my walk every day and go out in all weathers; it helps with mental wellbeing as well as physical. 

Catherine Woods, University of Limerick

I have been able to get out for a jog or walk with our dog “Saski” down by the River Shannon, super way to exercise, clear the head, and enjoy listening to birdsong.


Benny Cullen, Sport Ireland

Work has been really busy so I found the first couple of weeks hard to keep as active as I like to, but now that the new routine has settled in a bit, I go for a run from my front door most mornings before work.  I usually bring my little boy in the buggy and our dog pulls us around one of the local loops.  When the weather is good we do some yoga and calisthenics together in the back garden after the run.  I’ve also put my desk on stilts to convert it to a standing desk to reduce my sitting time and encourage more movement throughout the day.

Shirley O’Shea, Health Service Executive

Since being redeployed to the Department of Public Health I have certainly had to adapt, but it has led to discovering some great places to walk near where we live in East Cork. I love Ballyannon Woods at this time of the year, the bluebells are out for a short time. We sometimes cycle over to the woods and the dog and I ‘jog’ a lap while dad and kids go on ahead.

It has been great to go out and about on the bike into town, it’s great to see lots of families taking advantage of the quiet roads. We resurrected a badminton game in the garden but just confirmed why we put it away in the shed not long after we got it!

I have appreciated efforts to move classes online, my yoga class has been great for head space first thing in the morning or when I get home around 9pm, especially after sitting for hours on the telephone or at the computer.

What I really miss since the pools closed  is being able to swim, with the new 5k distance I may stretch to the sea very soon, just need the heatwave for a bit of encouragement.

Jemima Cooper, University of Limerick 

I have been in lockdown with my family over in America, due to a short holiday that turned into an accidental extended stay. However, where I am has very similar lockdown rules to Ireland.

Luckily, it is quite green around where I live, so being outside is something I have been enjoying doing whenever the weather permits! The most important thing for me to help stay active during lockdown is to mix up all the different activities I’ve been doing – variety is the spice of life! I try to go on a few walks a week around my neighbourhood (while maintaining a safe distance), and have dug up lots of old sports equipment out of the garage – we have all been brushing up on our table tennis skills!

Niamh Barry, Department of Education and Skills

I am participating in the Psyclelondon free yoga and barre classes online, walking or running 20,000 steps a day is my target and I record this on my Garmin, and I have done a few morning yoga sessions with YogawithMaura on Instagram!

Grainne ODonoghue, University College Dublin

My daily regime includes aerobic exercise on the spin bike to start, some garden resistance training and pilates in the evening with the cat!

Niamh Murphy, Waterford Institute of Technology

I have been able to keep active by getting out for a run around my local area and by taking part in family core sessions.

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Sarah O’Brien, Health Service Executive

I have been able to keep active during lockdown by doing some gardening, and getting out to walk a reluctant dog!

Joey Murphy, University of Limerick 

Like some of the others on the I-PARC team, I am lucky to have nice outdoor spaces near home, that are perfect for a range of activities. Some ways I have kept active during lockdown have been by running and getting to the hurling wall on days that are normally training for my local GAA club, bringing our dog for walks and getting some gardening done.

We hope everybody is keeping safe and managing to find some time to be active during the lockdown.

Thanks for reading,







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