Start a life-changing habit today: Try the 21 Day Walking Challenge

Even with something as enjoyable and easy as walking, it can be hard to stick with your promise to be active more often. To help you with this, we've created the 21 Day Walking Challenge. This can turn your ambition to walk into a hard wired habit in just three weeks. Try it and see!

We're challenging you to walk at least once a day for 21 days in a row - and we promise you that if you complete this challenge, you'll have a walking habit to be proud of.

Aim to walk for at least 30 minutes each day. You don't have to do it all at once you can build up to 30 minutes or more by being active for at least 10 minutes in the early days. Just keep increasing the length of your walk, and watch the minutes add up.

Secondly, make sure you keep a record of your walking every day: By tracking how long or how far you walked, you'll see proof of your improvements. This is a great motivation to keep going!

If you're struggling to find the time, have a look at your daily routine, and look for tasks or chores that you can achieve with a walk:

Perhaps you could walk the kids to school? Maybe you could get off the bus a stop earlier and walk the rest of the way? Or what about picking a parking space furthest from the shop door? If you're thinking "walk first!", you'll be surprised how much you can do in a busy day.

If you have time to plan a recreational walk every day, why not invite a friend or friends? You're more likely to turn up because you won't want to let them down - and you won't notice the distance as you catch up with friends while walking.

As always, if you are very inactive or have a health problem we recommend that you chat with your doctor before you take on this, or any, change to your exercise habits.


Irish Pharmacy Union Promotes 21 Day Challenge

GIW 21 Day Launch

Pictured above is (from left to right):

John Treacy, Chief Executive, Irish Sports Council
Kate O' Flaherty, Director of Health & Wellbeing Programme, Department of Health
Grainne Quinn, Project Manager, Get Ireland Walking
Bernard Duggan, Treasurer of the Irish Pharmacy Union.

A new health initiative involving Get Ireland Walking and the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU), which aims to increase the number of people walking for health and wellbeing, was launched this January. Research has shown that the benefits of walking for at least 30 minutes a day can help improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels, reduce the risk of heart disease and enhance mental health, as well as maintaining body weight and lowering the risk of obesity. To encourage people to get on their walking shoes, Get Ireland Walking and the IPU is calling on people to take the "21 Day Walking Challenge" to encourage the formation of a healthy walking habit into the future. Pharmacists nationwide have come on board to support the initiative and are offering health advice and tips on walking. People can also pick up a "21 Day Walking Challenge" Record Card in their local pharmacy to help keep track of their daily walks and their progress.

"A key principle of Healthy Ireland is empowering people to look after their own health and wellbeing, and this initiative is a great example of how people, with the support of family, friends or neighbours, can take action to improve their own health."

Get Ireland Walking is an initiative of the Irish Sports Council, supported by Healthy Ireland and Mountaineering Ireland, the Irish Heart Foundation, HSE Health Promotion and Improvement, Age and Opportunity, Gaelic Athletic Association, Ireland Active, Arthritis Ireland, and others.

For further information, click here.

Did you know?

  • Walking - at any pace - is beneficial. When you start to walk, pick a speed you can manage, but make sure your heartbeat is slightly raised, you're breathing a little faster, and you feel a bit warmer.
  • For maximum health benefits, adults need to be moderately active for at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.
  • Children and young people need to be moderately or vigorously active for at least 60 minutes a day - every day.
  • When you walk at a moderate pace, you will cover 1km in around 12 or 13 minutes. Walking at a brisk pace, you'll do 1km in just 10 minutes.
in association of Sports Council Hi Mountaineering Ireland Partner Organisations
Get Ireland Walking recognises that walking is an activity with a potential risk of personal injury. Participants should be aware of and accept these risks and be responsible for their own actions and involvement.