Former jockey Nina Carberry, Olympian David Gillick and Exercise Physiologist Dr Brian Carson have launched Vhi’s ‘More Than Running’ campaign highlighting the various health benefits that participating in parkrun can bring to all those who take part.

With events in every county in Ireland, parkrun, in partnership with Vhi, takes place each Saturday morning at 9.30 am in more than 100 locations across the country and is free to take part in.

In Ireland, more than 8,000 people take part every weekend, as walkers, joggers, runners and volunteers.

Less than half of Irish adults reach the recommended guidelines for physical activity, 54 per cent of males and just 38 per cent of females, and this decreases even further as we age to as low as 33 per cent over the age of 65 and just 20 per cent after 75.

“Many people are understandably overwhelmed when it comes to taking steps to improve their health and fitness,” said Dr Brian Carson, University of Limerick lecturer and Exercise Physiologist.

“The key is to take it step by step, and parkrun is an excellent way to do this in a friendly, positive community setting. Even a small increase of one additional hour per week in the amount of exercise you do has a protective effect on your heart and vascular health, so walking or running 5km at a reasonable pace at your local parkrun on a Saturday morning can provide you with these benefits.

Exercise has been proven to be beneficial in the treatment of 26 chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes as well as respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. By limiting the time we spend sedentary and replacing it with sufficient physical activity of any intensity, we can almost halve your likelihood of encountering cardiovascular disease and lower the risk of stroke by over a quarter.

Vhi, as presenting partner of parkrun are delighted that this summer, they will be visiting parkruns in Dublin, Limerick and Cork. The More Than Running ambassadors Nina Carberry and David Gillick will be in attendance at the various locations.

“We love that there is a place for everyone at parkrun, whether you want to walk, jog, run or volunteer,” said Brighid Smyth, Head of Corporate Communications in Vhi. “Vhi is committed to helping our customers and communities live longer, stronger, healthier lives and our partnership with parkrun helps us deliver this. Therefore we’re delighted to launch the ‘More Than Running’ campaign today with our fantastic ambassadors Nina Carberry, David Gillick and Dr Brian Carson, which outlines the potential health benefits that parkrun participation can offer.”

Matt Shields, parkrun Ireland Country Manager added that “parkrun and physical activity have never been more important. Whether it’s your first ever time at parkrun, whether you’re volunteering, or whether you’ve walked to the park to spectate, it’s all participation to us and that’s what parkrun is all about. No matter how you’re starting, parkrun provides a regular opportunity for everyone to take a positive step in their life.”


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