One new Irish Heart Foundation Slí na Sláinte walking route developed by Laois County Council, was launched in Mountmellick on Friday the 23rd of November.
Slí na Sláinte (“Path to Health”) is a unique Health Promotion initiative of the Irish Heart Foundation designed to encourage people to walk for health and leisure by creating mapped measured walking routes in workplaces, communities and schools.
To date over 400 routes have been developed nationally. Laois County Council’s Sport & Leisure Officer, Ann Marie Maher outlined that there are currently four Slí na Sláinte routes in County Laois located in Portlaoise, Portarlington, Emo, Graiguecullen & Ballyroan.
Additional Slí na Sláinte’s are planned for Mountrath & Stradbally in 2019.
The Mountmellick Slí na Sláinte, funded under the Rural Recreation Infrastructural Programme from the Department of Rural & Community Development, promotes the use of mapped, signposted walks around the main urban walking routes used by the wider community to incorporate walking into their day.
When planning the routes every effort was made to ensure that the routes passed by Mountmellick schools and large workplaces to encourage participation.
The new route was launched by John King, MCC, Cathaoirleach of Laois County Council, with the unveiling of one of the new map board outside Mountmellick Amenity Area which is the starting point of both routes.
Prior to the launch a walk of the routes by local walkers and school groups from St. Joseph’s Girls & Scoil Padraig Naofa took place.
Tara Curran, Slí na Sláinte Coordinator from the Irish Heart Foundation said: “We hope that the school pupils, workers and the local community in Mountmellick will get great enjoyment and benefit from their new Slí na Sláinte route.
“Getting active makes such a big difference to your heart and overall health, helping to reduce stress, ease back pain and reduce the risk of heart disease.
For heart health adults need at least 30 minutes of physical activity, such as brisk walking, five days a week.
Children and young people need at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day of the week.
“By having a clearly marked and safe walking route, we aim is to make it easier for people to include physical activity as part of their day.”