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04th Jul 2012

Feeling Good: It’s As Easy As A Walk In The Park

In her second weekly column for, Georgina Ahern tells us about her family's love of the great outdoors and how a simple walk in the park is not only great fun but also does your heart a world of good too.


Feeling Good: It’s a Walk in the Park 

Fitness is not always about pounding treadmills or punishing weight training programmes; beginners can start slowly by just getting active. It’s also important to encourage an active lifestyle when your little ones are at an impressionable age. Try to prevent a potential lifelong habit of the infamous couch potato lifestyle by getting up and at it. Now, don’t get me wrong; there’s nothing like curling up on the sofa chilling & snuggling, especially when your little ones finally reach the age where their attention span allows them to actually sit and watch until the end of a full cartoon but getting active is also really important. 

With two energetic little boys in my house, it’s important to keep on the move to keep them happy, entertained and out of trouble, while keeping myself energetic and fit too. There’s no fun at all in sitting still for days off with them so keeping moving is the only way. Here are some ways to keep active as a family.

Family Fitness

Free family fitness may sound like a complete bore but being a big kid at heart myself, I have all the fun whilst burning some sneaky calories as well. Parks have it all and don’t let the weather deter you. Dry days are fun but if it rains get your rain gear on and get stuck in and duck ‘n dive from the showers. 

Our boys love Malahide Castle in Dublin. There’s the chasing around the grounds, a visit to the playground, the football pitches and amazing woodland walks. They simply love the adventures through the grounds where they think there are tree tunnels with snakes and animals lurking behind bushes. Letting them believe is part of the magic and watching them scurry up & down hills, through puddles etc. is great fun too.

The exercise stations /fitness trails on each corner of their adventure keeps them busy and entertained too from walking the plank to the climbing frames.

My boys and husband enjoyed a walk around Malahide Castle. 

Fitness Trails Around Malahide Castle

The fitness trails are great fun but for me they add a very effective workout too. You can walk them or you can work that bit harder and set off for a nice jog around the castle grounds. The jog around the circuit alone is great. Jogging benefits you in many ways. It keeps your heart strong, reducing blood pressure and cholesterol and keeping you trim. Try to add in some of the fitness stations /fitness trails on route. These can increase your workout giving you an even greater challenge! Vary them or add more each time by adjusting your workout. It will make it less mundane. By challenging your body more on every workout and making changes regularly, you’ll see faster and more positive changes in your body!

In addition to your cardio workout, you are helping to improve your toning and strength and you are also working on your balance and working on your core.

Here’s a few of ideas of what to expect from the fitness trails:

Dips: working your muscles on the back of your arm, your triceps and shoulders. 

Balancing logs: Working on balance whilst walking the turning log or stationary logs. 

Body twists for a trim waist.

fitness strider to work your legs and bum more. 

There are hurdles to jump, which improves your fitness and agility. 

climbing frame – for the kid in you. 

There are pull ups, which allow you to lift your own body weight. As you progress in your fitness levels these are great for your overall core fitness but also working your arms and back and shoulders. 

Step Ups. These again working your leg muscles (quads) calves and bum, great for toning and shaping up alongside your run 

There’s many more and remember: it’s all for free, so that’s lots of calories burned and no money spent in beautiful surroundings. You couldn’t ask for more. I love it. Check out local amenities around the country near you offering similar options and let me know how you get on.

Until next time: be fit, be healthy, be happy.

Georgina xx