New programme to get people from ‘Couch to 5k’

Published: 4th January 2016

A health and exercise initiative designed to help participants move from ‘Couch to 5k’ is set to start next week.

The 12-week ‘Couch to 5k’ programme, which has been organised by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council in partnership with the Public Health Agency (PHA), aims to help people who are currently inactive and find taking exercise difficult build up physical activity in a gradual and healthy way.

The programme will involve participants aged 18 years and over making a commitment to undertake two sessions of jogging and fitness work per week until March 2016 when they will take part in the Omagh Half Marathon 5k race on March 26.

‘Couch to 5k’ will be delivered by fully qualified Fermanagh and Omagh District Council coaches who will lead the weekly jogging sessions and will also be available to advise, help and encourage participants during sessions at the DEC Fitness Suite at Omagh Leisure Complex.

Registration sessions for the ‘Couch to 5k’ programme will take place at Omagh Leisure Complex on Monday 11 January 2016 at 10.00 am and 7.00 pm. Both registration sessions will involve an induction to the DEC Fitness Suite. If the programme is oversubscribed, priority will be given to people new to ‘Couch to 5k’.

Speaking about the ‘Couch to 5k’ programme, Chairman of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Thomas O’Reilly said:

“Taking the first steps to getting active is often the hardest.  The ‘Couch to 5k’ programme aims to provide a welcoming and encouraging environment with qualified instructors to give professional training, support and advice to help get people active.”

With National Obesity Awareness Week taking place 11 – 17 January 2016, the PHA is urging people to take up the challenge.

Collette Brolly, the PHA Lead on Physical Activity, said:

“It is hoped the programme will influence behaviour changes in those who don’t currently take part in physical activity. The beginning of a new year is a great time for a new start and a new challenge, and the resolution to get fit and healthy is a fantastic way to start 2016.

Being physically active helps maintain a healthy weight and can reduce the risk of many diseases including heart disease, type 3 diabetes, breast and colon cancer. Being active is also good for your mental health and can lift mood, reduce anxiety and help to protect against depression. If you introduce changes in your life to increase physical activity, you will see big differences to your health and wellbeing.”

‘Couch to 5k’ supports the work of the PHA’s ‘Choose to Live Better’ campaign which aims to tackle obesity.

To find out more about getting active visit the PHA’s website which also contains tips and advice on setting personal targets, cooking healthier food, measuring up and making healthier food swaps. The NHS Choices website also has more information on the Couch to 5k programme at

For further information and enquiries on the ‘Couch to 5k’ programme please contact Conor McCrory, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council’s Sport and Recreation Officer by telephoning 0300 303 1777.





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