‘Couch to 5K’ with new health and exercise programme

Published: 25th September 2015

A new health and exercise initiative designed to help people move from ‘Couch to 5k’ has been launched by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council.

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), is aimed primarily at people who are currently inactive and who find taking exercise difficult.

‘Couch to 5k’, delivered by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council coaches, focuses on building up physical activity in a gradual and healthy way, with participants making a commitment to undertake two sessions of jogging and fitness work per week until December 2015.

Fully qualified Fermanagh and Omagh District Council coaches 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.

The 12-week programme will culminate with participants taking part in the Greencastle Boxing Day race on Saturday 26 December 2015.

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

“Fermanagh and Omagh District Council is delighted to launch the ‘Couch to 5k’ programme in partnership with the Public Health Agency. 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 get people active.”

Denise McCallion, Senior Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement Officer at the PHA, said:

“Couch to 5k is a great opportunity to get active and start a new challenge. It is hoped the programme will influence behaviour changes in those who don’t currently take part in physical activity.

Being physically active helps maintain a healthy weight and can reduce the risk of many diseases including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, and colon cancer. It 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 take up the ‘Couch to 5k’ challenge and get involved with the programme, registration sessions will take place at Omagh Leisure Complex on Monday 28 September at 10 am and 7 pm. Both registration sessions will involve an induction to the DEC Fitness Suite and provide participants with their 12-week activity programme. For further enquiries please contact Conor McCrory, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, on 0300 303 1777.

For more tips on getting active, healthier eating choices, measuring up and setting goals visit www.choosetolivebetter.com. To find out more about getting involved in running see

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