Running or walking mile a day can help your kids live YEARS longer says Prof Niall Moyna
A mile a day keeps the doctor away.
Today's children will be the first generation the history of humanity who will not outlive their parents... That's the stark warning from Prof Niall Moyna, Ireland's leading Clinical Exercise Physiologist, who says that poor lifestyle choices and physical inactivity in particular will cut lives short.
We are all well aware of the risks posed by childhood obesity, but Prof Moyna is keen to stress that exercise is as much a factor as diet. In fact, research carried out his team at the School of Health & Human Performance in DCU showed that unfit 15 year old boys had blood vessels that showed the same signs of ageing as that of 55 year old men.
Fifty five. That's a finding that's almost too frightening to comprehend.
Of course, it's all well and good saying that all our children need to do to combat this is to move more. But for the many families for whom walking to school is not an option, it can be hard to incorporate adequate amounts of exercise into children's day-to-day routines.
This is where The Daily Mile comes in. Introduced last year by Athletics Ireland, The Daily Mile is a programme for primary schools that sees pupils run or jog at their own pace for 15 minutes every day. Not only does this make them fitter - adding years to their life in the process - but it also boots their brains and helps them concentrate better in the classroom.
Prof Moyna says that walking or running a mile a day will have a "profound impact" in lowering kids' risk of developing diseases such as diabetes and cancer in later life.
The Daily Mile programme currently runs in more than 800 primary schools across the country. And this term it's being complimented by the SPAR Daily Chat, which provides a conversational wheel that teachers can use to discuss health-related topics with their classes.
More information on The Daily Mile is available at SPAR stores throughout the country and by clicking here.