RTÉ and DCU join for fitness challenge

By Adam Higgins

DCU and RTÉ are teaming up to help the teenagers of Ireland get fit with the First Year Fitness Challenge, a joint venture between Professor Niall Moyna of DCU’s School of Health and Human Performance and The John Murray Show on RTÉ Radio 1.

The initiative aims to transform the fitness of secondary school children and to encourage them to adopt a healthy lifestyle from a young age.

Speaking on the John Murray Show on January 25th, Professor Moyna revealed that “the two biggest killers in Ireland are heart disease and cancer, the risk factors that cause these diseases such as obesity, inactivity, high blood pressure and diabetes can all be positively affected by regular exercise”.

He went on to explain that “the best predictor of how healthy you are and how long you’re going to live is your aerobic fitness level”. It’s for these reasons that Professor Moyna and The John Murray show have set out to get young people into a fit way of living early in order to launch a pre-emptive strike on health conditions later in life.

As part of RTÉ’s ‘Operation Transformation’ Professor Moyna ran a blip test challenge with a fifth year class from Athlone Community College. The test consisted of a series of timed 20 metre shuttle runs in the school hall and aimed to determine the cardiovascular fitness of the students.

The First Year Fitness Challenge has been extended to schools all over Ireland in order to establish the fitness levels of first year secondary school students and show how cardiovascular exercise can go a long way to preventing health problems such as heart disease or obesity.

You can keep up with how the challenge is progressing by tuning into The John Murray Show on Radio 1 from 9am to 10am every Monday to Friday. See how the Athlone fifth years got on by accessing the RTÉ player and scrolling back to January 25th.


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