School, work and study routines are now established and the weather continues to be a mixture of cloudy, sunny and rain showers. And even though the evenings are getting shorter, there are no excuses for starting an early hibernation! This is the time to get into activity, or pick it up again. Mid- September (16th-22nd) marks the awareness-raising European Mobility Week and puts a focus on walking, cycling and public transportation in our cities. Each European Mobility Week focuses on a particular topic related to sustainable mobility, the so-called focal theme. Local authorities are required to organise activities for their citizens based on this theme. They are also encouraged to launch and promote permanent measures that support the theme. The theme for 2012 is Moving in the Right Direction. You can already spot signs around the city- for Smarter Travel Routes, Slí na Sláinte loops and historical walks. Each year, schools engage in a WOW initiative- Walk on Wednesdays, where primary school children make the effort to walk to and from school. Great for parents who need to squeeze in some time in the fresh air for the school commute and promoted by An Taisce.
Previous EMW themes have included “Travel Smarter, Live Better” 2010, “Streets for People” 2007 and “Safe Streets for Children” 2004. The launch walk this year takes place on Sunday September 16th and is definitely moving in the right direction, with a complete loop of the city bridges and Shannonside paths.
Volunteer Kevin Haugh made the natural link between the Bridge of Limerick Walk, and a local cause. The walk is along a scenic route, and any donations are welcome and will go to the Midwestern Cancer Foundation in the MidWest Regional Hospital. The morning walk is the ideal opportunity to join people of all ages and enjoy the scenic walk for as much or as little as you feel up to. Leaders will take the group around the route and music is planned for points on the walk where a lift is needed. For advice on being active, the website Get Ireland Active is a great resource for picking a group or activity to pick up your energy levels. Guidelines are 5 times a week, at least 30min, or bouts of 10min to accumulate the minimum 30min. That’s roughly bridge to bridge if you walk Sarsfield Bridge to Thomond Bridge and back. Try Sarsfield to Shannon Bridge, or Thomond to Athlunkard Bridge and back. And if that sounds more like climbing a mountain, the best way to build up is taking 10min walking briskly and using times during the day to get up to the 30min total. That would be a loop of the shopping centre or supermarket! And this can be the start of a health-giving habit. Similar events take place on evenings and weekends. Another big event is due to take place on October 14th at the University of Limerick. Limerick Womens Mini Marathon is an 8k walk/jog/run so the Bridges event will be a warm-up! Men are not excluded, and the drag section has been highly competitive and well worth staying for the prize-giving!
There is no entry fee for the event BUT participants will have an opportunity to give a voluntary subscription at registration that will go to the Mid Western Cancer Foundation. Participants are asked to register their name beforehand at Limerick Local Heroes office, or on the morning. Emails to firstname.lastname@example.org. It couldn’t be easier to get moving in the right direction!