St. Patrick’s Day might be considered one of the booziest of holidays, filled with beer, whiskey, bar crawls, and typically followed by an epic hangover. However, just because everyone else is spending their holiday like that, does not mean you need to as well. Conversely, despite the fact that you choose to indulge and have fun for a day, does not mean you should let loose everyday. As a matter of fact, the Irish, some of the “heaviest” beer-drinkers around, are known to stay relatively fit.
According to data, collected by the Irish Sports Monitor, 47% of Irish men and women aged 16 + participate in some form of regular exercise. That’s a considerable chunk! The chosen activities range from common exercises we practice on this side of the pond (i.e. regular gym-goer workouts like: running, cycling, weights, etc.) all the way to more Irish-based ones. Think Riverdancing and the sport of Hurling! No idea what either of these activities are? No problem. We’ll give you the low down.
Hurling, a Gaelic sport which seemingly combines properties from soccer, hockey, and lacrosse, is actually believed to be one of the world’s oldest games played on a field. There are two teams of 15 players who square off to put a small ball into the opposing team’s net. The game demands plenty of cardiovascular endurance and speed. Seeing as how the objective is to both run past and faster than your opponent, both your heart and feet will literally be racing. Set up a large group of people in a park and practice the sport. To reward yourself after an arduous match, head out for a typical Irish dinner of corned beef and cabbage (and maybe a Guinness or two!).
Not into competitive sports? Don’t worry, we aren’t either. How about getting into dancing? Dancing has been known as an integral part of Irish culture. From folk dances to “jigs”, the Irish have got some moves. While you might not consider dancing every Saturday night as an integral workout in your weekly routine, we’re here to reassure you that it sure is! Not only is it cardio, but can potentially count as a leg and core strengthener. That is, depending on how low you can go!
So, tonight, when you’re off celebrating that national pride, feel free to get a little footloose, too!
How do you balance you fun and exercise?
Image via CNN