Keeping Active

Exercise and Physical activity

Getting some exercise everyday, ideally outdoors, is important for both physical and mental health.

If you are an older adult or have an underlying health condition or a disability, exercise and activity can feel harder to do. But they are really important for things like muscle strength and bone health, which can help you stay strong and prevent falls.

How much do I need to exercise?

Children and young people age 2 to 18 should be active, for at least 60 minutes every day.

Moderate activity means your heart is beating faster than normal and breathing is harder than normal. Vigorous activity means your heart is beating faster than normal and breathing is much harder than normal.

Every adult should be active at a moderate level at least 30 minutes a day five days a week. Moderate activity means your breathing and heart rate increase, but you’re still able to carry on a conversation. You should feel warm or be sweating slightly at a comfortable pace.

Many adults and children who have a disability will also find some exercise enjoyable and helpful for overall physical and mental health. If you have a disability,try to be as active as the disability allows in order to meet the guidelines for your age group. If you are supporting someone who has a disability, you can check in with their healthcare provider for ideas on what type of activity or exercise is more suitable and safe.


These tips will help you enjoy being more active this winter

  • Make a plan to include exercise in your daily routine. Think about a 20 or 30 minute walk each day and also include some physical activity, such as an online exercise class or sport, two to three times a week if you can.
  • If you are finding it hard to get into a routine of regular exercise, try to arrange meeting up with a friend or family member, this can help and encourage you.
  • Household activities like vacuuming, washing windows, and re organising cupboards all add up to daily physical activity.
  • Plan for how you can exercise even when the weather is wet and windy outside. Can you invest in waterproof clothing and shoes so you can still go outdoors? Ask friends or family members for recommendations that you can do indoors on those days when you don’t feel like going outside.

Example of muscle strengthening exercises

  1. sit ups
  2. squat
  3. push ups
  4. lunges
  5. carrying shopping
  6. pushing along more or
  7. lifting hand weights

Examples of bone strengthening exercises are all weight bearing activity like running, jogging, jumping or skipping.


Flu vaccine

Flu season lasts from October to April. Flu can cause serious illness for some people.

The flu vaccine is available free of charge from GPS and pharmacists for people who are at risk of complications from the flu. This includes adults aged 65 and over, anyone who is pregnant, stores with a long-term illness, and children aged 2 to age 12.

Regular and routine health checks

if you have a long-term health condition like diabetes, epilepsy, or high blood pressure, think about any health cheques that you might need to have over the coming months and contact your GP to arrange a suitable and safe consultation time.If you need to speak with your GP about any other health concern, please don’t delay . 

Most GP’s now offer phone and video consultations. This means you can talk to your GP without leaving your home. For a phone consultation, you just need to give your phone number to the surgery. For a video consultation, you will need a smartphone or computer with a reliable Internet connection and webcam.

Attending healthcare appointments

There may be some health concerns where a phone or video consultation won’t be suitable . in this case, there are few things to remember:

  1. Arrive at the time of your appointment. If you arrive early, you may be asked to wait in another area or in your car if you travelled that way. This is to help maintain social distancing within the clinic.
  2. Wear a face mask and use hand sanitizer which is available in the clinic.
  3. If the clinic has specific entry and exit doors, use these. This will help to reduce the number of people you come into contact with.
  4. Go into the clinic on your own, unless you need to have someone with you . A parent or Guardian can accompany a child to their appointment.

Antibiotics and other medicines

Antibiotics are medicines used to treat infections caused by bacteria. You may need antibiotics if you have a bacterial infection that is unlikely to go away without them. Antibiotics do not work for viral infections such as COVID-19, colds and flu, and most coughs and sore throats.

Taking antibiotics when we don’t need them puts us at risk of harm such as rash, diarrhoea and other side effects.

Tell your GP if you are prescribed antibiotics and are taking other medications  Some antibiotics don’t mix well with other medicines. Your doctor may not know all the medication that you are taking as this may have been prescribed by a different doctor. Ask your GP or pharmacist if this antibiotic is safe to take with your other medicine.


If you are on regular medication for a health condition, keep a list of your medicines in a safe place. This is really helpful if you need to go to the doctor or the pharmacist.

You don’t have to go to your GP in order to get a repeat prescription. You can phone and tell them what you need. They can arrange to send prescriptions to your local pharmacy for you . you are someone you trust can collect it from there.

Medical card and GP visits

For information about medical cards and other health payment supports, search online ‘HSE Schemes and allowances ‘.

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