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EMMA RYAN: Follow Cecilia’s lead

It is great to see an increase in women participating in exercise

It is great to see an increase in women participating in exercise

Over the past year or two, when out and about on the roads I have noticed a huge increase in people out exercising in Donegal. It is now very rare to go somewhere without meeting someone out for a walk, a run, or cycling.

I personally think it is great to see so many people involved in physical activity and improving their fitness and health. Not only does exercise help maintain good health but it also increases confidence and can improve your mental health. It is also great to see an increase in women participating in exercise.

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Recently I interviewed Cecilia Deehan, who is 60 and is currently training for the Dublin Marathon. Deehan ignited her love for running in 2012 and has since completed five full marathons and 23 half marathons.

Deehan joined her local running club in order to prepare for her first marathon and has since competed in Barcelona, Dublin, Cardiff and Liverpool, along with many other local events. The runner recently completed the Donegal Half Marathon and won the over 60s category with an impressive time of 2:19:08.

In her 60th year of life, Deehan set herself the goal of making it her most challenging year yet and it is safe to say she succeeded. This year alone, Deehan completed 12 half marathons and one full marathon. She is currently looking forward to taking part in the Dublin marathon which takes place on October 26th.

After this marathon, the runner is setting her sights on a new challenge and is entering in the Extreme North Quadrathron in 2016. All this started when Deehan joined her running club.

Running clubs and couch to 5ks are a great way to get involved in running at a pace that is suitable for beginners. Throughout the county there are multiple 5Ks or 10Ks arranged with a walk and run section. This is a great way to start up and gain confidence in your ability and see what your body can do. Not only does exercise come with multiple health benefits, it also helps to clear your mind and increase your confidence.

There are many opportunities for ladies to lose weight or get fitter and healthier in Donegal at the moment. There are a variety of different bootcamps being run by different personal trainers. The fitness scene has never been as popular as it is today and an increasing amount of people are seeing the goodness that exercising regularly can do.

It doesn’t just have to be the young and fit people who start exercising and improving their lifestyle, any age, weight, fitness level or mind set can begin. It is never too late to find a hobby and start doing something you enjoy which makes you feel good.

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Anyone looking for someone to look up to or to take motivation from, I have learnt it doesn’t have to be the person on TV competing professionally. It can be the people in your local community, like Cecilia Deehan who are pushing boundaries every day and are exceeding expectations.

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