"Walking is a fun way for people to get fit, and to stay fit, as part of a healthier lifestyle". That was the message being conveyed by the Irish Heart Foundation at the launch of the Fota Wildlife Park Slí na Sláinte in Carrigtwohill today, Thursday September 10th 2009.
Developed by the Irish Heart Foundation and Fota Wildlife Park, the Slí na Sláinte ("Path to Health") is an outgoing way to make walking for leisure and good health even more enjoyable. The new route is the 14th Slí na Slainte route to be developed in Cork.
Marked by colourful posts which are not numbered and which are situated at 1km intervals, walkers simply follow the Km signs, setting their own pace as they go. With physical inactivity being one of the main risk factors for heart disease, using a Slí na Sláinte walking route is an excellent way to accumulate 30 minutes of physical activity, 5 days of the week.
Launching the route, Robert Heffernan said ""I would like to congratulate the Irish Heart Foundation and Fota Wildlife Park on the development of the Slí route. Being active is very important for our health and well-being I am proud to open new Fota Wildlife Park Slí na Sláinte here today, the surface is fantastic here for good walking and the fact you see the animals is a huge bonus"
Edel Byrne, National Coordinator of Slí na Sláinte at the Irish Heart Foundation said, "We are delighted to open the new Sli na Slainte at Fota Wildlife Park It is important that adults engage in 30 minutes of physical activity, preferably on a daily basis, as part of a healthy lifestyle. Walking is an ideal way to do just that. It keeps your heart strong, improves muscle strength and makes you feel good. But above all walking is fun. So our message to everyone now is...Let's Go Walking".
The parks Head of Marketing Stephen Ryan added "The idea behind setting up a sli na slainte route came about in January of this year when I noticed that many of the members came into the park for excersise. We hope that the route now gives them the opportunity to develop a regular walking schedule in the park as part of keeping themselves healthy. We are also looking to set up walking groups so if anyone is interested let us know."