Amach Galway aim to get the LGBTQ+ community in better health

"People came with very low expectations of their own individual ability. Throughout the program we gently pushed them to achieve what they thought they couldn’t."

A woman ties the laces of her runners

Mark from Amach Galway talks with Sporting Pride about their latest physical activity programmes aimed at promoting better health in the LGBTQ+ community.

For those of you lucky enough to live in the beautiful city of Galway, a new health promotion programme for the LGBTQ+ community is kicking off. Amach Galway physical activity specialist, Mark, thinks it’s most important for members of our community to get involved in the upcoming classes and/or running groups for a number of reasons.

“Becoming more active not only boosts your physical health but also your mental health,” Mark explained. “These groups are for those looking to increase their physical activity levels in a fun and sociable way, while also creating a sense of community and support!”

It is not necessary to be at a certain level of fitness to join in as the groups are tailored to meet everyone’s needs. “There is no pressure and people are free to be themselves, but at the same time participants will be gently encouraged to challenge themselves along the way.”

The Amach Run Club is the first programme to get started. Those eager to join can meet Mark at the Engineering Building at NUIG on Tuesday evenings and Sunday afternoons. In order to cater for both complete beginners and those who are more active, the running groups have been split into two. The 6pm group on Tuesdays is beginner friendly for those looking to increase their distance and time in a sociable and safe environment. The 3pm run on Sundays is a beginner/intermediate run and will meet and train at the same location as the first group.

Mark says historically those who have taken part in the activities have reported very positive feedback. Although promoting physical activity is one of their primary goals, it is important for members of our community to connect with each other in social settings, and LGBTQ+ inclusive sports can offer a safe environment in which both of those needs can be met.

He adds, “People came with very low expectations of their own individual ability. Throughout the program we gently pushed them to achieve what they thought they couldn’t. All the while supporting and encouraging each other and making new friends.”

Mark has also arranged online Bodyweight High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Classes which will be streamed live via the Teach Solais Instagram page. Again, both complete beginners and more advanced levels will be catered for.

On Wednesday mornings, Mark will host a beginners bodyweight HIIT Class at 8am via the Instagram page. No equipment is needed apart from a mat and a towel! This equipment free interval workout is designed for those with minimal space and time to workout and for those looking to get more physically active, all from the comfort of your own home.

On Thursdays at 7pm the advance HIIT classes will go live on the same Teach Solais Instagram page. Two small dumbbells and a kettlebell would be useful, but not essential, as a water bottle can be used in lieu. This class is an intense interval session designed for those looking to challenge and increase their fitness levels and will get the heart racing.

If anyone is interested in joining in with the Amach Galway running club please contact Mark on 087 7835243 or email [email protected]. Face masks are mandatory and social distancing guidelines must be adhered to.

There is no cost to taking in part in either the running group or the HIIT classes so why not #GetOutGetActive while connecting with others in the LGBTQ+ community!

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