Active Future Programme – Week 4 – Zumba and The Physical & Mental Effects of Drug and Alcohol Misuse.

Overview of the Active Future Programme here – http://wp.me/p7Xkia-4

Week 3 of the Active Future Programme here – http://wp.me/p7Xkia-9G

Week  four of the Active Future Programme has just passed which marked the halfway point of the programme. The past four weeks have gone so quickly but it is great to see the relationships grow stronger and stronger between the participants, the Sports Science Students & the leaders. Next week the participants are on their mid-term break from school so we will be using this as some downtime and to review what elements of the programme can be improved.  Keep scrolling to see videos, pictures and descriptions of what we covered in week 4!

Physical Health Input

This week the Sports Science students, very comprehensively, covered the impacts of drug and alcohol misuse on physical health. The students informed the participants on the recommended maximum amount of alcohol consumption per week, what constitutes drug misuse, and how both alcohol and drugs can be extremely damaging to your physical health. Did you know that the maximum recommended alcohol intake per week  for males  is 17 units (8 pints) and females is 11 units (5 pints) per week? One is considered to be binge drinking when an individual consumes 3 pints of alcohol in one sitting! Unfortunately, that is a big problem here in Ireland with 75% of all alcohol consumed as part of a binge-drinking session. The participants were quite shocked with what constituted binge-drinking which led to an interesting discussion around safe alcohol use.

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Physical Activity Input

We switched things up this week and gave the Sports Science students a break from leading the physical activity session. This week we got a local zumba instructor to deliver the class. At first, many of the guys were hesitant  to become involved but by the end of it they were practically leading the class!  For those of you who don’t know, zumba is a really fun dance class, which is done to the beat of energetic music (usually Pitbull!) and originated from Colombia. See the video below to see some of the slick dance moves on show.

Mental Health Input

As always, the wonderful Michael Byrne from the Tullow School Completion Programme delivered an excellent session on the mental impacts of drug and alcohol misuse. Michael linked it back to what we had learned so far about the four types of behaviors and how to control them. He explained that people often smoke or take drugs to alleviate stress or  in some cases to numb emotional pain. He explained that addiction is when a person THINKS they have lost control – the key word here is think. He explained that this is just a thought, and the first steps to recovery is realizing that you have control over these thoughts. He explained that physical craving only last approximately 15 minutes (depending on the substance) and after that it is your thoughts that are driving the cravings. To challenge addicting behavior we need to; (1) look at why we want these substances or what are they replacing in our lives, (2) Recognize that we have control over these cravings and (3) begin to change our behavior towards these cravings. Exercise was mentioned by the participants  as a good alternative to smoking with regard to alleviating stress.

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As I said above next week the participants will be on their mid-term break from school so they won’t be on campus.  However, we will be using this week as a means to review how the programme has run so far and what elements we can improve. Of course we believe in a bottoms-up approach so the participants and the students  will have the final say in any changes made to the programme.

The Active Future Programme is an 8 week programme based in Ireland aiming to promote physical activity and further education among adolescents. We strive to challenge stigmas and misconceptions around mental and physical health. It is run on campus of I.T. Carlow and in association with the Tullow School Completion Programme and the Tullow Secondary School. This blog is updated each week and follows the progress of the programme. If you would like more information on the programme or have any questions in general you can contact me by email – shaneodonnell92@gmail.com or shane.odonnell@itcarlow.ie

One thought on “Active Future Programme – Week 4 – Zumba and The Physical & Mental Effects of Drug and Alcohol Misuse.

  1. Pingback: Active Future Programme – Week 4 – Zumba and the Physical & Mental Effects of Drug and Alcohol Misuse

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