Will you take on the 'Marathon in a Month' challenge from the Irish Cancer Society to help those with cancer?

Join Lunchtime Live's Ciara Kelly and celebrity chef Gary O'Hanlon to clock up 42KM walking, jogging or running for the month of July!

When it comes to getting healthy, one of the easiest ways to start is to get up and move. While it might be a brisk walk, a leisurely jog or run for some, every step counts.

For the month of July, The Irish Cancer Society is asking the people of Ireland to take part in the country’s only virtual marathon as part of a campaign to get the people of Ireland moving while also raising vital funds to support people affected by cancer.

You can take part in Marathon in a Month by completing the distance of a marathon (42KM) throughout the month of July, tracking your progress online. No matter what level you’re at, you can take part by walking, jogging or running the distance.

Newstalk’s own Ciara Kelly and celebrity chef Gary O’Hanlon will join participants by taking on the challenge themselves and you can hear all about their progress on Lunchtime Live every day from 12-2pm.

In 2017, participants from all over the country clocked up a total of 12,598 kilometres and this year the Society wants to get more people moving. Incidences of cancer in Ireland are on the rise but four out of ten cancers are preventable and even just 30 minutes of physical activity five times a week and maintaining a healthy body weight are some of the ways of reducing cancer risk, according to the European Code Against Cancer.

Following his own battle with cancer, Aidan O’Malley from Dublin took part in the challenge last year. Speaking about the experience, he said: “In October 2016 I was diagnosed with cancer. To say it was a shock is an understatement. I started treatment that November. Thankfully it was a success and I was given the all clear. The challenge of running was daunting but I thought if I got through treatment I could get through 42km. I ran for everyone touched by this disease. The Irish Cancer Society provide invaluable support to all those affected by cancer and without them the journey would be far tougher.”

Each participant can link their everydayhero online fundraising page to their fitness app and keep track of their progress as they raise money to help the 40,000 people in Ireland who will be diagnosed with cancer this year.

Speaking about the initiative, Mark Mellett, Head of Fundraising at the Irish Cancer Society said: “Get active this July and take part in your own personal marathon and make a difference to the lives of people affected by cancer. Every week we should be doing 150 minutes of physical activity. That’s the same number of people who get a cancer diagnosis in Ireland every day. Take on the Marathon in a Month challenge and make every step matter by getting your friends to sponsor you and help us to provide care, information and support for cancer patients and their families.”

For more information or to register to participate in Marathon in a Month visit www.cancer.ie/marathoninamonth