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Them bones, them bones, need calcium!  

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By Brian Foley from Activate Fitness

This week's article is Part Two in our series on the effects of ageing on our bodies and what we can do about it.

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Last week we delved into arthritis and learned a little about the condition and how it will impact many of our lives.

This week, we’re looking at osteoporosis.

Everyone remembers that TV advert from the '80s with that freaky looking wooden man singing “Them bones, them bones, need calcium!” He wasn’t wrong, solid nutrition with a healthy dose of calcium is vital to bone health, but so too is stress.

When we think of bones, we often think of a “fixed”, hard structure that just remains the same. However, bones are a living organ, in a constant state of degeneration and regeneration.

Osteoporosis is a condition that affects one in four women and one out of every six to seven men. It is characterised by decreased bone mineral density causing an increased likelihood of fracture. 20% of men and 37% of women will die after fracturing their hip and many who suffer a fracture are likely to re-fracture. For people who have osteoporosis, a fracture can cause a downward spiral of avoiding activity, becoming deconditioned, and then becoming more susceptible to a future fracture.

Fortunately, there are ways to safeguard against this significant bone density loss. Did you know that each time you do a relatively heavy squat your bones bend ever so slightly and a signal is sent within the bone to build more bone? It's absolutely amazing what our bodies can do, but the bone requires a sufficient stress to adapt, remodel and, over time get stronger.

WEIGHT TRAINING

Therefore, weight training should be a central tenant of anyone’s health and fitness regime. How you do it is mostly up to you, but I would advise seeking out a qualified professional first. If you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis or osteopenia (which can be simply viewed as a potential precursor to osteoporosis) you should seek out a physiotherapist first who would typically either devise an exercise programme for you that contains progressive resistance i.e. weights or work that increases gradually, or they would refer you out to a suitably qualified exercise professional.

What would this programme look like?

Typically it would include two sessions per week with at least one exercise per body part and its core would include some form of compound exercise, such as a squat.

For people with osteoporosis but without fractures: at least 50 moderate impacts a session i.e. jogging, low level jumping, and hopping are recommended and should be interspersed with walking activities.

These are just guidelines, and should of course be adjusted depending on the individual.

“But I’m healthy enough and go walking most days”

Walking and other forms of cardiovascular exercise such as cycling and swimming are great, the benefits for your cardiovascular system and your overall happiness and well-being are well documented. However, these exercises fail to produce significant increases in bone density in most people as they don’t provide enough of a “loading stimulus” (stress to the bone) to stimulate bone growth.

If you are concerned about the impacts of osteoporosis or are currently diagnosed with osteopenia or osteoporosis, Activate runs a twice weekly strength programme which is devised and coached by Sam Treharne (CORU registered physiotherapist) which might be suitable for you. To find out more visit www.activate.ie/free-intro or call 087 4030894.

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Strong connections made at tourism tradeshow 

Many significant business deals were signed at this year’s Meitheal – Ireland’s largest and most important trade event for the tourism industry. Held in the INEC, 450 Irish businesses pitched to over 230 international […]

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Many significant business deals were signed at this year’s Meitheal – Ireland’s largest and most important trade event for the tourism industry.

Held in the INEC, 450 Irish businesses pitched to over 230 international buyers from 17 countries at Fáilte Ireland’s flagship trade event. 

Running since 1975, Meitheal is organised in partnership with Tourism Ireland to provide Irish tourism businesses with the opportunity to sell directly to top international buyers and tour operators.

The best of what is on offer across Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands, Ireland’s Ancient East, the Wild Atlantic Way and Dublin, were showcased with the aim of being scheduled on the itineraries of the global tour operators.

Key themes and trends emerging this year are sustainable travel options, immersive outdoor experiences and festivals.

Speaking about the importance of developing a future pipeline of tourism business, Paul Kelly, CEO of Fáilte Ireland, said that “creating a strong pipeline of future business is key for the recovery of tourism”.

“Seeing the demand for the Irish tourism product with international buyers at Meitheal is fantastic. Each international buyer represents tens of thousands of possible visitors to Ireland, and their business will be hugely important for tourism and hospitality businesses, communities, and destination Ireland as we continue to work towards recovery,” he said. 

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Outdoor dining area officially opens in town

A new outdoor dining space at Kenmare Place was officially opened today (Wednesday). The project, which was supported with €605,000 in funding from Fáilte Ireland under the Local Authority Weatherproofing and […]

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A new outdoor dining space at Kenmare Place was officially opened today (Wednesday).

The project, which was supported with €605,000 in funding from Fáilte Ireland under the Local Authority Weatherproofing and Outdoor Dining Infrastructure Scheme, provides an attractive outdoor dining option for locals and visitors to Killarney.

“This is a really wonderful addition to Killarney’s tourism infrastructure and will prove a great asset throughout the year and particularly during the forthcoming tourist season,” said Cllr Kelleher, Cathaoirleach of the Killarney Municipal District, who did the honours.

“One of the effects of the recent pandemic was the need to utilise and maximise outdoor dining options and this infrastructure shows what can be achieved in an imaginative way. It will greatly enhance Killarney’s reputation as a destination for top quality tourism experiences.”

The project has been operational since last October but the official opening was timed to coincide with the Meitheal 2023 tourism industry showcase that was organised by Fáilte Ireland at the INEC this week.

“It is fantastic to see Killarney’s outdoor dining infrastructure being so well received by trade and visitors alike,” Miriam Kennedy, Head of Wild Atlantic Way at Fáilte Ireland, said.

Councillors in the Killarney Municipal District approved planning permission for the infrastructure which was completed by Daniel Canty Construction.

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