Fitness News

RESEARCHING FITNESS. Galway researchers are seeking older people to take part in their study aimed at finding out the truth about the cognitive benefits of exercise. Dr Cay Anderson-Hanley, a US scientist has gone on record to say that while most people are aware of the physical benefits of exercise – muscles tone, weight loss and increased energy – ‘Recently, there have been significant strides made examining the cognitive benefits of physical exercise. This kind of research has taken on a new urgency considering the ever-changing demographics of our society; longevity increasing around the world, dementias like Alzheimer’s on the rise,etc’ she explained. The new study will focus on keeping the mind active while exercising at the same time. The first step for the tests; volunteers will spend 20 minutes on a ‘cyber-cycle’. This combines all the traits of a traditional exercise bike and an interactive video game. Anyone interested can contact Julia Dimitrova in NUI Galway on 091-494069 or email

FITNESS NOT AGE . Here is something new to consider; a patient’s fitness – not their age – should be the main factor in deciding whether they have an operation, a major new study has claimed. This study found that fit and healthy pensioners over the age of 75 have mortality rates less than half those of the unfit younger patients following surgery. Doctors have always traditionally seen age as one of the main risk factors in any and all operations thereby relaying an assuumption that they would have a slower recovery time an a combined lower chance of survival and a higher risk of complications.

CYCLING AROUND.  Bikes are officially IN right now. An Irish Independent survey team has talked to many different people on the streets to see what’s going on, on a ground level, with the increasing numbers of cyclists. Some examples; Ross Stack rides a unicycle, Michael Killeen invented the ideways bike believe it or not, Dean Jones is saving a fortune by cycling to work (something we should all be doing) and Gordon Birch’s electric machine has done wonders for his diabetes. Cycling, has evolved an become so much more than it ever was it seems and can be seriously life-changing. It certainly was for Dun Laoghaire man Gordon Birch. Last year he purchased a bike on the cycle-to-work scheme just to see if it might improve his worsening diabetes condition. The result? Not only has he now addicted to the exercise but he is lost a stone in weight and doctors say his back problems have disappeared.

RUN RUN RUN.  The Get Fit For Cancer Support 7K Run, takes place in only a few weeks time at the Powerscourt Estate on Saturday 6th July in aid of Bray Cancer Support Centre. All runners, joggers, walkers and crawlers of all abilities are encouraged to get involved for this great event. So we can make it as family friendly as possible, as well as the 7K Run, there will also be a 3K Family Walk which will include; a treasure hunt around the grounds of the historical Powerscourt Estate. After the run, all participants can celebrate their achievement with the whole family by enjoying the post race BBQ. There will be music by the wonderful Bray Gospel Choir. More details at

GET READY  for Lilliput! Yes the annual Lilliput Legend Adventure Race is almost upon us (July 20th in Westmeath). It kicks off at 10am and the entry fee is 50e. But for that price you will receive (amongst other things); Lilliput Legend T-Shirt (you will really want to wear this one), goody bag, course map, race number, hot meal, drink & Food stations(recommended that you are self sufficient just incase you would like to eat and drink more than we can provide), complimentary camping and showers and of course complimentary Parking.

THE MUCKIER THE BETTER.  Muck Off is the new cross country challenge, if you dare, taking place on a 150 acre parkland estate just outside Nenagh, North Tipperary. It kicks off on Sunday August 4th 2013. The course will cover one of the most natural venues in the country with hills, streams and water courses throughout some stunning woodland overlooking Lough Derg. This event will cater for everyone, entrants of all abilities and fitness from semi professional athletes to the novice are more than welcome. This is a serious challenge both physically and mentally. Registration is open now and the minimum age for entry is 17. Get mucky!

SMOKING RISKS. People under the age of 50 have a five-fold increased risk of developing heart disease and/or suffering a stroke if they smoke, experts have now warned. This according to the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), they go on to say that the risk is also doubled in those over the age of 60, just ten more years. Heart disease continues to be Europe’s number one killer, causing the deaths of nearly 2million people in the EU every year. In the case of men aged 35-69, smoking causes at least one in four of these deaths and one in nine deaths among women of the same age.