Friday, 12 April 2013

Hearts and Bones: East meets West

As the bright evenings come in it is lovely to get out and about in the evenings. As you exercise for heart health it is good to know your bones get stronger and your digestive tract has a good squeeze as you breathe deeply. Remember to walk more than you talk, if you can talk comfortably you need to pick up the pace a little. A research study shows that people with osteoporosis are nearly six times more likely to have coronary heart disease than those without.
You might like to know that you don't have to pound the pavement to improve heart resilience and build stronger bones.
T’ai chi reduces fall risk.  While Spring is wonderful for getting outdoors, we need to be thinking about preventing dangerous falls all year-round. A recent study focused on the use of t’ai chi-based exercise for keeping dementia patients and their caregivers safe from falls. After 16 weeks of practicing t’ai chi, participants scored better on functional tests designed to test fall risk.
• T’ai chi training improves cardiovascular health and muscle strength. In another study, older women built muscle strength and heart health by performing t’ai chi as little as three times a week for 16 weeks. This news is very important as many people still think cardiovascular health can only be achieved by pounding away on a treadmill or practicing high-intensity yoga. This study emphasizes that t’ai chi provides a great exercise alternative, especially since we know it also calms our minds, another important benefits for bone health.

To evaluate your very own individual risk of fracture
 go to
This is a brilliant, easy to fill, and WHO validated  risk assessment tool.  It calculates how likely you are to have an osteoporotic (low impact) fracture over the next ten years. Many people are reassured to find the risk is relatively low, especially if they don't SMOKE! (Make a note of your weight and height in metric values before you start). If you have had a Bone Density Scan then type in the results where indicated. If you do not know the results contact the clinic and request them. They may charge a small administration fee, but you are fully entitled to your results (under the Freedom of Information Act).
This overall score is the most accurate weighting for your fracture risk.

Tai Chi Galway contacts
Jo Pender 086 8893441

Chen tai chi Ireland 085 1547157

Hope it's useful.
Take care Dr Dilis

References: Yao, L., Giordani, B, Algase, D.L., You, M., Alexander, N.B (2012). Fall Risk-relevant Functional Mobility Outcomes in Dementia Following Dyadic Tai Chi Exercise. Western Journal of Nursing Research. Published online 2012 April 19. doi: 10.1177/0193945912443319. PMCID: PMC3468653
Lu X, Hui-Chan CW, Tsang WW. (2013) Effects of Tai Chi training on arterial compliance and muscle strength in female seniors: a randomized clinical trial. Eur J Prev Cardiol. April;20(2):238-45. doi: 10.1177/2047487311434233. Epub 2012 Jan 4.

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