The Healthy Club project aims to help GAA clubs explore how they support the holistic health of their members and the communities they serve, and to identify areas where they can improve for the wellbeing of players, coaches, players, and the wider community.
The healthy club model, which is based on best national and international practice, also aims to embed a healthy philosophy in a club while integrating health into the day-to-day club activities in a sustainable way. Another important aim is to place the local GAA club at the heart of the community.Please see http://www.gaa.ie/my-gaa/community-and-health/ for further information.
Physical Activity .. Let’s move more and sit less
What the World Health Organisation recommends:Children and young people (aged 2-18) should be active moderate to vigorous level, for at least 60 minutes every day. This should include muscle-strengthening, flexibility and bone-strengthening exercises 3 times a week.Adults (aged 18 – 64) should be active for at least 30 minutes a day of moderate activity on 5 days a week (or 150 minutes a week).Older people (aged 65+) should be active for at least 30 minutes a day of moderate intensity activity on 5 days a week, or 150 minutes a week with a focus on aerobic activity, muscle strengthening and balance.People with disabilities should be as active as their ability allows and should aim to meet adult guidelines of at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity.
Healthy Eating in the GAA …Enjoying good foods that give good results
It is hard to ignore the growing trend of ‘clean’ healthy eating that is sweeping Irish shores, unless you have been living under a rock, munching on a bag of Tayto and a Tangle-twister!
The message is loud and clear that what you eat can help you achieve your goals from exuding energy and health for that first date to living longer than your grandparents.
The following article discusses a number of areas through which eating good foods can help achieve your goals.
“There’s no better feeling than taking part in a tough session and refueling your body afterwards with the right food. There’s no point doing all the hard work exercising to undo it by taking in the wrong food”Aaron Kernan, Club All Ireland Winner with Crossmaglen Rangers GAC
Feed your Brain
Omega 3 fatty acids, especially the type found in fatty fish and egg yolks are the most important for brain health, as 60% of your brain is composed of fat. A recent study found a significant increase in memory recall in older healthy people supplementing with omega 3 acids after a 6 month period compared to those using a placebo. A 2010 study found that people who ate food high in omega 3 acids had an approximate 40% lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s compared to people who did not. Enjoy an egg for breakfast and sardines for lunch to boost daily brain power!
Boost energy levels
Running low on energy can lead to an array of confusing behaviours from late night texting to missed business opportunities. Food is often merely seen ‘as a gap filler’ to grab and go until the next lull in energy levels. This is no way to treat the engine of a young Irish male tackling and achieving ground breaking work, social and training goals daily. To maintain energy levels throughout the day, eat smart, eat often and hydrate.
Top tips to achieve this:
- Preparation – at the weekend, make a list of lunches, dinners & snacks for the week ahead, shop for the ingredients, bulk cook and freeze to ensure the health kick lasts all week.
- Eat 5-6 times daily, snacking on; nuts, seeds, full fat dairy, nut butters, oatcakes, vegetables or hard boiled eggs.
- Include vegetables in your smoothie; a handful of spinach and/or kale.
- Swap your cappuccino for a green tea or fruit infused water.
- Have a small snack before bed.
To maintain those Irish good looks and defy the ageing process, there are a number of foods to include in your shopping basket to help achieve just that. Blueberries are high in antioxidants which protect against skin damage from sun exposure and stress. Avocados are rich in Vitamin E essential for shiny hair and glowing skin. Foods high in fibre, such as broccoli and flaxseed, help maintain a healthy weight while also providing nutrients to help the skin retain is moisture and elasticity. The flavonoids in dark chocolate not only protect against ageing but have also been found to have particular benefits in maintaining a healthy heart.
Eating healthily is no longer about not being allowed to leave the table until your plate is clean but is about getting excited about and enjoying good foods that give results.