John Conroy comes from a suckler farm in New Quay, Galway Bay. With a number of qualifications under his belt, John has worked for many years with various communities, State organisations and private companies across the country and now runs


Osteoporosis is defined as a skeletal disorder characterised by compromised bone strength predisposing a person to an increased risk of low-impact fracture.

The literal translation means “soft or porous bones”. Many people do not realise they have osteoporosis until they sustain a fracture. Symptoms can include back pain, loss of height over time, stooped posture/severe kyphosis (a spinal disorder sometimes known as “roundback”), low-force fracture of a vertebrae, wrist, hip or other bone. But quite often, they are asymptomatic.

John Conroy of


The stage before osteoporosis is called “osteopenia”. This is when your bones are weaker than normal, but not so far gone that they break easily.

A diagnosis of osteopenia is a warning to start taking care of your bones and prevention methods like regular physical exercise need to be put in place.

Tips for living with osteopenia

  • Avoid jumping, bouncing or sudden movements.
  • Manage your stress levels. Cortisol, the stress hormone, can weaken your bones. Practice deep breathing and guided meditations to calm your nervous system.
  • Improve strength in muscles and bones and improve range of motion. This can be done through practicing non-weight bearing exercises, which puts strain on bones in a gentle way. Let the ligaments and tendons stress the bones through movement, which cause osteoblasts to build more bone.
  • Taking care of osteoporosis

    It is important to incorporate gentle cardio movements into your lifestyle.

  • Lower body: focus on strengthening your legs and lengthening your spine.
  • Upper body: focus on poses that open your chest to help balance and/or reverse kyphosis.
  • Use the breath to stretch the musculature of your spine, from inside out.
  • Be cautious with forward bends by keeping your spine long and not rounding forward.
  • General health tips

  • Improving strength: weight-bearing exercises focus on creating healthy stress on your muscles with balancing and holding movements.
  • Be mindful of your posture: Look for practices that focus on strengthening the muscles around your most troublesome areas – arms, legs, torso, etc.
  • Cardiovascular health: Pace yourself and don’t overdo it. Work to the point of a very light sweat, then take a break, drink water and rest.
  • Joint injuries: focus on stabilising and strengthening your joints. Limit continual movement of your injured joint so as not to irritate it. Gently stretch the muscles around your injured joint.
  • Follow John’s “Stretch A Day” takeover on Irish Country Living’s Instagram (@Irishcountryliving) this week. Each day (from Saturday 24 April, to Wednesday 28 April) John will be demonstrating how to carry out a stretch, which will benefit your body and mind.