Croí's New Weight & Lifestyle Programme Delivers Results!

Croí’s New Weight & Lifestyle Programme Delivers Results!

A new weight & lifestyle programme developed by Croí, is proving to be an outstanding success. The CroiMyBalance Programme offers a new evidence-based approach to sustainable weight loss and lifestyle management aimed at those wishing to reduce their risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and obesity. The programme has evolved from years of working with individuals who struggle with their weight or have medical risk factors such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure.

Designed and delivered by an award-winning team of healthcare experts in medical risk factor management; diet & nutrition; exercise & fitness, the CroíMyBalance Programme is delivering results in terms of weight loss and risk factor management such as lowered cholesterol and diabetes control.

The CroíMyBalanceProgramme runs over 8 weeks (1 hour per week) with follow-up at 3, 6 and 12 months, and provides expert guidance on all aspects of healthy living and lifestyle change, which includes practical advice on weight, cholesterol, diabetes and blood pressure control. During the 8-week programme, each person is encouraged to keep a food diary and a weekly ‘weigh-in’ is optional. Also, as part of the programme, all participants undergo a lifestyle screening at initial assessment, end-of-programme and at 1 year which includes measurement of blood pressure, diabetes risk score, weight, body mass index, waist circumference, Mediterranean diet adherence score and physical activity levels.

A recent evaluation of the CroíMyBalance Programme has demonstrated significant weight loss and improvements in other risk factors such as blood pressure, diabetes, activity levels and adherence to the Mediterranean style diet. These improvements are observed at end-of-programme with results being sustained and even further improved at 1 year assessment. Participants on the programme are achieving, on average, in excess of 16 pounds weight loss and a reduction of 4 inches in waist circumference. Furthermore, there is a reduction in their diabetes risk score which estimates their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes in the next 10 years.

Discussing the outcomes of the recent evaluation, our Specialist Cardiac and Weight Dietitian, Claire Kerins said “The CroíMyBalance Programme is the first of its kind in Ireland and the results demonstrate the effectiveness of a lifestyle focused weight management programme. To-date, the majority of commercial weight loss programmes focus on dietary aspects alone without incorporating exercise and behavioural changes. She went on to say “The key to a healthy lifestyle is good nutrition, regular exercise and effective stress management. In this context, our programme addresses issues as varied as the quality and quantity of sleep, hydration, fitness levels and portion control. The CroíMyBalance Programme provides long-term support and motivation to assist individuals in achieving their nutritional and lifestyle goals for optimum heart health”.

The next Croí MyBalance Programmes will take place in the Croí Heart & Stroke Centre, Newcastle, Galway on:

Book online – Monday 25th April 11am-12pm – FULL

Book online – Tuesday 26th April 6.30-7.30pm – FULL

Book online – Wednesday 12th May 3.00 – 4.00pm CANCELLED

Other weight and lifestyle programmes will take place in various locations around the West of Ireland. The next programme is due to commence in Lackagh Parish Centre, Co. Galway on Wednesday the 27th of April 6.30-7.30pm. Similarly, a new programme is due to commence in Ballinasloe, Co. Galway on Thursday the 5th of May 6.30-7.30pm.

As places are limited, pre-booking is essential by calling Croí on 091-544310 or book online at www.croi.ie.

New Exercise4Health Programme proves successful!

New Exercise4Health Programme proves successful!

Exercise4Health is a new programme designed specifically for those who wish to improve their general health and wellbeing, and for those who due to a number of health issues are reluctant to engage in exercise. The programme has been launched recently as a collaboration between NUI Galway, Croi and the Kingfisher Fitness Club.

To date 90 participants have been through the programme and it is having positive results on participants’ cardiovascular health. “This new initiative is proving very popular and we have capacity to cater for many more people who are interested in joining us” says our Specialist Physiotherapist, Denise Dunne

Being physically active improves fitness and general health, and prevents and helps control a multitude of health problems, especially, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and obesity. Exercise4Health provides a locally accessible opportunity for those with diabetes, heart disease, pulmonary disease; those recovering from stroke or cancer or those with breathing difficulties or other long-term health conditions, to commence a safe and beneficial exercise programme. The programme is ideally suited to anyone trying to reduce weight or indeed improve their overall health and wellbeing.

The six-week rolling exercise programme is specially designed to suit all levels of current fitness and prior to enrolling for the classes, participants will be provided with a medical assessment to ascertain their fitness level.

This new programme, led by our expert cardiac physiotherapists and exercise specialists is delivered in conjunction with the fitness team at KingfisherClub and will provide participants with:

  • An assessment of their existing fitness level and a personalised plan for improvement
  • Fitness classes delivered at a level to suit everyone
  • Weekly heart-rate monitoring and personal progress tracking
  • A motivating and enjoyable fitness programme which can be continued at home and which if followed will provide a measurable improvement in fitness levels

Professor Terry Smith, Professor of Biomedical Engineering Science at NUI Galway said, “This exciting new partnership between NUI Galway, Croí and the Kingfisher Fitness Club aims to provide a community based exercise initiative which will significantly help to improve the health and wellbeing of people suffering from a range of chronic illnesses. Participants will only undertake exercise activities that suit their individual abilities and needs. The benefits are not just improved physical health, but meeting other participants and the fitness team at the Kingfisher Club also provides a great social outlet.”

The Exercise4Health programme takes place in the Kingfisher Fitness Club and Dangan Hall at NUI Galway from 12pm-1pm every Thursday. New term starting on the 24th March 2016.

For further information or to book a place on this exciting new programme call Croí now on 091 544310

Croí announces NEW Weight Management Programme for Mayo!

Croí announces NEW Weight Management Programme for Mayo!

“A healthy weight can be achieved by literally making small changes in your lifestyle” according to local Heart and Stroke Charity, Croí, who has just announced details of a new programme in Mayo to help individuals lose and manage weight in a healthy way.

The Croí ‘iBalance’ programme which is delivered by a Croí Dietician over 6 weeks (1 hour per week) includes expert guidance on all aspects of healthy eating, including the following topics: exploring your relationship with food; making healthy choices when shopping; understanding food labels and controlling portion sizes. During the 6-week ‘iBalance’ programme each person is encouraged to keep a food diary and a weekly ‘weigh-in’ is also provided for those who wish to participate.

Speaking about this initiative, Croí Nurse Ailish Houlihan said “Recent research undertaken by Croí, in collaboration with the HSE revealed that almost 50% of Mayo adults are overweight with a further 33% classified as obese. This is not unique to County Mayo, and mirrors national statistics, which are a significant concern for public health professionals.”

She continued by saying “Obesity is recognised as one of the key risk factors that puts an individual at higher risk of developing diabetes and heart disease. Croí ‘iBalance’ provides an ideal opportunity to receive up-to-date nutritional advice and learn some useful tips on how to make healthier food choices, reduce weight and improve overall health.”

The first Croí ‘iBalance’ programme will take place in association with Le Chéile Family Resource Centre in Castlebar and will commence in the Family Resource Centre on Thursday 21st April from 1-2pm. Booking is essential. A ‘not for profit’ fee applies. To book your place, contact Maria in Croí on 091-544310.

This Croí initiative is being rolled out as part of the on-going work of the ‘Mayo Action on Heart Disease & Stroke’ programme, a community-based prevention programme and partnership between Croí and Mayo PCCC, HSE West which aims to reduce the impact of heart disease and stroke in Mayo.

Community Exercise Programme Kick off in Lackagh!

Community Exercise Programme Kick off in Lackagh!

Croí have teamed with Lackagh Pharmacy to deliver a range of exercise and lifestyle programmes aimed at preventing heart disease and stroke in the local community.

This exciting new initiative brings evidence based programmes directly into the community making them locally accessible. Following the success of the recent Croí My Balance weight management programme Croí are delighted to now offer a 6 week exercise programme.

The programme which is led by Croi cardiac exercise specialist Caroline Costello, is specifically designed to reduce ones risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes and obesity and will provide participants with

  • An assessment of their existing fitness level and a personalised plan for improvement
  • Fitness classes delivered at a level to suit everyone
  • Weekly heart-rate monitoring and personal progress tracking
  • A motivating and enjoyable fitness programme which can be continued at home and which if followed will provide a measurable improvement in fitness levels

Speaking about the programme Caroline Costello explains that “lack of exercise and a sedentary lifestyle are real causes of poor cardiovascular health and put us at risk of heart disease, stroke and obesity. Exercise is truly the best medicine and if we achieve the recommended physical activity targets of 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity at least 5 days a week we can make a real difference to our health. However, Caroline explains taking exercise can be a real challenge for many people and says “we start by encouraging people to simply start moving around more in their daily routine. Increased sedentary time has been linked with a raised risk of developing type 2 Diabetes, in fact recent research shows that an extra hour sitting on the sofa could increase our risk of Diabetes by as much as 20%.

The Croí exercise programme in Lackagh will commence on Thursday April 14th from 11 am – 12noon in Lackagh Parish Centre.

Pre-Booking is essential for the programme. For further information or to join one of these health improvement programmes, call Croi now on 091 544310.

New Croí MyBalance Weight Programme starting in April 2016

New Croí MyBalance Weight Programme starting in April 2016

“We are what we eat and how we eat” says local heart & stroke charity Croi who have developed a new evidence-based approach to sustainable weight loss, weight management and lifestyle choice. Designed and delivered by the Croí Health Team, the CroíMyBalance Programme is a new scientifically proven approach to sustainable weight loss. Without any gimmicks or special fad diets, the Croí Programme is helping people lose weight by literally making small changes to their lifestyle but yielding great results in the fight against heart disease & stroke!

The Croí MyBalance programme runs over 8 weeks (1 hour per week) with follow-up at 3, 6 and 12 months, and provides expert guidance on all aspects of healthy living and lifestyle change including practical advice on weight, cholesterol, diabetes and blood pressure control. During the 8-week programme, each person is encouraged to keep a food diary and a weekly ‘weigh-in’ is optional. Also, as part of the programme, all participants are afforded a comprehensive lifestyle audit at the outset, end-of-programme and at 1 year; which includes measurement of blood pressure, diabetes risk score, weight, body mass index, waist circumference, Mediterranean diet adherence score and physical activity levels.

The Croí MyBalance programme which has been developed by Croi is showing great results in terms of significant weight loss, improvements in waist circumference, greater adherence to the cardio-protective Mediterranean style diet as well as overall improvements in fitness levels. Participants on the programme are achieving, on average, in excess of 8 lbs weight loss and a reduction of 2 inches in waist circumference. Furthermore, there is a reduction in their diabetes risk score which estimates their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes in the next 10 years.

Speaking about the programme, Croí Specialist Dietitian, Claire Kerins said “The Croí MyBalanceprogramme is the first of its kind in Ireland and the results demonstrate the effectiveness of a lifestyle focused weight management programme. To date the majority of commercial weight loss programmes focus on dietary aspects alone without incorporating exercise and behavioural changes. She went on to say “The key to a healthy lifestyle is good nutrition, regular exercise and effective stress management. In this context, our programme addresses issues as varied as the quality and quantity of sleep, your hydration, fitness levels and food portion control. The Croí MyBalance programme provides long-term support and motivation to assist individuals in achieving their nutritional and lifestyle goals for optimum heart health”.


Other weight and lifestyle programmes will take place throughout the year in various centres around the West of Ireland, including Lackagh Community Centre, Co Galway.

For more information on locations and upcoming courses, please contact 091 544310 or email reception@croi.ie

Cash Boost For Local Club and Local Charity!

Cash Boost For Local Club and Local Charity!

Croí recently launched a novel fundraising strategy, teaming up with local clubs and organisations who also need a cash boost! The Croi BraveHearts Lotto is a lotto with a difference – for as little as €2 a week players can support Croi and equally support their local sports club. It’s a win-win relationship and each week players receive a heart healthy tip from Croi. There are cash winners every week and the Jackpot currently stands at €4,500. The Croi BraveHearts Lotto is very generously sponsored by Acorn Insurances. Any clubs interested in partnering with Croi in this fundraising initiative should contact Croi on 091-544310

Pictured at the presentation of cheques this week in the amount €4,100 each to both Corinthians Rugby Club and Croi, being the proceeds from the first quarter of the 2016 Croí BraveHearts Lotto partnership with Corinthians Rugby Club. Photo shows (left to right): Mike McNena, Corinthians Mini’s Chairman; Kevin O Reilly, Croi Chairman; Roy Gibson, President Corinthians Rugby Club; Kieran Browne Croi BraveHearts Lotto; Conor Conway, Acorn Insurances, Croi BraveHearts Lotto Sponsors and John Fitzmaurice, Corinthians Youths Chairman.

Silent Auction for Charity!

Silent Auction for Charity!

A once-off bronze sculpture by John Behan RHA titled ‘Championship 8’ – depicting the crew and cox of a Galway 8 rowing team is one of 14 items up for auction as part of an online silent auction to raise funds for local Heart & Stroke charity Croi. Among the other items on sale are a Lionel Messi signed Barcelona Jersey; a Steven Gerrard signed Liverpool Jersey; premium tickets for upcoming IRFU and FAI matches; a signed Shane Lowry World Golf Championship flag; Katie Taylor signed boxing gloves and a range of luxury items and get-away breaks. All these items are available for viewing and bidding on www.galabid.com/croi . Last bids close at 11pm this Friday evening at the Croi Gala Ball in the Radisson Blu Hotel Galway.

Walking Football comes to Mayo!

Walking Football comes to Mayo!

A NEW and exciting form of physical activity that is good for heart health is to be brought to Mayo by Croí in association with the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) and Mayo Sports Partnership. Walking football as the name implies is just that; a slower version of soccer with bans on running and tackles. Walking football is an initiative that engages people in a fun and motivating manner to facilitate increasing physical activity levels. It’s a non-contact form of exercise, played indoors and supervised by specialist personnel to ensure that it is safe and enjoyable for all abilities. “It’s a very adaptable form of physical activity and can be played by all, at any level of skill and ability” says Denise Dunne, Specialist Physiotherapist with Croí.

Physical activity plays a major role in the prevention and management of heart disease and stroke with a 30-50% reduction in the risk of these conditions noted with the uptake of physical activity. Recognising that heart disease remains our number one cause of death in Ireland there is a clear need to prioritise initiatives that tackle the underlying causes of these conditions, most of which are attributable to sedentary and inactive lifestyles.

Croí and the FAI have already started to deliver walking football to groups of individuals interested in improving their heart health throughout Galway city and county. “Currently those participating in our walking football programmes are a very mixed group of men and women – many returning to exercise and physical activity after many years of inactivity and some taking up the programme to help them lose weight, improve their diabetes control and improve cardiovascular fitness” says Dunne.

The FAI in Mayo see this initiative as a means of possibly reengaging ex members of soccer clubs back into the game and providing opportunities for them to have a bit of exercise and fun. “We in the FAI are delighted to be involved in this initiative and who knows maybe some participants might be interested in getting more involved in the game of soccer in Mayo” said Paul Byrne, FAI Development Officer for Mayo.

Mayo Sports Partnership also sees great possibilities for Men on the Move groups and other communities who may like to try out this new programme. “What I like about this initiative is that everybody will be able to participate no matter what their ability is and it is open to both men and women. I can see some of our Men on the Move groups adding this to their menu of activities in the coming months” Charlie Lambert, Sports Co-ordinator Mayo Sports Partnership commented.

There will be a FREE Walking Football demonstration on Wednesday 9th March from 6.30pm in Davitt College Sports Hall, Springfield, Castlebar.

All are welcome however booking is necessary for this demonstration night. To book your place, please contact Mayo Sports Partnership at 094-9047025.