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Visualising health with Jude Bolton

AFL footballer Jude Bolton has played 300 games and won two premierships with the Sydney Swans.

With an active career, a young family and undertaking post-grad studies, Jude leads a jam-packed life that requires focus and planning to achieve balance. As well as his sporting commitments, Jude is an ambassador for Healthy Bones Australia and shares with us a bit about what health means to him and why we should give our bones the best preparation early in life.

Outside of your football commitments, what sorts of things do you like to do to keep healthy?

I love playing golf, I go for regular runs to make sure I keep fit, I love getting down to the beach for a swim. I lead a pretty active lifestyle and I’ve also got a little baby girl so I’m always chasing after her now that she’s walking.

How important is diet to you?

I think we’re blessed at the club with a full time dietitian who gives us a really good food plan. To be able to play footy at the highest level you really have to fuel your body well each week to recover from games and give yourself the best opportunity to perform.

How do you stay mentally healthy?

I love a game of golf with the boys and also try and get away from footy a fair bit. I’m doing a bit of post grad commerce study as well – you really need to keep your mind ticking over and keep mentally fresh so that you can enjoy being at training.

Do you have any strategies to achieve a balance in your life?

We plan out our whole season so that things don’t jump up on you. Obviously there are sponsorship commitments that come in and they need to be serviced at different times but I try and plan out a fairly long-term view of the season and that way you can juggle family as well as work life.

Tell us a bit about the importance of bone health.

Osteoporosis is such a debilitating disease and there are some simple factors that allow you to limit the risk of it developing. Things like increasing your intake of calcium, so a little bit of low fat cheese or a glass of milk each day, trying to get a little bit of sunshine and exercise, especially weight bearing activity, so a few lunges and going for a run – activities where you’re actually putting a little bit of strain on your bones to increase your bone density and limit your risk factors down the track.

Describe the differences between the two premierships you’ve played in.

Before 2005 we had one of the longest premiership droughts in Australian sport – 72 years. It was a hell of a weight to carry as a club and as a playing group. We were relieved to win in 2005. Being a little bit older, I’ve really enjoyed the 2012 premiership. Working with a different group but still being with some of the guys who played in the ’05 grand final, I’ve been able to savour it a lot more.

What did you have to think about when you decided to play this season?

I had to weigh up how my body was as it takes a toll playing for 14 or 15 years. My body still feels good, I feel like I’m still competing well and I just love being out there with the players and my teammates. A lot of people say you’re a long time retired and I just wanted to make sure I got the most out of myself.

What are you looking ahead for the season ahead?
It’s business as usual. All the teams start coming for you when you’re the reigning premiers. There’s an expectation from our fans that we’re going to get out there and perform. We’re really looking forward to the challenges ahead.

In 2012, AFL footballer Jude Bolton played his 300th AFL game and won his second premiership with the Sydney Swans.

To calculate your bone health score visit healthybonesaustralia.org.au

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