Let me begin with a disclaimer.
I’m not what you would call a slouch. I like exercise. I’ve grown up around it and I’m vocal about the benefits of maintaining health and wellbeing through exercise. Recently, I have been a bit of a slouch.
In a way, I forgot the golden rule that exercise serves to callous an individual against most of life’s stresses and strains. Instead, I gave in to those stresses and strains. Both exercise and diet suffered.
One of the [many] positive outcomes of finding out I’m not yet on my final path, was that my cholesterol level was quite high. Not wanting to bring on what I had feared was ailing me, I decided to buck my ideas up and get back on track.
I’m on week two of the ‘Couch to 5K’ training program. I began while I was still under the perceived heart scare as in my head, 5k wasn’t a massive distance as I’d happily run 12 miles before; admittedly, it was a few years ago. I figured that it could only do me good and if I did have a heart condition, that distance wouldn’t tax me too much.
The program is an app that you download to your phone. It’s backed by the BBC Sport as part of their ‘Get Inspired’ initiative, aimed at getting Brits to take regular exercise. You get a choice of coaches, who happen to be personalities from the broadcasting world. They tell you when to run, how to run and how often. The only thing not provided is will power.
It seems to be working and more importantly, I’m enjoying being out on my feet. They do a ‘Couch to 10k’ too, for those without perceived heart conditions..
Leading by example is important to me so I’m also sourcing Park Runs for me and the cubs. School has notified us with mild concern about their body mass index (BMI) and whilst I’ve never held much truck for the system I have noticed that both of my darlings are a little on the big side.
Rather than beginning to stigmatise and label them at such a young age I intend to just make them more active when we are together. This weekend they are coming to a Kung Fu session with me. I can’t wait.
Killing me softly
This Christmas just past a friend, work colleague and neighbour of mine invited me to his house for dinner with his family on the 27th. He has three children of comparable age to mine and we occasionally have play dates.
For the meal, we were accompanied by his partner’s family; her sister, her mother and her father. Her father was doing the majority of the cooking so we sat in the kitchen keeping him company. He looked in his late 70’s and had noticeable poor posture. He revealed the reason in a conversation.
’40 years of sitting at a desk has rendered my abdominal muscles useless’
That scared me. My job used to be more practical, but promotions have meant that I’ve been more managerial for the last decade or so. Work does give us the option of using ‘standing desks’ but I’d always declined, favouring getting up and moving around every hour or so. The only problem with this approach is that I tended to get stuck into a task and by the time I lifted my head, two hours had passed.
I set my watch alarm to the hourly alert. The annoying function that I had disabled many moons ago. Now, every time the double beep sounds, I get up from my seat, perform 30 star jumps followed by 30 squats. In time, I hope this will become a Pavlovian response that will pay dividends in later life.
If anything good has come of my near miss, it was highlighting the fact that I had been taking my health and welfare for granted.
I owe myself and the cubs so much more than that.