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Today a personal note on the first hand benefits of being fit and healthy. Believe it or not, in a previous life some 5 years ago I was a rock singer/professional musician in a band with a minor record deal, small but mental fan base, and several adoring female fans! I was very sporty from a young age, and carried this on even when I was in the music industry with windsurfing, squash, ocean/wave kayaking and surfing. My band was based in Barbados (I was born and brought up there). However, any healthy lifestyle ended there. I drank to excess at least 2 nights a week, including a smorgasbord of lethal shots, Jack Daniels as a shooter being a favourite. I also smoked a lot. My first waking thought was “cigarette” and to this end I would have my first one in the shower before breakfast, sheltering it lovingly from the water. My life was also filled with stress. Pressure from management, band mates, peers, the music industry and myself meant I was constantly worried and anxious – this of course makes a smoker want to smoke more, which I did. As a consequence I was constantly ill: if a cold was going around I would get it immediately and have it for ages. I suffered from bronchitis more than once, was constantly coughing, and was about half a stone underweight. I also suffered from lots of anxiety, mood swings, the odd bit of paranoia and general depression.
Having moved back to the UK and got the hump with music and all related things, I re-qualified as a personal trainer. I stopped smoking (thank you for saving my life, Mr Allen Carr) and got back into sport and eating really well. I also really got into weight training, and go to the gym 3 times per week, on top of squash and now kite surfing.
This lifestyle change has resulted in the following – I am a much much happier, calmer, positive person. I NEVER get sick, even when surrounded by personal trainer clients and their sick children. I have not had a proper cold for 2 years. When I do get a cold, I just feel very slightly off colour for a day and then am right as rain. Mentally I feel much more even and calm. Rather than worry about the future I now approach it with a positive and “come what may” attitude. Physically I am in the shape of my life, feeling strong, functionally fit and am playing much better squash and badminton. Overall it’s been the most rewarding change. And I’m not fanatical, I still have bad, tasty things and the odd week off exercise here and there – it’s just about moderation.
So even if you are not in the market for a personal trainer in London or the Thames Valley or anywhere, just a few small steps to take care of yourself will make you feel much much better about you and the world around you. Go for a walk, jog for a bit, join a club, get a kayak, try swimming, book a badminton court, whatever, It will enrich your life more than you can believe.
Thanks for reading