Simon Irwin Guide to fitness in Sussex

Before I joined Sussex Life, I worked for a media company that insisted that its directors went for an annual full-body "MOT" just to make sure that they got another year's value out of us!

Before I joined Sussex Life, I worked for a media company that insisted that its directors went for an annual full-body “MOT” just to make sure that they got another year’s value out of us!

During my time I went for five of these check-ups. The fun started before I got to the hospital because you aren’t allowed to eat at all or drink anything interesting for hours before the test. Once there, the first person I saw was the nurse, a friendly lady who checked my hearing, eyesight, including colour vision, the testing of my lung function by blowing down a tube until almost reaching the point of passing out and then got down to the bit I always hated, the taking of the blood.I hate this because, a) I am a coward and, b) my body doesn’t like giving up its essential fluid, especially to a hypodermic. Every time I have had to have an injection the doctor or dentist has commented on how difficult it is to find a vein (just call me fat arms). Then they have proceeded to turn me into the human equivalent of a pin cushion.

The next part of this health check was an embarrassing interval while the nurses explained how to do the home test for potential bowel problems. I’ll not go into too much detail but it involved sending unmentionable material through the post after getting closer to myself than I normally like.

Then came the, optional, stress electrocardiogram. This involved “walking” on a treadmill that gets steeper and steeper until I felt I would quite like to have a heart attack just to make it stop.Once all this was done I got to meet the doctor. This, apart from the optional prostate check (don’t ask!) was the best bit. As someone who has been described unfairly as a hypochondriac, the opportunity to get a medic on his own for 15 minutes or so just to talk about me and my latest ailments was like gold dust.It normally started with these deathless words, “Aah, I see you’re a little overweight.” You could tell he had trained for 7 years and had 30 years’ experience. Then we talked about work, home and my general health and a bit about the health of members of my family too. Fantastic!

So would I recommend it? You bet. I came away feeling a lot better just knowing that there was nothing wrong with me which was confirmed later when the results of the blood and unmentionables tests came back.And, if there had been something amiss, then it would have been caught early which gives you the best chance of stopping whatever it is becoming more serious.


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Now that summer is finally here why not take the opportunity to head outside for a workout. According to Dan Bennett, a personal trainer, it’s a perfect way to get both your heart rate and spirits up.

No-one wants to exercise in a boring, sweaty and smelly gym when the sun is shining down on you and so at this time of year I take my clients outside for a garden workout. It’s also a good opportunity to change your exercise plan and do things you may not have the space to do indoors.My clients all love circuit training particularly when I add a boxing element which lets them spend some pent up emotions. It’s easy to set up for yourself and your family – just choose a combination of exercises such as throwing and catching, skipping, sit ups and running.

If that’s not for you, why not get on your bike? In Sussex we have some of the most beautiful countryside, and cycling gives you a good aerobic fat burning workout. A good brisk walk is also great exercise.Most importantly, MAKE IT FUN! To get the whole family involved why not hunt around for some of those garden games such as badminton, tennis and swing ball. I’ve recently introduced a space hopper and pogo stick into workouts for some of my clients which has the added advantage of making them laugh which burns extra calories and gives them a real feel good factor.

For more infortmation on health and things you could do to stay fit the details are given below.Mind Body Fitness Personal Training 0779 120 99 27 E:

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