/ fitness

Here's why you need to work on your fitness

I'm not a health freak or a fitness Nazi. I have learned though, that staying fit is vital for everyone - regardless of age. Here's why.

If you are younger than me, or much younger than me (I'm in my fifties) you might be thinking: "I'm fine, I don't have to worry..."

Er, yeah, you do. In fact, you'd be well advised to get your arse moving now.

If you don't the rot will set in and the fat will pile on. Or, it might. Do you want to take the risk?

Here's how it worked for me.

As a younger fella I was active, definitely active. I either cycled, walked or ran everywhere.

Then, I joined the army. And the army in those days, was all about the physicality. We marched and ran everywhere, often carrying a lot of weight on our backs.

And when we weren't doing that, we'd take part in sport. I played rugby, ran mountain marathons and took part in triathlons.

On leaving the army, physical fitness was so ingrained in me, I kept it up for quite a while. I ran, walked or cycled to work all year around.

Yeah, I kept it up for quite a while.

But then life took over. It's not an excuse - just a fact.

One day, we were at a family event and a photograph got taken. I'd travelled straight to the event from work.

I assume the camera responsible had a wide-angle lens. It must have, to fit me in.

I'd become a blimp. A fat, unhealthy blimp. The camera does not lie. I was 48 years old.

Looking back now, I'd been inactive for many years. Having kids, buying a house and building your career can do that.

So, it was time for some pain did I say pain? I meant exercise. Although the pain was coming.

I started going for long walks. Well, not that long to begin with. I'd walk a mile and end up with backache, sore shins and I'd be sweating hard.

I was in constant pain from some part of my body. I kept going, though.

A year later, I was walking 10 miles in one session. I was fitter, felt better about myself and I'd lost some weight.

One day in July 2014, I was on my back from a walk. My pace was good, so good in fact that I broke into a run.

That was it. The pain exercise was getting real now.

I purchased a pair of trainers and my running days begun again.

Since then, I've had all kinds of injuries. Some quite serious, many just bloody irritating.

I ache most days and I'm still a bit prone to injury. But I'm much fitter and I feel much better.

Some advice? Don't leave it until later

The point of all this is simple. Start young and keep your fitness going. Don't get distracted. And don't let life get in the way.

That way, you can avoid the pain and suffering I've had to go through to try and get healthier and fitter later in life.