My health and fitness journey.
The start of my health and fitness journey was triggered by the following statement from my local doctor in early 2008 after a general check, "your records over the last 10 years reveal a disturbing trend in your blood pressure (BP) readings and I have no alternative but to recommend permanent daily BP medication". I asked the doctor if there was something, I could do to avoid this and he indicated that significant weight loss could delay this outcome. He gave me 3 months and recommended that I lose 10 - 12kg.
I considered all the options available to me to lose weight and concluded that my highest chance of success was to engage a personal trainer (PT) who could guide, mentor and encourage me to achieve my goal. I had learnt from my son that one of his best friends had started a PT Studio in Five Dock and I met with Simon and we set out on my health and fitness journey together.
List of goals achieved.
I shed the 12kg within the time of the doctor's appointment and managed to bring down my BP levels to within normal range to avoid the prospect of permanent daily medication.
My focus changed from running to cycling in 2009 when I trekked the Milford Sound track and damaged both my Achilles heels and was advised by my doctor to take up swimming or cycling if I wanted to continue with my health and fitness journey during my rehabilitation.
I bought a road bike and met up with an old work colleague and was very quickly hooked on cycling and achieved the following memorable goals over the last 10 years.
- Entered the Gong ride twice 90kms
- Day ride Sydney/Cessnock 125kms
- Day ride Sydney/Bowral via the Macquarie pass 165kms
- 3-day ride Sydney/Hunter Valley/Sydney 400kms
- Day ride 'Around the Bay' in Melbourne 238kms (a PB)
- 12-day ride in Spain along the Spanish Camino route from Seville to Santiago de Compastella 1100kms
Over the last few years I have changed my focus from cardio to strength and conditioning training as I believe that this is more important at this stage of my life.
My eating habits have changed since I started on this journey. This comes from an understanding of the effort it takes to burn calories at the gym. I have considerably cut back on my alcohol intake: I do not drink alcohol during the week and I am lucky to have a beer a month. My eating habits have also changed however there is room for improvement when it comes to portion size.
My general advice to people who are thinking about taking steps to improve their general health and fitness is to consider the PT model because of the opportunity to engage with professionals who have the knowledge and experience to help you to achieve your goals. The constant contact and conversations during PT sessions is both informative and motivating and trainers have a personal interest to see you succeed in achieving your goals.