I read an interesting article recently written by Amir Ali (pictured), a man in his 40s, who outlines in the article how he took up a fitness programme after discovering he had a heart condition that could seriously affect his health.
What Ali did in response to this was to consult with his local gym and to then engage the services of a personal trainer to get on top of his diet and his general fitness.
As a personal trainer, it is obviously in my professional interest to relay such stories, promoting the benefits of my sector and my own business in the process. But it is also the case that when we approach the topic of our own health and fitness in an organised and informed way, our health and fitness benefit.
In Ali’s case, after starting out with a personal trainer in July 2021, his lifestyle changed in an organised and planned fashion; his diet improved, and he took up a strength-bearing exercise programme complemented with cardio training.
The outcome for Ali was that his weight dropped from 82kg to 52kg and his heart condition improved. In addition, as Ali states in the article, ‘the doctors are not interested in me now, which is probably a good sign. I feel on top of everything again. I feel alive.’
It is, of course, easy to slip incrementally into a lifestyle that over time can weigh us down and cause problems for our health. One of the first warnings that this may be happening, as discovered by Ali in his experience, is that our body weight starts to increase and this, in turn, begins to sap our general health and ability to live an active lifestyle.
From this can flow specific problems that may require medical intervention (in Ali’s case, to do with his heart). Getting to this juncture can be the wake-up call that most people respond to. The important principle to bear in mind, however, is that it is always better to take action before a medical warning is issued. Seeing what is coming down the tracks is always better than meeting that potential oncoming object.
As I have stated many times before, the fitness sector is more than beautiful bodies and energetic minds (though it is also both of these things!). It is, in addition, a field of knowledge built up over centuries, informed by emerging evidence and applied by experts in their field. Whether from a sporting background (like yours truly) or not, fitness practitioners are, and should always be, the first stop when embarking on a fitness journey.
Even if it is only to have a conversation about physical (and associated mental) health, personal trainers, gym personnel, and those who focus on healthy eating and active lifestyles, can advise, support and enable people to have stronger and healthier lives.
Ali started his fitness change at the age of 43, which is as good an age to start as any. But making the change can happen at any stage of our lives and have just as much of a positive impact.