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Small changes for a healthier lifestyle

Personal Trainer Eamon Hasoon with his dogs on a mountain
Thoughts from Eamon Hasoon, Personal Trainer, Stretford Manchester

In your personal training role is there any major health related issues that you see people experiencing?

Yes, major issues that we are seeing at present stem from obesity with health issues such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease becoming an increasingly growing concern. Sedentary work and poor dietary habits are two of the fundamental drivers for obesity and factors which require further monitoring within an individual’s everyday life.

Are there any small lifestyle changes that people can make to help with issues such as obesity?

There are a few very easy changes to take, we can aim to take around 7000 to 8000 steps per day, which equates to roughly 6km of walking distance. We can do this by taking more steps whilst at work by standing up every hour and taking a walk around our workspace, or by exiting a bus or tram a stop earlier then your final destination. I would also suggest drinking a greater amount of water, as this ensures that you are hydrated and leads you to feel less hungry throughout the course of the day, reducing the amount of snacking that takes place.

Are there any benefits to an individual’s mental health from increasing exercise and improving their diet?

There are plenty of benefits, as research supports the use of exercise to improve mental health, due to the increase in endorphins it generates. Doctors and GP’s are now prescribing exercise as part of treatments for depression and anxiety, with individuals using this in conjunction with other treatments.

Are there any other particular areas of health care which you are interested in on a personal level?

An issue which I believe requires improvement is waiting times within A&E departments. I recently spent 12 hours in Whythenshaw Hospital waiting for my partner to receive treatment to a head injury which she had sustained whilst playing hockey. We felt as though we had been caught in a revolving door, the injury was not deemed severe enough to be immediately treated, but due to its nature we had also been told that we could not leave. Which unfortunately lead to us spending the entirety of our day waiting.

Going forward I would like to see the implementation of a more effective pathway into the A&E, in which individuals who are left in waiting are allocated specific time slots to return within, where they will receive prompt treatment. Improvements to the waiting spaces themselves would also offer an effective short term solution, with the addition of more comfortable seating and water dispensers allowing for a more comfortable stay.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to start running or attending the gym, when they may be lacking in confidence?

The first piece of advice that I always give is to speak to family members and friends to see if they have had a similar experience to yourself, in most cases we find that these people are more than happy to go along to help the individual acclimatise to new surroundings. In terms of running, the NHS have a series of great resources which can be used, with the “Couch to 5k” application being a particular favorite of mine. I also am a big advocate for joining running clubs, with Manchester having a substantial amount of clubs scattered across the borough for all ages and skill levels.

What access do people with physical and mental disabilities have to venues such as the gym?

Most gyms will be extremely willing to provide assistance for individuals who are impacted by a physical or mental disability. In certain cases, this will be through members of staff helping the individual navigate the facilities, or through offering a reduced membership cost for the individual and an advocate. I would always advise that the individual has contact with the venue prior to their first session, to ensure that all of their needs can be met.

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