As part of Men’s Health Week, Andrew Bruce (Divisional Director) has given an insight into how he has approached staying healthy during lockdown.
Since I started playing football at the age of 8, I have always been keen on keeping fit, despite being a lazy goal-poaching striker! In more recent years, since birth of my two children, escaping the house all day on a Saturday and Sunday to play competitive football alongside weekly training sessions is a thing of the past. I have focused my available time at the local gym or running. For me, exercise is a way of staying fit both physically and mentally. I am a firm believer that mental health is directly linked to physical health. Like weight training in the gym to make your body stronger, in exactly the same way I believe that you have to put measures in place to keep your mind fit, healthy and strong. Personally for me, this is exercise. Rarely do I actually want to exercise, but there is great reward in forcing yourself to do something that you really don’t want to do – the end result and feeling is always positive.
As we approached lockdown, I set my myself a challenge to exercise every day whilst we were under the restrictions, doing something that would work up a good sweat each and every day. Whilst self-isolating, as my son showed mild symptoms of Coronavirus, this would be home workouts, using the abundance of training available on YouTube. This then led to running once we were able to venture out of the house.
To date over lockdown, I’ve clocked up 336 miles of running taking 46 hours as well as too many Joe Wicks HIIT sessions that I care to remember. I am currently on my 93rd day of consecutive exercise….. only just squeezed last night’s in at 10.45pm (a 20 mins Joe Wicks session https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLHA5g-82vY). Exercise throughout the last 3 months undoubtedly helped my focus at work and at home with family. After a long day at work, which probably included numerous Microsoft Teams meetings, a good 3 mile run never fails to clear my head. I have often found solutions to problems at work whilst out running, clearing the head and getting a fresh focus.
My current challenge is to run a 5km (3.1 miles) in under 20 minutes. In my last attempt, I missed the target by 11 seconds…. so I am determined to beat this. I have a habit of setting myself challenges. Last year, much to my wife’s despair, I insisted on running a half marathon at 4.30am every Saturday morning throughout June. Dealing with the fallout of waking my wife up at 4.20am whilst fumbling around for my running trainers was the greatest test of that particular challenge!
I have taken a bit of inspiration from Hollywood Actor, Matthew McConaughey, for my lockdown challenge – he lives by the rule of breaking one sweat every single day. I suppose if you ignore the talent, good looks, charisma, charm, great wealth, success and countless worldwide accolades, we are very similar people ?