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Fright night for guise and dolls; Our health stats are scary ..do something about it.

Byline: GRAEME MURPHY

IF you're like me, you get excited about Halloween. I'm not talking about telling jokes for sweets. I stopped doing that last year.

Seriously though, it's a good chance to let the imagination go a bit mental, dress up and get out with your mates for a fun night on the town.

Plus there's always the advantage that you can guarantee you will bump into some naughty nurses or flirty French maids.

The sad thing is that if you walk through Glasgow or Edinburgh city centre on any other weekend, you would still think it was Halloween and fat suits were half price at Poundstretcher.

I apologise if this offends anyone and I really do not want to sound condescending, but the sad truth of the matter is that Scotland has some of the worst health statistics in Europe, with obesity levels in children approaching those in the US.

Some parts of the country have the lowest life expectancy in the UK. Glaswegian men are up there with the highest heart attack rates in the world.

As I have said before in this column, I totally appreciate that this is the real world we live in.

Telling someone they should be down the gym every night doing this and doing that just doesn't cut the mustard with a single father of two trying to hold down a job and raise his kids.

That sort of advice is going to get you a Glasgow kiss rather than "Good idea. Cheers for that, mate."

All I'm saying is that it's everyone's responsibility to take action over their own personal well-being and fitness.

What sort of example are we setting to our kids when we kick the dog out the back door instead of taking it for a walk? Tie in your fitness plans with the kind of lifestyle you lead.

Even though I'm a massive fan of going to the gym, I know it's not everyone's cup of tea.

Taking the kids swimming or down the park for a kickabout is a good way to get some exercise, along with spending quality family time together.

You and your mates not into lifting weights? Why not put together a five-a-side team and enter a league?

Walking the dog for a few miles a day burns calories, gets you out in the 'I'm fresh air and helps you de-stress. I'm not your typical American fitness guru from cheesyville USA.

I'm not going to insist you go to the gym for four hours a day, buy an abs machine and survive on a diet of rabbit droppings, seaweed and prune juice.

I'm a realist. I love a pint and a takeaway as much as any bloke. But these thing have to be done in proportion alongside a regular exercise routine.

Otherwise the gut just keeps bulging and, before you know it, you're jumping off your wardrobe to squeeze into jeans before a night out.

Imaging giving someone your best patter and the top button of your jeans hits her in the face at the velocity of a nuclear missile exiting a submarine. Not attractive.

Most blokes I talk to say they want to go to the gym more often because they feel it makes them more attractive to potential partners, yet they still don't go.

Not even the thought of pulling a leggy lovely can motivate them.

We really need to start thinking about ourselves, our children and our country a lot more.

Enjoy your Halloween night out, get drunk, try to pull, have a laugh and be safe.

Then we're into November, with Christmas only a few weeks away.

Now is the perfect time to get ourselves in shape, to plan a routine and get stuck right in about it.

Christmas party season is on its way. The atmosphere, the excitement, the bevvy, the women.

I'm sure you would rather turn heads than turn stomachs.

Work out a regime, and hit it hard. I promise you will never look back.

CAPTION(S):

SPLASH OUT.. taking the kids swimming is still exercise MUMMY KNOWS BEST.. Enjoy all the fun of Halloween but start your exercise regime straight after
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Oct 27, 2010
Words:696
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