Fringe Box



An Invitation To Exercise

Published on: 4 Nov, 2013
Updated on: 5 Nov, 2013
hypertension 2

I thought you said marginally high?

By Martin Giles

I was minding my own business, getting on with my life, as best I could, when I noticed the A4 envelope that my wife had stuffed into my jacket pocket by the door, no doubt to ‘tidy it up’.

As I withdrew it I noticed a University of Surrey logo. “What’s this?” I thought, ” An honourary degree at last or are they going to sue me for publishing a story about the Save the Hog’s Back campaign?”

But on opening the letter I was in for a bigger shock. A letter headed with the Guildowns Group Practice logo started: “We have been looking through our records and have noted you are eligible and would benefit from our  exercise referral programme.”

I am not sure why it had to be in bold, I was quickly getting the picture.

It continued: “We know that people with high blood pressure benefit greatly from an increase in exercise and we would like to invite you to participate in a study intended to increase your physical activity.”

“B……… cheek!” I thought.

It was true that my blood pressure has been diagnosed as marginally high but when I had described my level of exercise no questions had been asked.

But then with resignation I thought: “No they are right.” Like many, I lead a pretty sedentary lifestyle, these days, mainly in front of this screen writing things I hope others will want to read. It might stretch my little brain sometimes, but physical it ain’t. I do cycle in and out of town on average once a day, a mile each way, including a hill, but I have to be honest, I do not get enough exercise.

I showed the letter to my wife who immediately put on her, “I told you so,” face. She is someone who makes bees look lazy. In her family photos, taken when she was a kid, she is always walking out of the frame, too busy to wait for the photographer. After all, there were sandcastles to make or daisy chains to link, etc.

Today she is much the same although the sandcastles are jam and the daisy chains the gardening. If she was a doctor most patients would be prescribed a brisk walk or a cycle ride to Godalming. To be fair, she does lead by example.

It seems hard to remember my svelte figure from my army days or the level of fitness that allowed me to run, yes run, with 40 lbs of kit, and a rifle that weighed 10lbs over Pen y Fan in Wales (886m) or the Rock of Gibraltar, but I did, as did many others.

That was a long time ago and the weight of the kit has been replaced with another kind of weight, less detachable or useful.

So dear reader, I will take up the gauntlet. I will exercise a bit more to, hopefully, prolong my life and remain a nuisance to all those who want to hide what is really going on in our town and borough.

If the exercise fails to make me lose weight I will sit on them.

And I will report back to let you know how I get on.


This could be me soon… think I’ll give the hormone treatment a miss though!

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Responses to An Invitation To Exercise

  1. Anne Milton Reply

    November 5, 2013 at 8:36 am

    Good luck with the exercise Martin. The more you exercise the more you want to exercise. It not only helps your physical health but has a significant impact on your mental health and well being. Well done!

    • Martin Giles Reply

      November 5, 2013 at 9:29 am

      Thank you. I don’t feel too sad or unwell at the moment but I am sure you’re right.

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