Motivational fitness tips, from a Chelsea Pensioner

14th January 2019

January is a time for resolutions, new gym memberships and diets. As we find ourselves at the start of National Obesity Week, we share some top tips from Chelsea Pensioner, Paul Whittick, to help sustain your fitness regime.

Paul Whittick - Chelsea Pensioner in the gym
Seventy-year-old Paul barely gets a cough or cold, has enviable energy and looks far fitter than many people a fraction of his age. His regular routine includes working out five times a week in the Hospital gym; running 3.5 miles around Battersea Park and doing 90 press-ups a day. While most of us would be daunted by Paul’s regime, the former Army medic believes everyone can and should take simple steps to improve their health. So, if you’re struggling to stick to your New Year’s resolution to step up your fitness, take inspiration from Paul.

“Start slow and work up gradually”

“Staying fit prepares you for old age” Paul says, “It’s easy if you do it regularly, but you need to start gently and take it slowly. Twenty minutes a day is plenty to begin with. Work up to everything you do. You need discipline but just doing it will benefit everyone.”

There are simple ways you can improve your fitness, wherever you are, says Paul, “If I can’t make it to the gym I exercise in my berth. I take the stairs, not the lift, and I walk rather than taking the bus.”

Avoiding junk food is important too. Paul chooses fish, vegetables and fruit “for sweetness without the sugar” and drinks plenty of water.

”What you need for fitness is positive thinking, companionship and exercise”

But Paul believes there’s more to staying healthy than diet and exercise: “A sense of humour is great medicine and so is being social.” He notices the difference companionship makes to newly-arrived Chelsea Pensioners, who may have been living isolated lives for years: “When they arrive they’re very quiet, but after six months, you see the real person come out. We look after each other here.” 

 

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