Your health is the key

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At least you have your health.

A common line used to cheer someone up if they’re feeling a little down. But how do you know how healthy you really are?

And in what number of categories do you define healthy? Is healthy the person who can lift a lot of weight in the gym or the person who can run ten marathons?

In my opinion it’s neither. Both have the ability to put a strain on the heart through vigorous exercise, despite how healthy they may seem to be.

There have been some tragic examples over the last couple of months of people, in the prime of health and fitness, dropping down dead while competing in a sporting event.

Fabrice Muamba suffered a cardiac arrest while playing in an FA Cup game against Tottenham. He is reported to cover around seven miles per 90 minute game, a mean feat in itself.

He fortunately did not lose his life and he is now, by some minor miracle, on the way to recovery. But two others at least have not been so fortunate.

More recently footballer Piermario Morosini died following a cardiac arrest while playing for Italian football team Udinese.

He suffered a cardiac arrest. And on Sunday a 30-year-old woman died just a mile from completing the London Marathon.

For someone like myself, who is fairly active, it serves as a bit of a reality check. I occasionally get an irregular heartbeat when I’m in the gym, I even experience it sometimes when I’m sat in the office, and know now is the time to get myself checked out.

It’s almost like a kick up the backside that now is the time to start thinking about my long term health, particularly as I am due to make a return to 11-a-side football after an injury forced an bsence of 10 months.

I ran the London Marathon last year and know the enormous strain your body goes through to complete it. I suffered for the cause with injuries to my knees and feet but at least I’m still here to tell the tale.

I don’t mean to cause undue concern. I’m not looking to spread fear and get everyone rushing to the doctor for an ECG.

I’m just stating the obvious – your health is important and people, no matter how fit they appear, can have underlying problems.

Ordinarily I’m not a worrier and like most men tend to put off a visit to the doctor or leave it until the last possible minute.

Like me many people may try convincing themelves ‘there’s nothing wrong’ or ‘it’s nothing I’ll be over it in a couple of days’.

For the most part there will be nothing wrong or it will be something that can be easily addressed.

But if you’re genuinely worried don’t bury your head in the sand and put off the inevitable.

Now’s the time to act to get that health check.