Stay fit

Hi all, I don't know if this has been covered before but . . .

When I was on my WOs course, way back in 1986 we had a lecture from a guy from the pensions office. He told us, in answer to a question about not getting the full pension until age 55, that 72% of servicemen that do the full 22 years don't get to age 55.

Now I don't know what the stats are these days (I'd be interested if anyone does) but it was a frightening statistic back then. Well, I got to 55 early in 2006 (on my birthday as it happens) so was quite happy to get the pension. However, in June last year I had a heart attack; May this year I had an angiogram and 6 weeks ago I had a double by-pass.

The surgeons were quick to say that if you are pre-disposed to coronary artery disease then you'll get it. They were also adamant that smoking, drinking to excess and eating unhealthily were bad things that will exascerbate the condition, if you're going to get it. The fact that I had kept myself fit and had never smoked was a distinct positive in getting over the heart attack and recovering from the op.

So why am I telling you this. Well it's not for sympathy, it's as a warning. My surgeon was very interested when I told him about the pension stats and how rich army food is, and how much soldiers can put away! There are lots of reasons to die but there are plenty of people who will tell you that heart disease is one of the biggest killers. It may well be that during your army career you are sowing the seeds for problems later in life.

You can though mitigate the condition. Stay fit and healthy, keep the weight under control, stop smoking and see your doctor about seemingly insignificant but frequent twinges - I was getting a small sensation in my left pectoral muscle and tingling in my left fingers during exercise for about 5 months before the heart attack.

That's all, carry on. 8)
Cheers for worrying me to death....

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