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Lance's Story


This Heart Story is from Lance, a PureGym member at Colchester. Lance was diagnosed with hypertension in his mid-thirties, and it came as a shock to him as he wasn’t aware anything was wrong. The diagnosis led him to start an exercise plan to help him manage his condition. Here is Lance’s story:

It was a bit of a surprise when I was diagnosed with Hypertension because I didn’t feel any different. You can’t see it, you can’t smell it, so I was unaware of anything wrong.

My diagnosis made me realise that we walk around, day in day out, without really realising what’s happening inside of us.

I now understand that hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is usually symptomless, so my experience of feeling in good health was not unusual in hindsight.

I wouldn’t have known about my condition if it wasn’t for a medical check that was required as part of my life insurance policy. It was 1997 and I was in my late thirties. During the medical examination, the GP flagged that I was slightly overweight and had hypertension. I didn’t think much of it, but once I learned about the implications of the condition, I became more concerned.

After my diagnosis, my GP put me on medication and encouraged me to join a programme funded by the NHS which involved an educational workshop on hypertension and its impact on heart health, along with personal training sessions at a local gym to introduce me to exercise and weight management.

Some people love to exercise, and they will be doing something active at any opportunity. Sadly, that is not me. I have to really push myself to exercise, but I do it knowing that it is vital for my heart and overall health. I treat exercise as one part of the equation in managing my hypertension, and the other is through my diet.

When I first joined PureGym, I started with my Personal Trainer and my brief to her was to hold me accountable, ignore my moans and just keep me safe. And she’s done that ever since.

I don’t come to the gym to be “body beautiful”; I’m just trying to do what I can to avoid any real sickness. I recognise I’m getting older, and hypertension can lead to other heart diseases like strokes and heart attacks. None of those things I want to face in life.

Exercise and the gym have helped me manage my hypertension, kept my medication dosage stable and reduced the need for higher strength. So, I think it’s paying off and I’m doing something positive for my heart health.

Exercise is really an investment in yourself. Exercise is the hard work, and the payback is a healthy life.

Inspired by Lance’s story? We recommend that you reach out to your GP or local healthcare provider and get your blood pressure checked.

Hypertension often goes undetected, as although it puts your heart under strain, you may not experience any symptoms or side effects until it’s too late. Detection and diagnosis of hypertension (high blood pressure) early on is crucial to reducing your risk of it developing into a heart and circulatory disease.

Getting your blood pressure checked is a simple and quick way to check in on your heart health. This simple test is nothing to fear and uses a blood pressure monitor which is wrapped around your upper arm and then gently squeezes to check the pressure your blood is flowing around your body.


We've partnered with the British Heart Foundation to help inspire a healthier nation, one heartbeat at a time. With the help of our partners (and heart experts!) the British Heart Foundation, we want to get more people
thinking about their heart health.

Click here to find out more about our partnership with the British Heart Foundation and learn more about how to look after your heart health.

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