Keeping fit at fifty is no walk in the park

Thornton on Thursday column with Peterborough Telegraph's deputy editor Nigel Thornton - peterboroughtoday.co.uk
Thornton on Thursday column with Peterborough Telegraph's deputy editor Nigel Thornton - peterboroughtoday.co.uk

A couple of birthdays back I bought Mrs T (at her request) a Fitbit. For the less techy-minded this is basically a watch with bells on.

As well as telling the time, it measures how many steps you take, stairs you climb, your heart rate and even how long you sleep.

Soon Mrs T was obsessed. Once I caught her walking up and down the stairs at home trying to beat her “personal best’’.

It was like watching a poor animal that had spent too much time in confined captivity.

A lifelong recreational jogger, I didn’t see the need for a gadget to encourage exercise, that was until she decided we needed His and Hers Fitbits.

I was immediately hooked and was transformed into a slow-motion Forrest Gump.

The famous catch phrase Run, Forrest, Run! just needs tweaking to Walk, Nigel, Walk.

The minimum benchmark Fitbit advises an adult should aim for is 10,000 steps a day, but I’m not happy if I’m not doubling that.

I have had to make certain lifestyle adjustments – for instance when I’m at work and nature calls I go to the toilets on the floor above for more steps and stairs.

All of this effort should have stood me in good stead when I accompanied Schoolgirl T on a recent charity fun run.

As you can see she looks considerably more athletic not to mention stylish than me.

A colleague on seeing the picture memorably described me as an ‘older, fatter, whiter Mo Farrah’.

Harsh, I thought, albeit undeniably accurate although for a very nearly 59-year-old I’m reasonably happy with my fitness.

Two-thirds of adults in Peterborough are overweight or obese nd I have to confess that I’m still not doing enough steps to counter the KitKats and the Rioja.

Perhaps I should run for election. (I said no politics this week – Impartial Ed.)

Sorry for nothing

After a disappointing season (most seasons are disappointing for most clubs), Posh co-owner Darragh MacAnthony took to Facebook to deliver a long and heartfelt message.

He used the words ‘sorry’ or ‘apology’ a staggering 15 times (that’s not counting a few ‘not sorries’ that were sprinkled in). Posh fans were quick to respond and guess what the first comment left said?

Yes you’ve guessed it, Posh fan Emma said: “ I don’t think any apologies are needed.’’

After he made all that effort? Give the man a break!

Getting shirty

I got a bizarre email from an Italian clothing company that claims to have produced a ‘green’ t-shirt which they claim cleans the air as it is worn. I won’t go into the lengthy and technical details of how it does this, but I wonder if they could invent one that could clean the toilet and do the dishes as well.

Market force

Peterborough market has been limping on for years and reinvigorating it is a tough task. People often say how much they love a market... before they drive to the nearest Tesco or Sainsbury store and do their weekly shop.

The city council is to be applauded for its latest initiative which has seen it offer short term rent-free stalls. The deal has attracted some diverse and interesting traders selling everything from artisan food to vintage furniture. Let’s hope they get the support to make a permanent move.