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Bills Bulletin

Bill’s bulletin: football and fitness

Wasn’t it good to see football back on telly this afternoon? The classic matches have been a trip down memory lane but the resumption of the Bundesliga was the sport’s first tentative steps to a return of some description.

After a cagey start in a hauntingly quiet arena, the players found their feet and the physicality of the game returned. The atmosphere was akin to a lower league pre-season friendly and the tannoy was no substitute for celebrating Haaland’s opener for Dortmund.

I am sure the FA, Premier League, EFL and our league are watching closely to see how the match day worked and the health and wellbeing of the players and officials.

While the top flight teams can survive with the TV money, any move to go behind closed doors would be devastating for the game at lower league and non league.

Moving on, how disciplined are we all being under this isolation quarantine? Some of us used the permitted daily exercise to kickstart a fitness regime, others, yours truly included, have gone in the opposite direction.

Most of us normally take stock of our fitness levels when you hit milestone birthdays, which make you sit down and really focus on your sagging features.

But there can’t be a better time than now to start knocking the frame into a bit of shape, can there?

I can vividly remember turning fifty and thinking: ‘well I’ve still got my hair and teeth and people say that I don’t look too bad for my age!’

But an inspection under the bonnet revealed a lot not to like – love handles, slight paunch, a bit of lower back pain, dodgy hip, and the list went on.

That was an MOT! Today, almost thirty years on, I could be facing up to a full service!

As men age, I have read the levels of human growth hormone and testosterone decline, making it tougher to burn calories and build muscle. As that muscle mass deteriorates, it’s then replaced by layers of fat, especially around the stomach and chest, leading to bigger bellies and unsightly man boobs!

When I was really young I bought a Charles Atlas Dynamic Tension Body Building programme, which was guaranteed to give me a body like Superman and promised that I would never have to worry again about anyone kicking sand in my face on a beach – well that’s what it said on the box!

Now, I have been fit in the past but I’ve found myself out of shape over recent times and unable to find the right type of exercise to suit me.

So we all really do have a challenge at this time, not just to lose a bit of weight and get the daily walk around the park in but see if we can all come back from this lockdown with a six pack! And I’m not talking about Walkers crisps.

So what can we all do?

Jogging is something we should all consider. Unfortunately, since I had my bionic hip fitted, it is not for me and although cycling has also been mentioned, I just can’t see myself in Lycra!

A friend of my wife suggested Yoga but the thought of standing on one leg and wrapping the other round my neck, while wailing strange sounds, didn’t feel that appealing.

I really believe that a good old fashioned circuit at the gym would certainly help, but unfortunately that is not a possibility at the moment either.

So it looks like my Fitbit watch, which the kids collectively bought me for Christmas, is going to come into play in a big way.

I am taking my average daily steps from around 4,000 to around 10,000 and trying to limit myself to 2,000 calories a day rather than the recommended 2,500. I also get myself up and down the stairs at least 12 times a day and rigidly stick to my small group of not too hectic exercises in my office upstairs.

Next is to cut out the booze, stop all the sweets, biscuits and cakes. All sounds a bit drastic but it is manageable and it should get results.

The big question is, are we all disciplined enough to put in the work and see the first signs of the belly retracting and that six pack starting to take shape, or will I have to re-join and send you all a copy of the Charles Atlas programme?