“Stretch two, three, four” was Beth Greenaway’s order of the day as she joined Cornwall Enterprising Women (CEW) at the first Be Active Truro event in August, 2011.
The 5-day festival had been set up to showcase a number of activities that people could take part in to help them stay healthy, with CEW taking part to promote the benefits of staying well to the self-employed.
As part of this Beth attended the event to provide simple exercise demonstrations that people could do while at their desks or in an office space, and to showcase her own Saltash-based business, Merlin Fitness.
Beth's health has been the inspiration for her own dedication to being the best she can be physically.
She said: "I wasn't a sporty type at school but I was blessed to have parents who encouraged me to try different sports, play, have fun and be outside for much of my childhood, and this carried on through my school years. Going away to university caused the seemingly inevitable rise in weight, and with it my attempts to keep it down using dietary control, an often futile struggle. Thankfully by my third year I had a boyfriend who was a keen runner, and he inspired me to take up endurance sports (running, triathlon, cycling) which have been a mainstay of my life ever since.”
None of this may sound particularly unusual until you learn that Beth is a congenital heart patient (born with heart defects), and has had a number of open-heart surgeries to keep her 'ticking' over the years.
“I could use this as an excuse to not exercise but actually see it as an even more important reason for working hard to maintain the quality of life which I now enjoy,’ she added.
Her own struggles have led her to have a special empathy with those who are facing their own challenges or struggling to incorporate fitness into their lives.
That’s why she feels doing short bouts of exercise during the day, fitting them in around working schedules can be just as beneficial as blocks of exercise.
Beth, who demonstrated squats, lunges and exercises using balls and resistance bands during the event, continued: “A study in 2010 by the American Cancer Society showed that otherwise healthy women who spent more than 6 hours a day sitting were 40% more likely to die sooner than women who sat for less than 3 hours.
“That has to be reason alone to make sure you keep active, after all in business it doesn’t matter how successful you are if you are not alive to enjoy it. It has been a great opportunity to appear on the CEW stand at Be Active Truro. It has been a real pleasure to work with the team and I hope that we can do more together in the future."
Beth has a wealth of qualifications that can be seen at her website but prefers to focus on working with her clients towards building a sustainable and life-enhancing fitness programme to help them to reach their goal no matter how big or small.
She offers personal training, group fitness classes, triathlon and run coaching, and Nordic walking. Visit www.merlinfitness.com for full details.