Dan Grant was just 38 when he suffered a heart attack, and since then he has completely turned his life around from being a sedentary, overweight chain smoker to a fit and active cyclist. His #GetOutside pledge is to cycle London to Paris (190 miles) in less than 24 hours for charity, but he has plenty of other adventures lined up. Read all about them at www.coeurcycliste.com
How does it feel to have been chosen as a #GetOutside Champion?
I’m excited, proud, amazed and humbled.
What does being a #GetOutside champion mean to you?
To be given this amazing opportunity to encourage and inspire the nation to adopt a healthier lifestyle while raising awareness of heart disease is fantastic. It means so much to me as I am shocked by the increase in child obesity and the health statistics of the nation – even though I was one of the stats. My #GetOutside Champion’s role can be seen as a success story and that it is possible to change.
What are the benefits to you of being outside?
Exercise and being able to increase my heart rate, in a controlled manner, is essential for me to reduce the risk of me having another heart attack and to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
What do you most enjoy about being outside?
The ability to explore and not necessarily knowing what’s round the next corner, such as a marvellous view when you summit a major climb.
What’s your favourite terrain to get out in? (Mountain / coast / woodland etc)
What’s your best memory of being outside?
There are too many to choose from! I think it has to be the first time I saw the geology of Dorset’s Jurassic Coast on a family walk, while on holiday when I was six or seven years old. Seeing Lulworth Cove, Stair Hole and Durdle Door for the very first time was one walk which sparked an interest which is still with me to this very day!
What’s your worst?
My heart attack while walking across a country park and being 450 miles from home.
Where is your favourite place in Great Britain to be outside?
The South Coast
What are your favourite outdoor pursuits?
Cycling, running and hill walking
In one line, how would you describe the feeling being outside gives you?
It gives me a new lease of life and a second chance to put things right!
Why should people #GetOutside more often?
More and more people are living sedentary lifestyles and mobile working/communications means people are working longer hours without necessarily noticing. Making time in your schedule to spend some quality time outside will make all the difference to your general well being and fitness levels.
What would you say to someone who never goes outside to get them outside?
Please don’t make the same mistake I did, I learnt the hard and very painful way. Start off easily, but make the effort to #GetOutside and enjoy it. You will be doing yourself a very big favour.
Why as a nation are we not getting outside as much as we could?
The rise of technology means that more and more of us are sitting for long periods of time staring at computer screens. When we do finish work it’s back to more of the same: smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles, television. It’s seriously affecting the nation’s health and obesity rates are soaring, especially in children.
What are the most important things a person should do or take when they #GetOutside?
Be prepared for the environment and the weather. I would recommend that you always carry ID with emergency contact details and let someone else know your plans/route.
What tips or pieces of advice would you give to someone who wants to get more out of being #Outside?
Go for it! Find a challenge that suits your activity and commit to it. Tell the world your intentions, even better if you can fundraise for a local charity or cause at the same time. Announcing your goal and having people donate is a powerful training/motivational tool!
What are your backpack essentials?
Heart Medication, Map, Compass, 1st Aid Kit, Whistle, Torch, Sandwiches and Water/Drinks – its important to stay hydrated.
What’s your favourite food when you are outside?
Jelly Babies / Haribo - for the carbs and energy (easy to eat while cycling).