Heraldo's Story

Heraldo's Story

When I’m active, it’s as if my body releases some sort of drug that makes me feel good about myself.

Getting older hasn’t stopped Heraldo from wanting to be active, but his heart condition and prostate cancer made things more complex. He’s found that some things that were never particularly difficult in the past are now nearly impossible, including some of the exercises he used to do before. By trying a new activity, he found something he enjoys – and something that works out muscles he didn’t even know he had.

After the 2016 abdominal surgery went to see CeeLo Green and that was a blast, you know. [Laughs] I was diagnosed with Ehlers Downlow syndrome which has an effect on my bones and also external tissue and internal organ tissue as well. It makes them very weak. 2012-2013 I then get diagnosed with prostate cancer, and then 2017 I have open heart surgery so yeah I’ve been kind of though the war for a bit. It gives me cause for concern cause because before I used to exercise and I’m wondering whether I can do that anymore. There are times that I can’t raise my arms above head height, whether or not having to use the other arm to get my left arm up, I can get to the top shelf to get a bag of sugar or whatever even in the supermarket, you know, I have to be able to do that. So, I’m currently doing Pilates, sometimes you don’t even begin to realise that you’re not exercising those muscles and since doing Pilates I’m going hang on a minute it’s a bit hard, difficult for me to do that, to find that posture to maintain and oh a day or two afterwards I’m feeling this muscle here, there’s a bit of an ache. I mean I’m much fitter now post-surgery, open heart surgery, I can climb stairs, I can walk for longer. The surgeons have said listen, your heart has now shrunken considerably, how do you feel? I feel good. If I don’t exercise I feel guilty, I feel as if I’m cheating myself. It’s as if you know my body releases some sort of drug that makes me feel good about myself. I’ve got so many other things that I’ve got to do that gives me a certain amount of solace. One of the ways of me doing that is to be active. Cycling along the river, looking up what’s happening around me, feeding off of the energy of other people as well and I enjoy that, you know. I enjoy just meeting somebody, total stranger and having a good conversation about you know just the day. They’ll probably come a time when I can’t do that, as I get older. God willing, longevity you know is gonna be something that I’m blessed with, but for the meantime, I’m able to kind of right fudge it. Get through with exercises and long may it last, me being able to do that.

How Heraldo Gets Moving

Heraldo has found that Pilates classes help strengthen him, while also being an activity he’s able to do. He also works moving more into his daily routine, walking, cycling, and chatting with the people he meets along the way.

Since we last spoke to Heraldo, he has been doing workouts at home, going for walks with a friend, cycling to the gym now and then, and also cycling to local shops. He relishes the level of independence being active gives him. In fact, he’s been able to return to watching Arsenal play at home and enjoys the chance to “mingle with the other Gooner faithful.”

Related Resources

Here are some resources related to Heraldo's story about moving more:

Age UK - Being active as you get older

Macmillian - The Move More guide

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