Whether it’s in the gym, going for a swim, cycling or sprinting, teacher and fitness enthusiast, Jamie McSherry, knows how to look after himself and keep on the move.
Jamie gives us an introduction to his life of movement, from dedication to a sport, to socialising with friends, or even just how to get started on your own journey of fitness and physical activity with a supportive community and versatile heart rate technology.
From fitness to family focus, but always active
“My name’s Jamie McSherry. I’m a teacher first and foremost, and more specifically I’m head of year 11 at a London comprehensive secondary school. I move as much as I possibly can, and I like to do anything physical.
“It’s often swimming, running, getting on the bike as much as I can, but I think that in the last 10 years when my daughter came along I stopped committing to football – that was my sport initially.
"I could no longer justify a Saturday and a Sunday away as I was desperate to see her. Also, my son’s now eight, and again we’re as physically active as we possibly can be.”
Changing your priorities in life
“I had a real foundation and grounding in football, general exercise, and in preparation – just looking after yourself, I guess. I never thought about it. I trained four or five times a week; then I played two or sometimes three games a week.
"I never had to think about my movement, my fitness, my calories, or anything at all like that.
“When I stopped playing it was a case of thinking: where am I going to get that physical activity, that movement, that exercise from? I had to think very carefully about that, training enough and moving enough that I can maintain a particular body shape.
"Or to get away with eating what I’m eating. It’s just about being motivated by feeling physically active enough to live the lifestyle you choose.”
The social pull of exercise
“Exercise also has a social pull for me. Lots of my friends train and run, or get on the bike when they can. It’s quite often socially lead.
"It’s not particularly motivating, but as long as I can get up and attend then I’m not only going to be doing something that’s good for me but I get to catch up with friends, too.
“Other than cycling and swimming, I love the barbell stuff; swinging and throwing weights around where I can. Because my habits in training are really consistent, I can shift it and change it up depending on what I need. Since finishing football, the one thing I enjoy most is definitely gym-based.
“I train with lots of people doing different things. You get your guest passes each month and it takes care of itself – it could be any different individual across the month and it’s win-win.”
What are the barriers to fitness?
“Injury is the only real barrier to my fitness. Everything I do is so embedded in what I do. These days when everyone’s very conscious with money, I was paying £70 or £80 for 25 minutes with a physio in central London – who was no doubt doing great things – but I was having a conversation about being sore after training with a mate and they made me realise maybe it’s just a case of getting a bit older.
“Taking a rest week never felt natural, but as I get older, I think it’s going to be more and more of a thing. Look after yourself and avoid injury, because injuries are costly. I don’t like the idea of that and I want to keep going as much as I can.”
How to make a start on your fitness journey
“Physical activity is so accessible. Don’t get me wrong, there are some high-end facilities where you’ve got to be earning a decent salary to give the kind of money asked for a monthly gym membership, but usually they’re at a fair price.
"I used to sell gym memberships and if you do a needs analysis and weigh up how much it really costs you over the course of a month with how much you want to train.
“But even out of the gym, you can go and grab a bike – whether it’s yours or even a street rental – and spend a day moving around a city on a bike. Or just get in a park and walk.
"As a starting point, it’s all accessible. There’s not really a technique as long as you can hop on a bike or put one foot in front of another. Whatever it is, you can get moving.
“I think a lot of people are deterred by the intensity of people who work out a lot, but just use your body, explore, and that’s the way to make a start.”