Top climber Alan Cassidy on fitness as a way of life

As a director of one of the UK’s top indoor bouldering centres and one of the best climbers in the country, Alan’s love of his sport features in every aspect of his life. 

“I am lucky in that my chosen exercise is how I earn my living and what I do for enjoyment. My fitness has to be part of who I am and what I do,” says Alan, who has competed for the British climbing team and is a qualified instructor.

The director of The Climbing Academy, with centres in Bristol and Glasgow, has completed almost 400 climbs graded 8a or higher, a category that demands great technical skill, physical dexterity and energy. With climbing set to join the Olympics in 2020, the sport is expected to become even more popular.

Here are his tips for making fitness a way of life:

Exercise on the way to exercise

In my case, this means walking towards the climbs, but for others, it could be cycling or walking to the gym or swimming pool.

Use your body as weight

You don’t need a gym to work out. Your body can be used as weight during exercises such as pull-ups from door frames and simple push-ups.

Engage in an exercise that focuses the mind

 When I am climbing, my mind is working constantly. I am unaware I’m exercising since I’m fixing my mind on the next challenge.