Sessions in the gym breathe new life into Malcolm

Malcolm Hargreaves with fitness instructor Dave Birds
Malcolm Hargreaves with fitness instructor Dave Birds

A RETIRED machinist has been given new lease of life in the gym after battling through a severe lung condition.

Keeping fit has become a priority for 67-year-old Malcolm Hargreaves, whose health deteriorated rapidly after he developed chronic obstructive pulmonary disease as a result of his job.

After a rehabilitation programme he became a regular at Concord Sports Centre to maintain his health and fitness – and to improve his breathing.

The father-of-four developed the lung condition because of exposure to the chemical cobalt in his work as a machinist.

With his health rapidly deteriorating, he joined the 12-week pulmonary maintenance rehab classes at Concord to improve his fitness and breathing.

“After handling cobalt for many years my breathing was really quite bad,” said Malcolm, who lives in Tinsley.

“I was struggling with everyday tasks such as going to the shop and my fitness levels were in need of vast improvement.”

After the course he joined Fitness Unlimited, going to Concord two to three times a week. “Keeping fit is now a key priority in my life so my condition doesn’t deteriorate or I have to rely on oxygen, unfortunately like some members of the pulmonary maintenance programme.”

Malcolm works with Sheffield International Venues’ exercise referral manager Dave Birds. “Dave has been fantastic throughout, not only with building my fitness levels up but also in my confidence. Not enough people attend the pulmonary maintenance rehab classes because they are frightened of becoming breathless but the knowledge and expertise of Dave and the other instructors at Concord make you feel confident that you are in safe hands.”

Dave, who was recently voted Personal Trainer of the Year at the National Fitness Awards 2010, said: “Malcolm is a shining example of how someone with such a serious breathing condition can break through and improve both their health and fitness dramatically.

“Malcolm gave everything he tried 100%, reaping the rewards by improving his breathing month by month. Now seven months down the line, he has stuck to the programme on his own accord so his health doesn’t deteriorate, maintaining a healthy body and mind, which is the best part he has gained from regular exercise.”