Karen Wynyard on taking the Guardian’s health advice, and Michael Chapman and Margaret Squires on the NHS’s ‘heart age’ questionnaire
Having just read Stuart Heritage’s article on alcohol-free days (Journal, 11 September), I must now let all Guardian letter readers know how pleased I am with myself. On Monday, following the Guardian’s advice, I didn’t drink. And I started a yoga class. As a 74-year-old recently widowed person who drinks far too much and resists exercise, I allowed myself (with enormous anxiety) to be taken to a yoga class. I listened to hmmmmming and mantras about spiritual goodness, then I completed the day with a glass of water with supper. Perhaps if I keep this up I won’t need to call upon a privatised NHS or go into an old people’s home without staff. But how to block out the way the world seems to be leaning without the daily support of a large glass of red I don’t know.
• How right John Crace is (Digested week, 8 September) to wonder about the NHS “heart age” questionnaire. I am a flat-stomached 75-year-old who plays table tennis and badminton, and does weight/circuit training every week and heavy gardening regularly. I lead a symptomless life (not even the occasional backache), though I take preventive pills suggested by the NHS. Apparently my heart is 95 years old. I tried several variations (even resorting to lying) but the questionnaire would not back down. It does not ask enough questions and just leads to unnecessary worry for old men like me.
Maynards Green, East Sussex
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