'That will never happen to me'

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I have always been very active and this often gave me the mindset that because I exercise a lot I don't really have to worry about the other side of my health associated with having a more balanced diet and not drinking too much alcohol. However over the last few years with becoming a parent the opportunity to exercise being less and less and a better understanding of the long term effects of high blood pressure on has made me more aware of the condition.

Before being diagnosed I had heard of high blood pressure as my mother about the same time as me had been prescribed tablets and my grandfather also suffered from high blood pressure, however I was 35 and thought it was for the older generation so it was a bit of shock when it happened and the thought of taking tablets every day for the rest of your life was daunting.

Thankfully, as I got diagnosed I haven't had to make any drastic changes just yet, obviously I am more aware of looking after myself - eating the right things, drinking in moderation and taking regular exercise but the things I used to take for granted and the attitude of 'that will never happen to me' has changed. I know I need to look after myself better now and not just in the future if I am going to decrease my chances of ill health.

I would strongly urge everyone to get checked out no matter how fit and healthy you think you are as we are hearing more and more about the younger generation having heart attacks. My medication works great for me and taking two simple tablets on a daily basis is a very small price to pay to help stave off increased rates of something happening to me.

Johnny Whelan, 42, Dundee

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