Every Friday we ask somebody in Cumbria’s business community to tell us how they keep fit… today it’s the turn of Ben Heslop.

Ben Heslop is the Cumbria Business & Intellectual Property Centre (BIPC) Programme Manager at Carlisle Library


How many times a week do you like to exercise?

Five is the magic number, I try to stay active and having two boys under ten helps that!

Work and family life dictates the schedule at times but I need to exercise to stay happy.


What sort of exercise do you do?

Over the years it has been a varied selection from CrossFit to adventure racing and Triathlons. Now my big love is swimming both in the pool and open water.

I do still run but prefer the hills to the roads and can often be found hitting up a home dumbbell routine!


Do you have any fitness goals?

Sub 25-min mile swim and sub one-hour Iron Man swim and to attempt my mate’s record of all 13 lakes in the Lake District back-to-back and while I won’t beat him, not embarrass myself!


What’s the most physically challenging thing you have done in your life?

I have twice completed The Devizes to Westminster Canoe marathon. 124 miles none stop. My shoulders were hanging off!

Mentally and physically that was very taxing.


How does keeping fit impact on your work?

It keeps my mental state in the right place. I always perform better if I am physically active and out in wild environments on a regular basis.

I think that the mental and physical challenge of pushing hard in exercise always feeds into a healthy attitude towards your work life.


Which sportsperson/fitness expert do you most admire?

Ross Edgely as on paper he is totally not ‘my sort of guy’ but the attitude and the tenacity to do things his body isn’t designed for I have massive respect for!


When in your life did you feel at your fittest?

It can mean so many different things! I am not at my physically strongest right now but I am hitting personal bests in the pool at 44 that I could not have dreamed of in my 30s.

Often the event or challenge dictates what the focus is and what I’m currently best at.


On days when you don’t feel like getting out of bed, what motivates you to get up and go?

Group mentality, we have a great unofficial swim club that meets at 6.30am and I always know I will be pushed by them whatever the day, they always bring it and I leave dead but smiling!


How do you ensure a work/life balance?

Be organised, never underestimate what time away from works allows you to bring in work time. Also incorporate fitness into family time so it can be a fun joint happening, be it a walk up a hill, doing junior park run together or swinging a kettlebell around while watching TV!


What’s your top tip for remaining motivated?

Try never do things ‘because you should’. Find a sport you love and then you are far more likely to stick at it and push harder.

Getting fit and chasing goals should suck… So enjoy the journey otherwise you ain’t never sticking at it!


If you’d like to take part in the Fit For Business Q&A send your answers to the questions to fl-sue.riley@newsquest.co.uk