Farmers Weekly‘s popular health and wellbeing competition, Britain’s Fittest Farmer, is attracting entries from across the country.
There’s still plenty of time for you to enter the contest if you’re passionate about trying to improve your own – and the nation’s – mental and physical health.
Here are a few more of the strong entries from men so far.
Matt May, Wiltshire
“Three years ago, I wasn’t keeping fit at all, but I started going to the gym, doing yoga, running and swimming, while making sure I ate a healthy diet and I lost 8st 7lb in a year.
“Since then, I haven’t looked back and staying fit now is very important to me,” he says.
Self-employed Matt from Trowbridge – who works for a large contractor, driving a lorry for a tractor dealership, and runs his own amenity and equine contracting business – recently did his first duathlon.
“They say happiness comes from within. I haven’t always felt happy inside and this came across on the outside, too.
“When I joined the gym three years ago, my outlook changed. I found I was much happier and able to ‘take on the day’,” he says.
“I’m now taking my positive mindset further – I have a started to speak to a life coach and am reading a book about mindfulness, meditation and happiness.”
Glenn Pude, Hampshire
Glenn has been involved in agriculture since leaving school – including a 16-year spell farming in France.
He tries to work fitness into his daily work routine – for example, by walking around livestock, rather than taking a vehicle and jogging up hills.
“My children like to be active, so at weekends I try to get out for a run or a cycle with them.
“They are young adults now and they push me to keep up their pace,” he says.
Glenn recalls how, several years ago, moving into his 40s, he found his health deteriorating, but was inspired by watching Paralympians and listening to the journeys of injured servicemen.
“I made myself go for a run the next day. I used to run as a teenager, but 150m was all I could manage. That was a big shock. It was a struggle, but I joined a local athletics club.”
Tim Wilcox, Gloucestershire
Third-generation mixed farmer Tim has been working full time on his family farm for the past six years, after completing a degree in International Agriculture at the University of Greenwich.
He stays fit through a variety of activities, but rugby is his main passion. He’s played since he was 11 and currently plays for Old Centralians in the South West Premier league.
“When lockdown came, I made a home gym so that I had an escape from the farm.
“I also run regularly, and two years ago, I did my first half marathon and also my first Tough Mudder.
“It has become more and more important to me to take a positive mindset,” says Tim.
“I have found solace in both the gym and running – with the time that it gives me to escape and de-stress.
“I’m a big believer in team sports and the benefits of being part of a team for your mental wellbeing.”
Daniel Moon, North Yorkshire
After graduating from university and coming back to his family’s farm full time, Daniel says he struggled to maintain a positive mindset – partly because of the long working hours necessitated by milking a big dairy herd.
“I was left with little time for a social life. Every day was the same and it was easy to dwell in the dark.”
In the past two years, the family have dispersed the milking portion of the herd, and have been selling the freshly calved youngstock. This has made a big difference to his quality of life, but his focus on fitness is what really allows him to keep a level head.
“I’ve always worked out, if irregularly, but when I noticed a correlation between my physical health and mental health, I started to take it more seriously.
“Exercise is now something I rely on to keep me strong, in every sense of the word, and I advocate it as free therapy to any close friend or family member who will listen.”
Daniel attends a CrossFit gym, plus he trains in the home gym that he created at the start of the first lockdown.
He also runs cross-country, plays tennis and enjoys hiking.