Fitness gurus hope for a more health conscious nation inspired by tragedy

Alan O'Keeffe

CELEBRITY fitness guru Karl Henry has said he hopes Gerry Ryan's tragic death will wake people up to the need to stay in shape.

Karl, who worked with Gerry on the weight-loss hit show Operation Transformation, said Gerry was passionate about people improving their lifestyles.

"I'm still in shock after Gerry's death," he said. "Hopefully, more people will realise that they need to lose weight and get fit.

"We're not invincible," the personal trainer told the Herald.

"I was involved with Gerry for four years through his Operation Transformation and in other ways. He was incredibly passionate about bringing the message which changed thousands of lives around the country," he said.

But he indicated he did not have any role in providing personal fitness training for Gerry himself.

"The nation is still in shock. I hope that one of the positives will be that more people take action to improve their health and fitness. I hope men and women will act on decisions that they need to get healthier."

He said it was too early to know whether there had been any increase in people starting fitness programmes as a result of Gerry's death.

"Gerry's shoes will never be filled... Over the past four years he increased people's awareness of weight and hopefully this tragedy will help to increase people's awareness further.

"People do die young. People need to be more aware.

"I loved working with him. It is some comfort that he helped change people's lives." Karl said.

Ben Dunne said today that Gerry's sad death underlines the need for people to get regular health check-ups from their doctor and to exercise.

"It is far too early to say if there is any trend of more people going to gyms following his death. People need to look after their health and the most important thing is a check-up from a GP once or twice a year. Exercise is also very important," said Ben, who runs a personal fitness and gym business.

"People need to have a regular routine of exercise. They need to pay more attention to their health, especially men," he said.