MY HEALTH: Dr Alan Stout

Dr Alan Stout, 49, GP in east Belfast for the past 20 years and now chair of the GP committee of the BMA. He is married with three children.

By Helen McGurk
Thursday, 24th February 2022, 3:45 pm
Dr Alan Stout
Dr Alan Stout

Did you contract Covid? If so, how did it affect you?

I’ve not had covid, but the rest of the family did have it earlier this year. Having spent such a long time talking and thinking about covid it was still a shock when they tested positive. Luckily it was a mild case for everyone.

Do you consider yourself to be healthy?

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I think I am pretty healthy. I have never been seriously ill and I try to do all the ‘right’ things to keep myself healthy. The last few years have been extremely pressured at work but I made a conscious effort to exercise when I could and take time away from the computer and social media for my mental health. I am lucky to live by the sea and I really think being able to walk in the fresh air beside the sea helps my health.

Do you smoke/drink?

I have never smoked, but I do enjoy sharing a nice bottle of wine on a night out at the weekend.

Do you take supplements?

No, I try to eat as healthy and as balanced a diet as possible. I think this, combined with regular exercise this prevents the need for supplements.

Ever been on a diet?

I have never been on a diet but I am very conscious of what I eat and try to eat a good balanced and healthy diet. This can be difficult in a busy working day, but there are always options and opportunity to go for a healthier option – reach for the fruit not the biscuits!

Any big health scares?

I am very fortunate in that I haven’t had any significant illness except for a couple of broken bones in my rugby playing days.

Have you tried alternative/complementary therapies?

I have never tried them myself but lots of patients use them and say they help them.

Do you take regular exercise?

I really do try to get some exercise every day, even if it is walking the dog at night. I try to get to the gym two or three times a week and also like to play golf at weekends and whenever I have any free time.

I try to walk to meetings or even on home visits whenever possible.

How well do you sleep?

I am told that I sleep very well and never have any trouble getting to sleep.

I am a chronic early riser though and find it impossible to sleep in.

I get up about 6.30 every day and am generally in bed at 11.00.

What one thing would improve your health?

The past couple of years have seen us all operate under more stress and pressure, hopefully this will start to become a little bit more manageable and this will undoubtedly be beneficial to my health.

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