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I felt older at 20 than I do at 60!

Meet the man who transformed his life when he turned 50 and became a poster boy (or should that be man?) for over fifties fitness.

Meet Chris

After a lifetime of burgers, takeaways and fish and chips, at the age of 50, Chris decided enough was enough… It was time for a change.

‘I was in very different shape back in those days. I was pre-diabetic, obese in fact, at 17 and three quarters stone. The doctor told me “if you’re not going to get fit, you may not have many years left on this planet".'

And get fit he did. At 60 years old, Chris now spends his days as a personal trainer, helping other over 50s get into shape and lose those extra pounds.

‘I want to help as many people as I can and to make a difference to as many people in my age group as I can… Most personal trainers are in their 20s or 30s and they can’t really relate to those younger guys and they don’t really have the same life experiences as a fifty year old or a fifty plus would have.’

As we wander round his home, it becomes clear how much of a transformation he’s made, as past photos of his younger, rounder self sits next to fitness magazines with Chris on the front cover. The physical contrast is astonishing, but how has this changed his mentality?

‘It’s how I look at myself and how I look at others around me. I’m much more positive now. It’s improved my self-esteem and improved my confidence. I don’t mind going into any kind of occasion or gathering and being myself.’

chris over-50s personal trainer

So much so, Chris has a cabinet full of trophies and photos from the fitness modelling competitions he’s been taking part in – ‘it’s like body building but nicer… Smaller muscles, bigger trunks! (grins) Going onstage for the first time in fitness modelling was something I never thought I’d do.’

So how does someone begin the journey he’s been on? Well, it’s down to a combination of things.

‘Most important is nutrition – start thinking about what you’re eating and when you’re eating. The other important factor is to be more active. There are lots of ways people can bring exercise into their life – walk to the shops instead of driving, take the stairs or walk up the escalators. There’s no need to do anything fancy or technical or complicated – just get started!’

chris helping someone to train at the gym

As a result, Chris is looking forward to living a much longer and healthier life, but that hasn’t stopped him thinking about how he’d like to leave this world.

‘I’ve given some thought to what happens when my days are over and made some funeral plans for both my wife and I. We both want to be cremated and, with any luck, that cremation will be in a furnace or device that will generate power so there’ll be some use from the burning activity as well.’

But before all that, Chris plans to spend his time discovering country pubs and nice restaurants, and travelling the world with his wife, Jenny.

‘One of the great lessons I’ve learnt is you’re never too old to start something new! Even though I waited till I was 50, it’s really made my life wonderful from that point onwards and it’s going to help me live a longer and happier older life. I felt older at 20 than I do at 60! I feel a whole lot younger and a whole lot happier for it.’

SunLife offers a range of straightforward and affordable products including over 50s life insurance, funeral plans, life insurance, pet insurance, home insurance, car insurance, ISAs and Will writing services.

Here's the information that you need to know about who we are and the other companies that we work with in order to provide our products and services.

Who are SunLife? 

Phoenix Life Limited trades as SunLife and is the provider of the Guaranteed Over 50 Plan, SunLife Insurance and the life insurance policy payment option for Funeral Plans. Phoenix Life Limited’s registered office is at 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 1016269). Phoenix Life Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority and is entered on the Financial Services Register (registration no. 110418). As part of SunLife’s commitment to quality service and security, telephone calls may be recorded.

SunLife Limited distributes financial products and services and is a company limited by shares, registered office: 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 05460862). SunLife Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is entered on the Financial Services Register (registration no. 769427).

You can contact us by post at SunLife, PO Box 1395, Peterborough, PE2 2TR or by phone on 0800 008 6060.

If you choose to add Funeral Benefit Option to your Guaranteed Over 50 Plan the funeral services are arranged and provided by Dignity Funerals Limited. Dignity Funerals Limited is a company registered in England and Wales No. 00041598. VAT registered No. 486 6081 14. 4 King Edwards Court, King Edwards Square, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B73 6AP. Telephone No. 0121 354 1557. Fax No. 0121 355 808. Part of Dignity plc. A British Company. Dignity are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority but are registered providers with the Funeral Planning Authority.

Who provides the Funeral Plans?

The funeral services are arranged by a funeral director selected by Golden Charter Ltd. Golden Charter Ltd are not required to be authorised or regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority in relation to funeral plans but are registered providers with the Funeral Planning Authority.

If you choose to pay for your funeral in one go, with a single payment, you will have a contract with Golden Charter. The funeral services will be arranged by a funeral director selected by Golden Charter Ltd.

If you choose to pay for your funeral with a life insurance policy, the policy will be provided by Phoenix Life Limited, trading as SunLife. The funeral services will be arranged by a funeral director selected by Golden Charter Ltd.

Who provides My Smarter (ISA)?

My Smarter (ISA) is provided by Scottish Friendly Asset Managers Limited. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Details can be found on the Financial Services register, registration No. 188832. Member of The Investment Association. Registered Office: Scottish Friendly House, 16 Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4HJ.

Who provides the Will writing services?

Hugh James is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA Number:303202).

The information contained on this website is based on Hugh James' understanding of the law of intestacy in England and Wales only as at April 2014. The law in Scotland and Northern Ireland is significantly different. This is for information purposes and is not intended to be legal advice.

Who provides Family Life Insurance?

SunLife Family Life Insurance is provided by Scottish Friendly Assurance Society Limited which is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Details can be found on the Financial Services register (registration number 110002). Registered Office: Scottish Friendly House, 16 Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4HJ. 

Who provides SunLife Pet Insurance

SunLife Pet Insurance is arranged and administered by BDML Connect Limited. BDML Connect Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (No. 309140). Registered in England and Wales Number 02785540. Registered Office: 45 Westerham Road, Bessels Green, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 2QB.

Who provides SunLife Home Insurance

SunLife Home Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.

Who provides SunLife Car Insurance

SunLife Car Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.