How healthy is Hans Coveliers?
by Eduard Schaepman, on 22 Apr 2021
We’re still in the medical world this week, because Hans Coveliers, thoracic and vascular surgeon and founder and owner of U-Clinic, takes a seat at the table. Were talking about his youth, his student days and his life as a surgeon. The slogan 'We go where the business is' is well-known: he has already moved several times for his work and is currently commuting back and forth between Belgium and the Netherlands. But first, back to where it all started, in Antwerp.
Veterinarian or surgeon
Hans was born in 1972 in Antwerp, Belgium, on Valentine's Day. He already knew at the age of 14 that he wanted to become a doctor, but hesitated for a while about becoming a veterinarian. All driven by his passion for knowledge: from an early age, he wanted to know how everything works. This applied to technology, but also to people and animals. For example, he once took a cow's head from the butcher's and cooked it at home out of curiosity. In the end, he decided to become a doctor, and in 1997 he passed his medical examinations Cum Laude. He thoroughly enjoyed his student life, in which his entrepreneurial side also came to the fore. For example, he rented out the 'kot' opposite him (as they call student rooms in Belgium). After the first seven years, during which mainly the basics of medicine were taught, he specialised as a surgeon in Antwerp, which again took six years. There, he came into contact with a vascular surgeon with whom he had a good relationship, and his interest in vessels was awakened.
In 2004, Hans went to Tilburg, where he followed a two-year certified training programme to become a vascular surgeon. At the time, he was still living in Antwerp, as he was also a member of the city council. He was also very active in the political field: he ensured that the Antwerp hospitals became independent. Then adventure led him to the VU in Amsterdam, where he obtained his doctorate in eight years, and became a resident of our capital. Besides his work as a surgeon and his work as a doctoral student, he also started an independent treatment centre. Initially together with two partners, but eventually decided to start his own private clinic (also reimbursed by insurance companies) in Bussum: U-Clinic. After Hans moved to Bussum, he still wasn't tired of his nomadic existence: a great position became available in Belgium, as a thoracic and vascular surgeon in a hospital in Aalst. He now works 3-4 days in Aalst and spends the rest of the week in the Netherlands. Travelling back and forth is not a problem for him. Sitting in the car has even become a moment of peace for him, while listening to an interesting podcast or to BNR.
Conscious & balanced
Hans has a standing job, and walks in the clinic take him about 3,000 steps, and outside he takes about 2,000, so about 5,000 a day in total. In addition, every Thursday he has an hour of strength and endurance training with a trainer, who 'exhausts him'. He also runs about 5 to 10 kilometres every weekend in Antwerp, Knokke or Den Bosch. When it comes to food, Hans is very conscious and moderate: he eats what he likes, but makes sure he maintains a balance. Not too many carbohydrates or meat, for example, and an occasional piece of fish or a vegetarian meal. And only wine on Fridays and Saturdays, no alcohol during the week. And his guilty pleasure, chocolate, he simply doesn’t buy it too often. He enjoys it, but he does so consciously.
Health an 8.5 and happiness a 9
Hans gives his health an 8.5, with more exercise and less food as points for improvement. He gives his happiness a 9 and enjoys life to the full, but stresses that he does so consciously. His tip for the office nomad is to take 10,000 steps a day. He refers to the origin of mankind, 'we were made to walk 20 kilometres a day', but start with those 10,000.
Watch the episode this afternoon on Youtube