26 September 2016
Judith has written about how her life has changed since starting exercise classes with the Up and Active team in January 2016.
I have had type 2 diabetes for about 14 years and in January 2016 I got the results of my annual HbA1c blood test (HbA1c level in your blood indicates what your average blood glucose level has been in the past 2 to 3 months). The levels were escalating despite me eating a low sugar/carbohydrate diet. I was told that I needed to add yet another drug to my prescription. I objected to this, so my practice nurse suggested that I try Up and Active, a fitness program for 12 weeks held at my local Leisure Centre. I agreed to give it a go and was subsequently contacted by a member of the Up and Active team and straight away made to feel comfortable. A date was set for me to join the course and on 2 February I attended my first session. I was out of my comfort zone in a gym, I was your typical couch potato, I never did any exercise, I didn’t like getting hot and sweaty and out of breath. Little did I know that seven months down the line I would be enjoying it!
The instructors were knowledgeable and encouraging; I was made to feel at ease by everyone on the course, as well as regular gym users, young and old. After three weeks I began to feel some benefit from exercise and had dropped a couple of pounds. I decided to join The Feel Good Factory at the Leisure Centre to supplement the Up and Active class, I also joined a weight management class for six weeks.
It is now seven months since I started the Up and Active class and after the twelve week course finished, I have continued to attend the gym, play badminton, go to aqua aerobics, and I go to the Feel Good Factory several times a week. My HbA1c levels have dropped from 71 to 50, my weight has dropped by 2st 2lbs, my blood pressure has gone down, I feel supple, have no aching joints, and am full of “get up and go”! My practice nurse doesn’t want to see me every 3 months for blood tests anymore and said, “whatever you are doing, well done, keep it up, I will see you again in 12 months”.
I have gained new friends and I am really surprised at how much I enjoy going to the Leisure Centre. It has given me a new lease of life and I am determined to carry on with the exercise regime and lose more weight and get my HbA1c levels even lower. I feel that I have benefitted greatly from the Up and Active programme and I have a new perspective towards exercising. I would encourage anyone who is given the chance to attend these sessions to give it a go, you never know, you could end up gaining a whole new social circle, a new outlook on life, and a positive impact on your wellbeing.