Posted: Wednesday 26th July 2017
One You Week, which runs until Friday 28 July, offers the perfect excuse to get fit and healthy. It’s never too late to change your mind set and embrace lifestyle changes – especially if they have the potential to dramatically improve your health.
Caroline Penn, from Watford, was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes a year ago. She overcame her anxieties about taking up new activities and is now beating the condition with exercise.
When 58-year-old Caroline was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, she knew she had to change her lifestyle. Weeks later she was made redundant from her beloved job as a classroom assistant, which was the final push she needed.
She said: “It was very stressful and I became quite depressed. I had a fairly good diet but hadn’t taken my health as seriously as I should. I’m not confident in new social situations either so the thought of exercising was very daunting.”
Caroline contacted Active Herts to help her get started. She said: “I was supported to join a 12-week taster scheme at my local leisure centre and introduced to a range of over 50s classes. I also met an instructor beforehand which was helpful, as it meant there was a familiar face at my first session.
“I’ve since joined a dance class run by Love to Dance and regularly attend Health Walks too, which are great fun. I’ve even become a walk leader myself which is fantastic.
“I have benefitted so much from becoming physically active. My Diabetes and cholesterol levels have gone down; I’ve grown in confidence and noticed other changes too like sleeping better, aching less and having better circulation.
“Earlier this year I had a heart operation and the doctors couldn’t believe how quickly I recovered because I’m so fit and active now – within three months I was climbing a mountain in Scotland! I can also pick up my new granddaughter without any problems, which is just wonderful.
“I’ve met some lovely people and made so many new friends too. I didn’t do it for the social side but that has been one of the nicest things to come out of it.”
Caroline added: “I’m so proud of what I’ve achieved, I thought I was the only one who was anxious but I’ve realised that a lot of people are. Just try it; you don’t know who you’ll meet or how it will affect your life unless you give it a go. I thought I would hate it but I love it!”