At 75, a County Durham retiree will get faster, fitter, and healthier as they age.
After losing nearly four stones, Stanley Johnson puts down the walking stick he once relied on and can easily walk 6,000 steps a day.
It’s a notable change for Stanley, who previously suffered from sore knees due to his weight, which limited his ability to walk.
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But after a visit to his family doctor revealed that he was at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, he was given the opportunity to improve his health.
Stanley of Wolsingham said, “It was extremely difficult to walk and I couldn’t walk more than a quarter mile, but I had a tendency to waddle because I was carrying excess pounds.
“The extra weight made both of my knees extremely uncomfortable and required me to use a cane. I also became breathless.”
Blood tests showed that Stanley had high blood sugar levels and his family doctor offered him the opportunity to participate in the NHS diabetes prevention program “Healer You”.
After being skeptical, he finally accepted the offer and joined the program, which is run in partnership with WW, formerly Weight Watchers.
He added, “I was skeptical at first but decided to give it a try and after the first workshop I was concerned that I had done the right thing and started to attend a local workshop near me.
“Then Covid and Lockdown struck and I was advised to take online workshops and being unfamiliar with Zoom or other apps like Facebook I just didn’t think it was right for me.
“But with the patience and support of the WW employees, I was ready for action in no time and very quickly enjoyed the support and responsibility that the weekly virtual workshops gave me.”
Now he’s reversed his risk of developing diabetes after losing weight from 15.5 pounds to 11. 8 pounds and lowered his blood sugar from 43 to 35.
Stanley said, “My knees don’t hurt anymore and I now walk about 6,000 steps every day.
“I can do that just as well because I have a new puppy who needs a lot of exercise. My quality of life has improved dramatically and I can run longer distances without getting out of breath.
“I no longer have to rely on a walking stick like I used to, and gardening is a lot more fun. Even small things like climbing stairs are now easy. “
He added, “My advice to anyone who is considering joining the NHS / WW NDPP program and is nervous can highly recommend this course.
“Remember, this is not a ‘boot camp’ and it is not a crime to occasionally stray from your goal, provided you have the mental strength to get back on track and you will undoubtedly get the appropriate benefits.
“Thanks to the NHS and WW for making me the best version.”
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