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Taking the plunge to avoid Type 2

Earlier this year Armathwaite Hall’s Spa & Leisure member, Paul Hurst from Whitehaven was diagnosed with being at risk of Type 2 diabetes which he was told could lead to serious health problems.  Paul knew he had to change his lifestyle for the better so he altered his diet and started doing more regular exercise.  As a member of the spa and leisure club, Paul has been able to make the most of our new gym facilities which have recently undergone a £100,000 redevelopment as well as getting in his laps in the 20 metre indoor pool.  With our emphasis on facilities and workout programmes which support recovery to achieve health and fitness goals, Paul has been able to take advantage of these to support his new lifestyle.

Here we share Paul’s story and hope it will inspire others.

Having had his fair share of health issues in recent years, Paul Hurst’s fighting spirit was not in the least bit diminished when a  blood test revealed he was at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.  He met the challenge head on and just 10 months later, and with support from his local Healthier You diabetes prevention service, sport-lover Paul has lost weight; reduced his blood sugar level; and is inspiring other family members to follow in his tracks.

Paul, 55 and from Cleator Moor in Whitehaven, had a long-standing career and actively enjoyed a variety of sports before spine damage led him to medically retire aged 52.  Subsequently diagnosed with bipolar disorder and experiencing numerous health challenges including liver surgery, Paul’s weight crept up to 120 kg as his activity levels lowered.

“I blame my medication when my weight started to increase, but realistically I was comfort eating and a lot less active; it’s easily done,” said Paul.  “When my GP told me my blood test showed a worrying trend towards diabetes it gave me the prompt I needed.  I hadn’t been beaten so far, and diabetes wasn’t going to either!”

Paul was referred by his GP to the Healthier You programme, an NHS England initiative run locally by health provider Ingeus.  He attended the 10-month insight programme at Whitehaven Sports Centre where Ingeus educators, including Nina Albertelli, helped Paul make positive changes to his diet and activity levels.  Many cases of Type 2 diabetes can be prevented by adopting a healthy lifestyle and Paul put his new-found knowledge to good use; losing almost 20kg in weight so far, reducing his HbA1c blood sugar level from 42 to 36 and now swimming a mile each day.

“It was an eye-opener learning about the effects of different foods on our bodies,” Paul continues. “I reprogrammed myself on how to eat and how much to eat.  This isn’t a quick-hit diet, what I’ve learned has changed my eating habits for good.

“Being with like-minded people in the group motivated me and helped me share tips and challenges.  I realised that even with my spine damage, an active life is still possible.  I feel so much better for losing weight and it’s had an incredibly positive effective on my mental health too.  It’s the best course I’ve ever done.”

Paul’s bipolar disorder is now managed with low level medication and he’s enjoying retirement with wife Anita.  Paul’s experience has also empowered him to speak to other family members whose lifestyles he feels may potentially put them at risk of Type 2.

Diabetes can cause serious long-term health problems.  Simple action can reduce the risk; 80% of Type 2 diabetes cases are preventable.

For more information visit www.stopdiabetes.co.uk

To find out how a spa membership at Armathwaite Hall can help you achieve your health or fitness goals, please contact the spa on Tel. 017687 88900.

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