A woman who dropped four dress sizes is thanking a local walking group funded by NHS Derbyshire County for putting her on the right track towards a fitter, healthier lifestyle.
Joyce Sims (68), of Long Eaton, used to weigh nearly 16 stone and had to wear size 24 clothes. But, spurred on to get fit and healthy, she started taking part in a weekly health walk, which put her on the path towards a new fitness and healthy eating regime – enabling her to shed four stones.
Joyce Sims, who became a walk leader six months after going on the weekly walks, which meet up at the cash machines outside Long Eaton’s Asda every Monday at 10am, said: “My journey began with my desire to get out of the obese category and become fitter. Although the walks are only about two to three miles long and take no longer than an hour, I was puffing and panting at first in an effort to complete them.”
Motivated by the walking, Joyce decided to go one step further in her efforts to get fit, and joined a gym. She also took part in aqua-aerobics twice a week and completed a 12-week WaistWise Scheme, which provided invaluable advice about healthy eating and how to burn calories.
Joyce Sims said: “I now weigh 11 stone and 8 pounds and my body mass index has reduced from 35 to 27. I feel proud to have achieved what I have. I have lost all the aches and pains I endured ‘at my age’ and my energy levels have increased. My bone density and skin has improved, too. In fact I’m stronger than I’ve ever been.”
As a result of the walking group, Joyce now regularly walks three miles a week, and recently did the airport trail of six miles.
Dr Bruce Laurence, acting director of public health for NHS Derbyshire County, agrees: “Walking is a great way to keep active and healthy, both physically and psychologically. It’s also a great stress-buster, can cut the risk of heart disease by up to 50 per cent, and improves health, confidence and quality of life.
“Derbyshire is full of so many picturesque spots, so what better way to reap the benefits of a healthy lifestyle by joining a free health walk to keep the weight off and discover the delights of the countryside at the same time?”
Regular health walks in the area include:
Mondays: Long Eaton, Asda (meet by the cash machines) 10am; Monday Strollers, (meet at Victoria Park) 10:15am; Sawley Walking for Health, (meet at the Railway Inn, Wilne Road, Sawley) 10:30am
Tuesdays: West Park Walkers (meet at Asda car park, Long Eaton) 10:15am
Wednesdays: Arena Centre, Ilkeston Beginners Walk 11am
Thursdays: Littlewick Medical Centre Beginners Walk 10am, West Park Beginners Walk, 1pm
Fridays: Sandiacre Library 10:15am
To find out more about local health walks in Derby and Derbyshire contact 01283 563483 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.