After my wife died I started living off pre-made ready meals as I couldn’t cook for toffee and they were cheap and easy for me to prepare. I became over-weight and ended up needing a triple-bypass operation that left me quite weak. I also suffer from tendonitis which reduces the movement in both of my shoulders.

Working toward better health

My cardiac team referred me to Freedom Fitness after the op to try and get my weight under control and also increase my general fitness level. The operation had left me feeling self-conscious about myself and I knew it would take time to lose the weight and improve my overall strength and fitness. I didn’t really want to join a gym as they’re for young people, and at 67 I wasn’t comfortable exercising with a group of youngsters.

The team at the Freedom Centre were really supportive and the Fitness instructor took me through a private health assessment and induction to give a baseline for my fitness level. A starting point that I look back at today with pride knowing I have come so far and improved my quality of life so dramatically. From there we put together a personal plan and I committed to twice weekly private sessions with him.

Learning healthy ways

It has been hard work and to begin with I didn’t really think it would make much difference. But with their encouragement and reassurance that I would get to a healthy weight and improve my wellbeing I stuck with it. I’ve been attending two sessions a week at Freedom Fitness now for two years and it has made a huge difference to my health and how I feel about myself. My resting heart rate and blood pressure are well within the healthy range set by the NHS and my strength and movement have improved dramatically - I can do 94 ab crunches in a minute, which is better than a lot of people half my age! Along with the fitness training I took some healthy eating cooking classes run at their centre and now I’ve given up the pre-prepared junk I used to eat and cook all my meals from scratch. I make sure I get a good amount of fresh fruit and veg too, which is something I had ignored for a long time. I feel a lot better in myself these days and I have more energy now than I’d had for years.

If it hadn’t have been for Freedom Fitness I would never have joined a gym – it just isn’t me. So I’d still be overweight and struggling to get around. I certainly wouldn’t have the energy levels that I now enjoy; in fact, I’d be much worse off, maybe even have joined my late wife and passed on.

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