Eighteen months ago, James Wilson had been struggling with a medical condition that forced him to give up his passion of cycling on the open roads. He thought to himself that it was perhaps time to face facts that he was ageing, to take the easy way out and retire from being active as he might as well conserve the years and energy that he had left.
Over the next year James’ health continued to deteriorate, he felt his strength; especially in his legs rapidly decrease, his body weight soared, his joints stiffened and was also diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. James’ enthusiasm for life was diminished and worst of all his ‘balance condition’ was getting worse rather than better. As James put it he was on a downward spiral.
He visited his local GP, Dr Roger Baillie, who recommended that he try a Green Prescription to try to improve his health and wellbeing. James’ immediate thought was positive and that he had nothing to lose by trying something new. Southland’s Green Prescription support person, Ann Robbie contacted James within the week and talked about what opportunities were out there for James to start regular activity again. With Ann's motivation and encouragement, James took confidence and seized the opportunity to try indoor cycling on Southland’s newest indoor cycling velodrome track.
James started with 20 slow laps around the velodrome and eight months on, is now doing 60 laps, three times per week. “It's marvellous fun and I've made some great friendships”, says James. James has since lost 8kg in weight, has increased his muscle mass, feels mentally more alert, has his diabetes under control and reckons he has gained ‘years of life'. James's family and friends have also noticed and commented on his changes, both physically and mentally.
James is grateful for the help and support given through the Green Prescription programme, he also advises others to give everything a go. “Try things that are offered to you”, James says. “You may be doing something that your children have never done before – you only get one shot at this life, and it's never too late to start”.
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