At our initial assessment we were asked what our goal for this course would be and we agreed that we would both like to see our grandchildren grow up and maybe even meet our great grandchildren, if we are so blessed.
Prior to starting on the programme at Activ8change we were both overweight, unfit and sluggish. We had poor sleep patterns, waking in the night and not waking refreshed. Then we met Nora Baker who was training us individually, but now as a couple, Nora has given us some amazing results from the 12 Week Jump Starter programme, an Accelerated Fat Loss course which we are just over half way through.
Originally we attended the Activ8change gym for our personal training sessions but with the Coronavirus lockdown our training has shifted online using a platform that allows Nora to see and supervise our sessions in our own home. This is different in that we have no large equipment to use at home although we do have some weights and boxing gloves! We still end a session knowing we have been worked hard.
The changes we have noticed are many and varied. The first thing I noticed was I was pain free from my arthritic knees, something the GP told me I would have to live with. Frank has now lost 2 stone and I have lost 1 stone in weight and we have both noticed the inches melting away. Frank can even wear the new jeans bought for me at Christmas, although he doesn’t like the fact they zip the wrong way!
As well as the sizing changes we are stronger and fitter meaning that we can move faster and more flexibly for longer. Our household jobs are completed more effectively and we don’t nap in the day as we used to. I love gardening and have found I am much more flexible allowing me to crouch to weed or kneel to reach the soil without being unable to rise or move the next day because of the stiffness. My concentration has also improved and stress levels have reduced.
Although we are tired in the evening and ready for bed, going to sleep is no longer a problem and we sleep 6 to 8 hours solidly. If we do need to get up in the night, sleep comes easily after. The other noticeable thing with sleeping is that neither of us snore loudly any more, I don’t wake myself by snoring and Frank does not now hold his breath whilst asleep, which is good as I was beginning to worry he had sleep apnoea. We both appreciate the other is being less disruptive and noisy.
With the exercises we have learned new skills – I can touch the floor from standing (something I couldn’t do even as a child), boxing and we can jog again, Frank is extending the time so he can start to run outside, and yes I can jog slowly, not for long yet, but moving fluidly and comfortably. It also has reduced both our blood pressures with Frank being told by the GP to reduce his medication with a view to stopping it altogether in a few weeks. Hopefully I will be told the same at my next appointment.
Also the oedema on our feet and legs went within days of commencing the course along with the painful hot and angry patches on my legs.
Other changes we have noticed are:
• Franks Duputrans contracture discomfort (tendons in his hand contracted causing clawing of the hand) has markedly decreased and he can open his hand flat once more. The pain has reduced from 8 to 3 out of 10. He can lift, hold and replace items such as hot drinks without being fearful of dropping them and lift items of weight.
• Franks arm was painful following several falls over the years and his shoulder would not move easily. The pain has reduced considerably and he can comfortably raise his arm above his head, including with weight.
• My breathlessness was becoming an issue, I had referred to the GP with no real solution, but this has now improved to I only get breathless when I am exercising or really pushing myself physically.
• My stiff neck, complete with all the cracking noises, has gone.

These changes have not come easily but with dedication to the Jump Starter programme, methods, motivation and positivity we are achieving a new lifestyle which will carry us forward into the future as healthy and happy retirees.
If we can do this in our seventies then anyone with the right mind-set can. Bring on great grandchildren!