When 54 year old Eiliis Baty, was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, she found that taking small steps towards living a healthier lifestyle were a real help in managing her condition. Although the diagnosis came as a surprise, she has found that taking part in Beat the Street has provided the extra encouragement she needed.
Eiliis comments: “Type 2 diabetes runs in my family. My lifestyle before the diagnosis wasn’t very good. For example, I would ‘binge exercise’ – I would do next to no activity for the whole year and then spend a few weeks training for a half marathon.”
“Up until a year ago, I was overweight. However, the Beat the Street initiative has been great for me and has really motivated me to make lasting changes to my lifestyle.”
Eiliis, from Pangbourne, works for the Reading Citizens Advice Bureau and is taking part in this year’s initiative after speaking with her GP, Dr Rupert Woolley from the Boathouse Surgery in Pangbourne, who provided all the encouragement she needed.
The Beat the Street initiative is designed to encourage the people of Reading and the surrounding areas to get more active, with the aim of developing healthy lifestyle changes that last a lifetime. It is funded by the Reading Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and Reading Borough Council. She continues, “I was also quite stressed. Driving to work meant that I would spend a lot of time stuck in traffic and I would get flustered and stressed even before I got there. I now rarely use the car - I either cycle or use public transport.”
To take part, residents swipe their Beat the Street card against a Beat Box and tapping another within an hour records the journey. Participants can also win prizes for themselves and their community team by taking part. People can find out more by going to the project website: http://reading.beatthestreet.me
She continues: “I now walk up to two miles a day and am not averse to walking up escalators – which attracts some funny looks!”
Dr Woolley, who is also the GP lead for the project on behalf of the Reading CCGs comments: “For someone with type 2 diabetes it is particularly important that they are careful about the foods they eat and take regular exercise to maintain a sensible weight. In up to 80 per cent of cases, the condition can be delayed or prevented. It is important that everyone understands the risks, so they can reduce their chances of developing the condition. By picking up a card and taking part in Beat the Street you too can take the first step in maintaining good life habits.”
Eiliis ends by saying: “I’m now more relaxed, less stressed and generally happier in myself. By making sustainable adjustments to my diet and by increasing my exercise levels, I have managed to bring my diabetes under control.”
Media contact for Berkshire West CCGs:
- Sarah Rayner-Osbon: / 07917 183 365
- Kulbir Sandhu: / 07785 338845