SPORTS COUNCIL URGES OVER-50’S TO GET ACTIVE

Name: Christine Johnson

From: Caerphilly

Age: 62

Christine Johnson is a 62-year-old mother of four children, who joined Lansbury Park Healthy Living Centre (HLC) in June 2004.

After many years working in the heavy engineering industry, working as a cleaner and at a bakery, Christine ended up wearing a neck brace to try to relieve the constant pain that she was experiencing due to back and leg problems caused by the heavy manual work. As a result she was forced to take early retirement.

"I couldn’t pick up my leg to walk anywhere, I couldn’t stand in a queue and I kept falling all the time"

After giving up her manual jobs Christine put on two stone in weight and became a near recluse. Having been very active prior to her health problems, Christine soon found that even trying to walk a hundred yards was complete agony and she had to rely on her daughter to do all her housework. Her quality of life had drastically changed for the worse.

Christine was suffering with arthritis, osteoporosis and lesions on the third and fifth discs of her spine, along with leg and back problems.

When Christine joined the HLC she was taking medication to deal with a range of conditions, which included;

  • Paracetamol x 12 daily – back pain
  • Codeine Phosphate x 4 daily – back pain
  • Fosemax x 1 – arthritis
  • Calcium Carbonate - osteoporosis
  • Colecaciferol - osteoporosis
  • Dosulepin – anti depressant

Christine started attending a circuit class at Lansbury Park HLC, which were personalised to take into account her health problems.

Her range of mobility and fitness level were really poor owing to the amount of pain she felt when she moved and Christine was initially unable to complete the whole class.

Christine has now been a member of the HLC for two years and has seen a vast improvement in her overall quality of life.

As well as still attending the circuit class, she now attends a healthy walks session and a weight management class, and through making realistic lifestyle changes she has lost one stone in weight so far.

Christine has also seen positive improvements in her mobility and fitness levels, as well as decreases in her anxiety levels and medication due to a reduction in the amount of pain she feels. Painkillers are only taken now when she has overdone things!

A recent visit to the hospital has also had a positive response from her consultant who has told her the surgery that he thought she would have needed to reduce the pain she was experiencing is now not needed, and has told her to continue attending the classes as they were obviously having a positive effect on her as a whole.

"Exercise has helped me no end. I feel so much better and have made so many new friends. I can do things I haven’t been able to do for a long long time."