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Just What The Doctor Ordered

A public health initiative Green Prescription
Get into the Rhythm

Keeping up the exercise and healthy eating over the Christmas period is always a challenge. This motivational story will inspire you to keep motivated in 2002.

"I had tried every diet possible and was depressed, unmotivated and overweight when my GP suggested I call the local regional sports trust for support and advice on sticking to my Green Prescription. You came over and said that I should try 30 minutes exercise a day and then suggested everything I do should be rhythmic!

I started doing the circuit you had set up when my teenagers werenít around. I even put on music, danced and swayed and found that I did have rhythm. I progressed to walking outside by myself and then with my kids. I have since got up the courage to join a walking group and made some friends.

Remembering what you said about my rhythm I found a dance class through the internet and can now foxtrot and waltz. This year I am going to try Ceroc and RockíníRoll.

So, am I now slim and gorgeous? No, but Iím much fitter than I ever was, and am probably just fat instead of obese and I am born again."

Beating the Odds

Lovey Hodginkinson before her Green Prescription
My name is Lovey Hodginkinson and I am privileged to share my success story and how Green Prescription assisted me in my journey to a quality lifestyle I never thought possible.

I am a 56 year old grandmother who has beaten the odds and survived two major operations since December 1999.

Up until that period of time my health had reached an all time low. My weight had soared to 155kg as a result of a large tumour. In general my health was medically described as 'grave'.

After surgery my nurse and G.P. introduced me to the Green Prescription programme and Sport Manawatu who could provide support for me. As a patient in recovery I was prescribed physical activities that suited my needs.

Lovey Hodginkinson after her Green Prescription
I started swimming and walking and my lifestyle has changed dramatically. Since my last surgery in August 2000 I have lost 50kg. I am now totally enjoying life and my family. As a tribute to my family I have re-entered Te Wananga O Raukawa in Otaki to complete by Bachelor Studies in Design and Art and Bachelor in Matauranga Maori as a full time student.

Last but not least I have recently returned to the work force teaching literacy and numeracy programmes part time.

Walking Her Way to Health

Karen Dance can't believe the difference a walking has made to her life. After injuring her back in 1987 she was prescribed Voltarin and painkillers to ease the pain. She was also told lose weight to aid recovery. She tried the gym and swimming but found that without proper advice and training these exercises just created more problems.

In June 2000 Karen's GP, Doctor Helen Loan, issued her with a Green Prescription that just involved walking. Sport Waikato contacted Karen after she received her Green Prescription and she said it was excellent to "just have someone to talk to" about her health problems and her desire to get more active. Instead of driving all the way to work Karen started walking half way. She increased this distance and now hardly ever uses the car. Karen has stuck to her Green Prescription and so far has walked off 18 1/2 kilos, half way to her goal weight!

Walking and Weight Watchers - A Recipe for Success

Concerned about her ever increasing weight last Christmas and constantly dealing with headaches and a lack of motivation, Noelene put off making changes to her lifestyle.

"I was always 'too busy' working and taking my kids to sports practice. I didn't have any time for myself. I was constantly tired and doing no exercise. In January joined Weight Watchers, weighing in at 112 kg. In May I was also diagnosed with Type II diabetes.

"When approached by my Practice Nurse at the North Shore Clinic and asked if I wanted a Green Prescription, I said I would give anything a go. I had heard about Green Prescriptions on the radio but had been too scared to ask my GP about them in case I got a 'growling'."

Six months after starting her prescribed exercise, Noelene has shed 20 kilos and is regularly walking to the shops to run her errands. Gone are the days of driving to the shops after work: Noelene parks up at home and walks. She receives regular newsletters and, with a little more weight loss, she will join a regular exercise class recommended by Sport North Harbour.

"I now watch my diet carefully for both my weight and diabetes. These both keep me on the straight and narrow. I have found my cheek bones and hip bones and now my stomach does not stick out further than my bust!"

Noelene's lifestyle changes have certainly added life to her years.

Dealing with Diabetes

"Morgan came to Sport Eastland back in March 2000 having being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and wanting to do something about his weight. He felt that he was wasting his life away by being so inactive and it was time to do something about it.

He began his Green Prescription by making simple lifestyle changes throughout the day and recorded everything he did that required him to be physically active. He has been visiting Sport Eastland every Friday for the past 10 weeks to tell of his progress and any concerns.

Back in the first month it took Morgan 30 minutes to walk from his house and he had to stop and rest a couple of times. Now takes him less than 15 minutes, walking continuously. He comes bouncing in the door filled with confidence.

Morgan has progressed from recording simple activity in his day to planning his own weekly exercise regime - three 40 minute walks per week, home based strength exercise programmes and a visit to the fitness trainer at the YMCA.

In addition to this Morgan has various other appointments within the week such as attending the Turanga Health Kaumatua Hui. Not only has he become more active, he has made changes to his diet and a combination of the two has helped reduce both his weight and blood sugar levels."

Sisterly Love

When Margaret Berry was given a GRx from Dr Eliot at Casebrook Surgery, she was fortunate enough to have sisterly help on her side. Even before Lisa Gregory, the GRx co-ordinator at Sport Canterbury had contacted her new patient, Margaret had already employed the services of her sister in law to show her the ropes when it came to walking.

Margaret's sister, already an avid walker gladly assisted and now meets with Margaret 3 to 4 days a week to walk for up to an hour. Even through the tough times with a severe shoulder injury, Margaret still made sure she exercised and is now considering venturing into the great aquacise program that QEII offer.

Margaret is feeling great and the reduction in her blood pressure is evidence that she is on the right track. It certainly goes to show that exercise can become a healthy habit and having family to be involved is an added bonus.