Belfast Telegraph

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'It makes me feel so much better ... physically, socially and mentally'

By Judith Cole

Sandra McGuiken (68), a retired shop assistant, lives in Belfast and has three children and five grandchildren. She says:

I used to do a lot of walking, especially when I was working as I would walk to work and then back home again. But since I retired I got out of the way of it and I was spending ever more time at home. I was starting to feel quite lonely because some of my friends are not in good health and can't get out for walks.

Also, I've had a thyroid problem for years. It's been under control for a while, but I have noticed that I've gained weight and it makes me feel quite lethargic and down.

So, I was really keen to get out of the house and get fitter again - and I was delighted when the opportunity arose to take part in the SITLESS study.

I joined about a year ago and started going to the gym and classes at the Hanwood Centre in east Belfast.

The gym instructor worked out a 12-week plan for me and, along with others taking part, we did circuits which were great fun.

I've been attending every week for the past year and sometimes I go early before the class starts and do half an hour on the walking machine.

I've also joined a bowling group - I played indoors all throughout the winter and then outdoors during the summer. We took part in competitions against other clubs.

Getting out to do the exercise makes me feel so much better - physically, socially and mentally. I would encourage others to do the same. There's no doubt that makes you feel better.

You just need to keep moving and I definitely feel better in myself."

Belfast Telegraph

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