Gra­ham tells on BBC how he walked off four stone

Stockport Express - - Front Page - KATHER­INE BAIN­BRIDGE kather­ine.bain­bridge@men­media.co.uk @KBain­bridgeMEN

ASUPER slim­mer has gone from couch potato to the BBC break­fast TV couch af­ter los­ing an im­pres­sive four stone.

Gra­ham Ward from Of­fer­ton shed the pounds af­ter tak­ing up walk­ing when he was di­ag­nosed with type-2 di­a­betes and was in­vited on the show to launch Pub­lic Health Eng­land’s ‘One You’ walk­ing cam­paign.

He de­scribed to the na­tion how join­ing the coun­cil’s Walk Stock­port pro­gramme changed his life – two years af­ter his di­ag­no­sis he has his di­a­betes un­der con­trol and no longer needs med­i­ca­tion.

“I had great fun and it in­spired me to walk fur­ther and faster and gener- ally do more ex­er­cise,” he said. “Tak­ing that first step of go­ing for a walk was one of the best de­ci­sions I’ve made in my life.

“I hope my story en­cour­ages oth­ers to take up walk­ing.”

The One You cam­paign en­cour­ages adults to build at least 10 min­utes of con­tin­u­ous brisk walk­ing into their day. It co­in­cides with the pub­li­ca­tion of a study which found that four in 10 peo­ple aged 40 to 60 in the north west walk for less than 10 min­utes con­tin­u­ously each month.

Pub­lic Health Eng­land has launched a free mo­bile app called ‘Ac­tive 10’, which mea­sures the du­ra­tion and in­ten­sity of walk­ing and of­fers hints and tips.

Stock­port coun­cil­lor Tom McGee, cab­i­net mem­ber for health, said: “Gra­ham’s story is in­spir­ing and I would en­cour­age peo­ple to down­load the Ac­tive 10 app and build brisk walk­ing into your rou­tine, as I’m try­ing to do.

“If you need ad­di­tional sup­port and want to join our Walk Stock­port scheme con­tact our Start Team on 474 3141.”

Dr Vicci Owen-Smith, clin­i­cal di­rec­tor at NHS Stock­port, added: “If walk­ing was a drug it would be re­garded as a mir­a­cle cure. Brisk walk­ing can lower the risk of se­ri­ous ill­nesses like heart dis­ease, type-2 di­a­betes, stroke and can­cer.

“In ad­di­tion it can im­prove your mood and help you main­tain a healthy weight.”

For more in­for­ma­tion and to down­load the app visit nhs.uk/oneyou/ ac­tive10/home, or for ways to get walk­ing in Stock­port visit stock­port. gov.uk/ways-to-get-walk­ing.

Gra­ham Ward chats to BBC Break­fast pre­sen­ters Char­lie Stayt and Naga Munchetty and (in­set) with wife Les­ley be­fore his big weight loss

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