10,000 Steps - Jayne's Story

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As part of the "People Like Me" series, Active Calderdale recently spoke to Jayne O'Connell, Head of Partnerships and Programmes at Voluntary Action Calderdale about her personal journey with physical activity and its effect on health-related issues.

In November 2021, Jayne was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and was told her blood pressure and cholesterol levels were too high. This diagnosis proved to be the catalyst Jayne needed to introduce some fundamental changes to her daily routine to address the issues at hand. Using exercise and diet as the springboard for success, Jayne was kind enough to detail the changes she made and the improvements she experienced, not only in physical health but in mental well-being also.

Jayne's Story

"I knew I needed to embrace a change of lifestyle and not just a short-term diet, so I bought a pedometer and started walking 10,000 steps a day.  In addition to this, I started counting my calories and carbs, stuck to a Mediterranean diet and to my amazement, by June of 2022 I had lost six stones in weight!

The weight loss meant that my blood pressure and cholesterol reverted to normal levels in six months, and by my birthday, in October 2022, I was given the news that my blood sugar levels were back within the normal range.  I feel as though I have so much more energy and have kept the weight off by sticking to my daily step target and eating a Mediterranean diet.  I never want to return to my previous weight, and I know that by sticking to simple measures, I can maintain my current weight. 

On days when the weather is really bad, I have an exercise bike I use as an alternative to my walks.  I enjoy walking and using the bike and I think that’s the key.  Do something you enjoy doing!

The changes I have made to my overall lifestyle have had a very positive impact on my emotional and mental health and made me far more willing to engage in new hobbies and activities.”

Jayne O'Connell - Head of Partnerships & Programmes at VAC

The changes Jayne made led to a huge impact on her health and well-being. Losing an incredible six stones through diet and exercise has significantly reduced the risk of heart attacks, strokes and diabetes-related complications.  Jayne also found these changes had a positive impact on her emotional and mental health and now has the willingness to engage in new hobbies and activities. 

Jayne’s advice to anyone looking to make changes to their physical activity levels?

”Do something you enjoy and can comfortably fit into your daily routine.  It doesn’t have to be anything extreme – 10,000 steps a day has made a massive difference to me!” 

Jayne O'Connell - Head of Partnerships & Programmes at VAC