Diabetic health under the spotlight

Some simple changes to lifestyle and healthy eating can make dramatic changes to those with diabetes
Some simple changes to lifestyle and healthy eating can make dramatic changes to those with diabetes

January is generally the month for setting new goals and targets with New Year resolutions, and losing weight is right up there at the top of the list.

For most weight loss is a struggle, if it were easy, then we wouldn’t currently have the obesity epidemic medics say we have.

But for diabetics, trying to lose those extra pounds can be even more difficult. If you’re overweight already, research has shown you are less likely to simply walk into a gym full of ripped individuals pumping weights.

However, that’s all about to change in West Lothian with Linlithgow personal trainer Harry Day offering a brand new service.

Personal Best UK, a business presently operating out of Armadale & Bathgate have developed a relationship with Diabetes UK’s West Lothian group and have created a specific exercise program for those diagnosed with diabetes.

This is a unique service for West Lothian and one of only a handful of such programmes across the UK.

In 2013, the prevalence of diabetes in the adult population across Scotland was 5.2 per cent of the population, a figure of 252,599 people.

The group use their own private gym facilities to ensure everyone feels as comfortable as they can. This allows constant interaction making sure all exercises are performed safely and for the maximum benefit. It is claimed that for those who are aware of their own body image, which normally wouldn’t accord with that generally found in a public gym, are embarrased and that this is the main reason many simply don’t bother. People also fear they don’t know what to do, or how to use the equipment in public gyms and are worried they may injure themselves or make a pre-existing condition worse. This innovative programme eliminates these worries and also allows participants to enjoy exercising which is vital for consistency.

Those taking part have a one to one assessment before entering onto the program to ensure they are eligible for the classes, and to discuss what they can do to improve their condition . In addition, Personal Best UK are also providing nutritional support in the form of workshops as well as emotional support. The group, who have attracted the attention of the leading diabetes charity, Diabetes UK are hoping to join forces to roll out similar programmes across Scotland.

The program, which has been running since June last year took around 12 months to set up initially. The classes and private assessment are free for those within the program making it accessible even for those on a limited budget but who are still keen to improve their condition. This is made possible by funding provided by the Robertson Trust and the National Lottery “Awards for all Scotland” scheme.

Harry Day of Personal Best UK said: “I completed my studies to become specialised in working with clients who are either diabetic, obese or both. I am also currently studying to qualify as a nutritionist in order that I can provide a full ‘package’ of services to those clients who can benefit the most.

“It’s not all about lifting weights or running on a treadmill, people with diabetes need a specialised approach.Too much exercise could be dangerous without considering properly a carbohydrate balance, before, during and after a session and regular checking of blood glucose levels.”