Lancing Walking Football - the home of Lancing Wanderers
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“Walking Football has given me the incentive to challenge and take control of my type 2 diabetes .. “
After our training session on a rather windswept and cold Sunday morning in February 2016, I was speaking with Lancing Wanderers player Martin Strevens. Martin, like over three million people in the U.K. is diabetic: he has Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes develops when the insulin-producing cells in the body are unable to produce enough insulin or when the insulin that is produced does not work properly (known as insulin resistance). Two main factors associated with the condition are being overweight and inactive.
Getting that diagnosis was not good news but Martin smiled as he told me that “I am challenging my condition with a combination of lifestyle changes, diet and exercise” Martin carried out some research into his condition and very quickly decided there were definite actions he could take, along with support, guidance and medication from his G.P.
Firstly that diet; Martin followed The Blood Sugar Diet by Dr Michael Moseley
Central to it is a low carbohydrate “Mediterranean style” diet rich with nuts, fresh vegetables, nuts and olive oil (and a glass of wine!) and exercise. Martin told me that “weight loss was guaranteed because this was such a radical change in what I was eating, both in terms of the actual food items and quantities”
And then that exercise: Walking Football! Martin was one of the very early responders in 2014 to come along to what was then a very new idea. Early sessions were held inside Lancing Parish Hall, then onto grass in Manor Park, Lancing …. The rest is of course is very well known!
Martin really loves Walking Football and provided me with some very interesting statistics via his fitbit activity checker (a wristwatch style device that measurers heart rate and the number of steps taken in a day) and told me “in a 90 minute session of Walking Football, I can clock up the equivalent steps that add up to four miles, adding on to the distance to walk to our games it could be up to 5 miles!” .
As well as the exercise and physical aspects of Walking Football there is the “added value” of wellbeing; like friendships, team playing, banter and laughter.
Martin sums up the progress so far by saying “My incentive has been not about how I look and to lose weight. It's about reversing Type 2 Diabetes and thus cut down or stop the Diabetic drugs. I have never dieted in my life but this has been very different. The football I now play is the key to all this. To play competitive football at the age of 58 is the only drug I need.”
12th April 2016
Martin will be keeping us posted on his progress .....