The power of positive thinking...
Having recently retired and with much more time on her hands, Linda Graham, aged 66 and from Immingham, decided it was time to focus on herself and on her own wellbeing.
Linda has always had a positive mind-set and a healthy diet, but felt that the lack of exercise in her daily routine was letting her down and was determined to do something about it.
A wellbeing event at Immingham Civic Centre saw her happen upon information about Lincs Inspire’s Active Forever programme – a 12-week health and wellbeing scheme for people who are recovering from long-term illness or injury.
In 2014 Linda was diagnosed with tonsil cancer and underwent 30 bouts of radio therapy, which left her weak and resulted in her losing over three stone in weight. Surviving the cancer and, after recovering from the harsh treatment, Linda returned to work.
“Following my treatment back in 2015 I used the toning suite at Grimsby Leisure Centre and went to the classes to help my body recover,” said Linda. “But with a demanding, full-time job I felt that I couldn’t keep up with my membership and left. I retired a year ago and walking was my only exercise. Consequently the weight crept back on.
“After learning about Lincs Inspire’s Active Forever programme, and having gone through the cancer treatment, I signed up again in 2019 and completed 12 weeks of a gym programme at Immingham Swimming Pool.
“My head is now in the right place because I’ve got the time. This programme has been great for me, and the team here at Immingham Swimming Pool have encouraged me the whole way. All my life I’ve hated exercise but this has been enjoyable!”
Linda has worked with fitness instructors Gemma and Corrine in the gym and has attended twice a week for 12 weeks working on her stamina, strength and endurance. An initial assessment helped to gain an understanding of what she wanted to achieve and then a programme was adopted based on what she was capable of and what suited her body.
Linda’s routine consists of a short cardio programme to warm-up, followed by conditioning exercises targeting her arms, legs and core strength using the resistance machines, free weights and other equipment such as the bosu ball – an inflatable ball designed to challenge your balance and strengthen your core.
Linda added: “I’ve been really happy. They’ve worked with me and given me a really good programme. I’m achieving what I want. I’ve lost an inch off my hips but more importantly I’ve gained muscle and I feel stronger; more toned.
“The team tell you what to do, check you’re doing it correctly and then give you the encouragement when you need it.
“My cancer diagnosis was just one of those things that life throws at you, but you’ve got to get on with it. Often how you react to setbacks sets your path. I’m a positive person and what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger.”
Having completed the Active Forever 12-week programme, Linda has signed up to a monthly membership and, as well as keeping up her gym routine, will now try some classes and make use of the centre’s swimming pool.
Linda’s story is proof that exercise is key to staying healthy and happy in your golden years and exercising during or after cancer treatment can improve your physical and mental wellbeing. A positive mind-set and can-do attitude are all it takes in making the first steps to improved wellbeing.
Further Information - Active Forever
Lincs Inspire’s Active Forever programme supports customers in taking their first steps to leading a more active and healthier lifestyle. Friendly staff guide members through this 12-week wellness scheme where small changes can make a big difference. Two activities are recommended per which are wide ranging and are available across our different leisure venues.
If you would like to join our programme, please speak to a member of our Health and Wellbeing team, or speak to a health professional, i.e. your GP, practise nurse, health trainer or physiotherapist, to see if you can be referred onto the programme.