Taking my health into my own hands with Castle Leisure Club

Following a recent health scare, our man Seamus Mulligan decided to get his health and fittness back in check and with the help of Castle Leisure Club, he has embarked on a new fitter and healthier life. He tracks his first steps below.

"It's easy to put on weight but can be very difficult to get it off. I had slowly put on weight over the past few years and after a recent health scare was told I had to lose two and a half stone, change to a healthier diet, and get some exercise. This was no surprise to me as I had known it for a long time. Getting started and sticking to a plan would be the hard bit. I decided to get help to change my life and my mission is to lose weight, get fit, and hopefully live longer.

Three weeks ago I walked into Castle Leisure Club, Castlebar, and I was introduced to Vanessa Forde who did an initial assessment on my fitness level and vital measurements. The news was not good. I had two and a half stone to lose and had a BMI (body mass index ) of 34 verses the ideal of around 25. Body mass index is a measure of body fat based on height and weight. The higher your BMI, the higher your risk for certain diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, breathing problems, and certain cancers. This measure simply has to come down. I was aerobically unfit and to add to the problems I already have Type 2 diabetes which requires insulin.

Vanessa's recommendation was to attend classes of 30 to 45 minutes for a minimum of three days per week. I felt it would work well as it provided a disciplined structure which I could do immediately after work. Classes are on throughout the evening from Monday to Friday. The initial classes I selected were spinning on Monday at 6pm, spinning and circuits on Tuesday at 6pm, and aqua fitness on Wednesday at 7pm.

The first sessions were difficult and without Vanessa pushing me I would probably have given up, this was just three weeks ago and was not very pleasant for a start, I found it challenging. The half hour spinning was the most difficult to get used to while I really enjoyed the aqua fitness followed by the sauna. After two weeks it did get easier until Vanessa started to push me harder. The philosophy of Castle Leisure is to push you as hard as you are able to go while at the same time allowing for your fitness limitations. I have kept with the programme. The results of the exercise combined with a sensible calorie controlled, low fat, diet is already delivering exceptional results.

I have lost the first half stone weight but the most notable thing is that my insulin medication which I have been on for two years has reduced by half over the three weeks. My BMI has reduced by 10 per cent. My clothes feel looser, my sleeping is better, and my energy levels are much higher. I cannot believe the difference in three weeks. You know you have lost weight when other people are saying it to you. A major factor is Vanessa who has really pointed me in the right direction. Sometimes leisure clubs are not just there to make you look physically good. There are tangible health benefits which can really improve your wellbeing. I needed a little help and guidance and Vanessa has done that in a brilliant way.

Ten weeks and two weigh ins to go to New Year and more results to achieve...

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