“I walk and swim because it helps me sleep better and feel good.”

By Phil, 65, from Wavertree, Liverpool

Phil never really thought of being active as something that was important to him until he became unwell. Now Phil swims regularly, which helps him to feel better about himself and sleep better too.

Phil’s story begins with a routine check-up with GP, during this visit Phil was shocked to find out that if he didn’t make some changes to his lifestyle soon he was likely to end up with diabetes. After being successfully treated for prostate cancer and a stroke in the past, Phil understood just how important it was for him to start being active if he wanted to avoid diabetes.

Phil decided to start being active right there and then, he saw his GP on the Friday and by Monday morning he was walking down to his local swimming pool and swimming a few lengths before walking the one mile route back home. He then built up his stamina quickly and it wasn’t long before he could swim and walk further and faster.

Swimming helps Phil feel stronger and gives him more energy, and it’s reduced his risk of diabetes too. He now enjoys walking and cycling in the Yorkshire Dales National Park and has entered his first triathlon, training at the swimming pool where it all began. Being active has also given him the energy to teach his granddaughters how to swim.

Phil’s advice:

“There are many reasons why you should be more active, it can help you to stay well and prevent you from developing illnesses later in life. Small changes can make a big difference and if you are unsure where to start, go for a walk - you will soon feel the benefits. I feel more confident now and take greater satisfaction from life knowing I am looking after myself”.