Helen

Ability Bow is different to most other gyms ; I immediately felt comfortable there, the people are friendly and the gym members are of all different abilities, no-body there is ‘perfect’! The nice atmosphere means I always look forward to my next session.

Helen , 71

My GP refereed me to Ability Bow a couple of years ago when I suggested that I’d like to do some exercise. I knew I needed to do some physical activity as I was concerned about my general health. I lost my husband in 2013 and had been rather inactive since and suffered with low mood I also have chronic arthritis. The GP referred me to Ability Bow for weight loss, arthritis and to ease the depression.
I was a little scared at first as gyms can be intimidating places ; I had been to different centres before and just didn’t feel comfortable at those but Ability Bow is different to most other gyms ; I immediately felt comfortable there, the people are friendly and the gym members are of all different abilities, no-body there is ‘perfect’! The nice atmosphere means I always look forward to my next session.

I started having one-to-one sessions with Chantelle; I’ve had some breaks in my training since my original referral due to a knee replacement and a couple of hernia operations so I got re-referred in December 2014 and started back at Ability Bow properly in January this year . We did a fitness test on my first session back to see where my health was at and I’ve since had lots of improvements; I feel fitter and a bit stronger and have had a good weight loss of 2-3 kilos.
In my routine with Chantelle I do the seated bike, the treadmill, the rowing machine, core strengthening, stretching and sit to stand. I also see the dietician there which is part of the Fit for Life program. I’ve seen dieticians in the past and to be honest found it quite boring and didn’t stick to it, but the lady at Ability Bow is more engaging with a different approach and she plans menus for me and keeps it fun.
Knowing that I’ll have to report back to both her and Chantelle keeps me more motivated and they correct me if I’m going wrong. Although my GP has me on weight loss tablets which mean I have to eat a low fat diet the help at Ability Bow has made the difference this time around, as I’ve been on the tablets since last summer and am having a good success after putting some weight back on over Christmas!

I can feel that I’m fitter now and in less pain from my arthritis and I can walk further. Recently I even had an incident where I had to run and to my amazement I could! I’d left my handbag on a park bench and when I realized I dropped my shopping bags and ran all the way back to my bag which luckily a young lady had found for me !! It’s good to know I can run if I need too!

My son has also been coming to Ability Bow for a couple of years and dieting too, it means we can support each other which is very helpful.
Having depression means it sometimes hard to get up in the morning, but having someone I’ve promised to meet that day means my motivation is improved and when I lay down in bed at night I can count my gym session as one my achievements for that day. That’s why I kept coming back to Ability Bow even after lots of obstacles.