This month for our member spotlight, we caught up with Herbie from our Jumpstart programme, to find out what makes him part of the Y Family.

Herbie’s health and wellness journey started 6 years ago when he quit smoking. He went from 2 packs daily to no smoking at all. Unfortunately, smoking was not the only cause of Herbie’s health issues. Two years ago he was advised by his doctor to cease work, as he puts it, he was a ticking time bomb. This is when Herbie first came to YMCA Cameron Pool, beginning the Green Prescription programme under Emma’s supervision. He felt it worked for him and the results showed; Herbie lost 7kg while he was on the programme. All that momentum was ripped out with the 2016 pool closure of Cameron Pool he just ‘fizzled out’. Things went from bad to catastrophic when he suffered a heart attack.

Even the heart attack was not enough to fully commit Herbie, he says he was still not really taking exercise seriously and was sporadic in his attendance. He felt that the heart attack affected his family more than himself, in his words it was tough to watch them grapple with his health. He did begin some home workouts to supplement his gym work when he could. It was during this time that Herbie became aware of the Jumpstart programme for those suffering from Diabetes; he was already a regular attendee of our Jumpstart Coordinator Robyn’s aqua classes.

Herbie has seen drastic improvements since he joined the programme. He felt he needed someone to hold him accountable for his exercise attendance and Jumpstart with Robyn provided that. He found her an attentive exercise moderator; helpful and great at adapting to people with health complications. Herbie’s attendance is a testament to this, prior to April’s pool closure, Herbie was at the YMCA 1 out of every 2 days. It also made him accountable for what he ate. It was no more fast food for Herbie, rather adding a surplus of vegetables to his diet. His key accountability to himself is to use all the vegetables he buys, and not let them become ‘compost in his fridge’. Herbies HBA1Cs have also dropped dramatically, from 83 down to 69. Herbie’s sleep apnea is now coming right, and in recently meeting with his medical consultant, was told he did not have to see him for a year, more evidence of the improvements in his health. He finds he can do more work around home than previously and is in the best shape he’s been in in years.

As Herbie says, Jumpstart helped him set the target of ‘if you don’t use it, you lose it’. He has taken that to heart; finding ways to adapt exercises to suit him. Herbie recently graduated from our Jumpstart programme and is sure to be a mainstay at YMCA Cameron Pool. Be sure to say hi and give Herbie a hi-5 if you see him around the centre!

Jumpstart is a partially subsidised YMCA programme run for those suffering from pre-Diabetes or Diabetes. The next programme begins in early May. If you or someone you know is interested in trying Jumpstart, speak to our friendly reception team to sign up. Or register online at: 

https://www.jumpstartprogramme.co.nz - and our Jumpstart coordinator will be in touch with you directly.