"The course was really helpful in explaining what diabetes is and the ways small changes can help."
Ian runs for his life following diabetes warning
A Leeds construction site manager, who has already had major heart surgery, is using sport to stave off the threat of another potentially life-changing disease.
Despite his athletic prowess, Ian Rayner had been told by his GP that he is at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. However, 55-year-old Ian was determined to improve his health and signed up to the Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, run by health services provider, Ingeus.
"I regularly run significant distances and try to keep myself in good shape, and so it was a surprise when my blood tests indicated I could become diabetic," said Ian.
Ian, 55, suffered a heart attack a few years ago, and knows that being diabetic could have serious consequences. "I'm not overweight and I do try to keep myself in shape," he added. "However, I wanted to do whatever was needed to keep myself diabetes-free, and that included going on this ten-month programme to learn what the risk factors are and how I could help myself.
"The course was really helpful in explaining what diabetes is and the ways small changes can help. I learned there are things I can change in my life to improve my chances of staying clear, such as improving my diet and being conscious of portion sizes. I generate quite an appetite when I've been running, but I still need to watch what I eat.
"The group setting was great, particularly meeting people of all walks of life, including those who enjoyed fitness like me.
"I've made a few key changes. We used to have biscuits and cakes around the house, which were always there as a temptation. They've all gone and have been replaced with healthier options. I've also reduced my alcohol consumption to support my marathon training.
"I've seen a few of the lads in training who are very fit and active but don't think about what they're eating. I've been educating them on the importance of a healthy diet!"
The diabetes programme is being delivered by Ingeus's Healthier You educator Tash Youngman.
"Ian is committed and determined to make the right changes to his lifestyle that really makes a difference. At meetings we go through another part of becoming, and staying, healthier through the food we eat and the lifestyle we adopt, and we talk about making permanent changes that will give us the opportunity to live longer and remain in good health. It's all about giving participants the tools to avoid Type 2 diabetes and we hope that Ian, and others on the course, will succeed because of what they learn."