A former nursing manager from Birmingham, who has lost three stone through a slimming club, is aiming to lose another two after joining BMF’s Walkfit classes at Sutton Park.

Caroline Stoddart, 56, took early retirement after a long, challenging and sometimes stressful career in the NHS. For the last 10 years, the job involved a lot of sitting in meetings and office work. That’s when she gained some weight.

Motivated to get slimmer and fitter for a “grey gap year” that she and her husband Shaun are embarking on next May, she did some research to find out how she could get more active in an enjoyable way.

Caroline said: “Our trip involves a lot of walking and cycling in between driving all around Europe. We’re especially looking forward to going to Eastern Europe and possibly into Morocco. We’re travelling in a Landrover Defender 110 that we are refitting with a roof tent, drawers and cupboards so I’ll need to be able to walk a lot and climb a ladder onto the vehicle’s roof too.

“I found out about Walkfit through an advert on Facebook and thought it looked just right for me because I can’t run as I’ve got painful knees and I don’t enjoy it. I swim a lot but that’s a solitary activity that relies on my own motivation, which means it’s easy to bunk off.

“I went to my first Walkfit class and loved it so much I immediately finished my gym membership and signed up. Walking is easier on my knees and the instructor, Dave White, is brilliant. He pushes us a little bit but not too much – it’s a pace I can do. He makes sure we enjoy the activities and tailors them to suit the people in the group so it’s always achievable but he makes sure it is also a challenge so that we get that improvement.

“The interaction with other people is great too. There’s a real variety of people who come along. It’s such a brilliant scheme because it’s a combination of everything – brisk walking as well as a good range of strengthening exercise. It’s cracking stuff that should be available on prescription!


Caroline and Shaun Stoddart

“I’ve lost three stone through a slimming club and I’ve got at least another two stone to go so bumping up my activity levels is the next step towards that.”

Caroline and Shaun set off on their travels around Europe in May next year. But first, Caroline wants to recruit more people to join her at Walkfit classes so she’s taking leaflets along to her slimming club and telling all her friends and family about it.

Caroline said: “I’ve told my sister about BMF because she’s younger than me and can go and get properly ‘beasted’ once her gym membership runs out. But for most of my other friends, I’d prescribe Walkfit any day!”

BMF Instructor Dave White said: “The thing I love most about taking Walkfit classes is the sense of community it creates and the way it brings people together who go on to form firm friendships.”

Sign up for a free trial at walkfit.co.uk

Leave a Reply