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John Anderson began walking with Islay’s Walkaboutabit scheme after he was diagnosed with ME, also known as chronic fatigue syndrome. His involvement in the group has led to a great improvement in his health, as he tells us here.

“I had to stop my job as a community outreach worker, dealing with older people, in May 2005 as my health deteriorated rapidly. I developed intolerance to light and noise, my short-term memory dwindled and I began feeling very tired. It wasn’t until September that year I was diagnosed with ME.  

I was referred to the walking project in Islay by the condition management team at the job centre, as they knew I was trying to improve my fitness and they said that walking would be good for this. I had always enjoyed walking, cycling and golf so I was keen to join the group. At first, I felt tired after attending walks, but I soon began to notice my physical fitness increasing as I was gradually able to keep pace with the walkers at the front of the group. I also began walking during the week and at weekends and was able to take up golf again. The social element of the group, which included meeting new people and catching up on the local gossip, was another incentive to return every week. 

My doctor has noticed a difference with my progress and commented that I look better as a result. I am also aware that my recovery time after illnesses like the cold is now a great deal shorter since taking up walking. One of my greatest achievements was completing the Walk Leader training last year and I now help to organise the group’s Monday walk. I like the responsibility that leading walks gives. I was really pleased to be able to return to sessional work for a few hours a week recently. It’s great to say that the walking group has helped improve my health and physical ability.”



© 2014 Paths for All - Registered Scottish Charity No: SC025535, Company Limited by Guarantee No: 168554 inc. 19 Sept 1996 at Companies House, Edinburgh