The EFL Trust’s FIT FANS programme forms part of Public Health England’s recently launched ‘Better Health’ campaign, encouraging the nation to lose weight and improve their overall health, cutting the risk of being critically ill with COVID-19.
FIT FANS, a 12-week programme funded by Sport England through the National Lottery’ currently run by over 30 EFL Clubs, is available for fans across England to get involved and make a change.
Burton Albion supporter, Dave, was obese with a BMI of 33.9 and high blood pressure before losing 7kg with the Club’s FIT FANS programme.
On the pre-programme session, Dave discovered he had dangerously high blood pressure and was advised to see a GP straight away. His GP immediately prescribed blood pressure medication and instructed him to make some immediate lifestyle changes.
FIT FANS, a free health programme for men and women aged 35-65 who are looking to lose weight, get fitter and lead a more active life, offered Dave a lifeline. He learned about portion control, calories and how to exercise safely and effectively, giving him a more positive attitude towards physical activity and diet.
The positive changes he made whilst on the programme enabled him to lose 7kg in weight and most importantly significantly lower his blood pressure.
Since completing the 12-week programme, Dave now has his blood pressure under control and he is exercising regularly. He has also made positive changes to his diet.
Talking about his experiences on the FIT FANS programme, Dave said:
“When my blood pressure was taken by the Burton Albion Community Trust coach, three times both the diastolic and systolic measurements were dangerously high. I was informed by the Doctor this was too high and dangerous. I was given immediate medication. I had no idea I had high blood pressure and was a little scared and wanted to do something about it. This encouraged me even more to start attending the course and lose weight.
“I started Fit Brewers at week 1 and have not looked back. I have gained knowledge and motivation whilst having a lot of fun, gaining friendship and help from all the team involved, especially the coaches. Without their support and motivation, I would not have seen the course out.
“I knew some of the basics about weight loss but did not understand why I would lose weight and then put on again over a few months. We learnt about portion size, calorie content of different foods and daily recommendations. This has made me watch what I eat and how much.
“Each week we learnt something different and it was taught in a way that was easy to understand.
“By all accounts if I had not gone to the week 0 meeting my high blood pressure may not have been found until it was too late….who knows?
“I now feel fitter, have more stamina and am more flexible, which helped me lose even more weight. It has a snowball effect. My blood pressure is under control and seems to drop a little as I lose the weight. I now attend a BACT’s bootcamp once a week and look forward to going back Burton Albion as soon as it opens again.”
For help and support to lose weight, visit nhs.uk/BetterHealth.
To find out more about how to make a long term and sustainable lifestyle change, learn about healthy eating and take part in an exercise programme, find your local FIT FANS session here.
FIT FANS is the operating name in England and Wales for Football Fans in Training, which was created in a Scotland by the University of Glasgow and the Scottish Professional Football League Trust.