Leighton teacher’s Pilates-a-thon Saturday challenge will raise awareness about diabetes

Lydia. Credit: Lisa McGill Photography
Lydia. Credit: Lisa McGill Photography

A determined Leighton Buzzard pilates teacher is holding fundraising sessions to raise awareness about diabetes.

Lydia Strange, 27, is holding ‘Pilates-a-thon 2017’, which will take place on Saturday in Westoning Village Hall as part of Diabetes Week, with events being arranged up and down the country to increase awareness and raise money to support those living with diabetes.

It was lucky a kind stranger had a biscuit for Lydia! (Pictured here in New Zealand with her friend, Izzy.)

It was lucky a kind stranger had a biscuit for Lydia! (Pictured here in New Zealand with her friend, Izzy.)

Lydia, of Lydia Pilates, has type 1 diabetes, and is aiming to help others become aware of the disease after her family experienced the condition first hand.

Lydia, of Vandyke Road, said: “My sister was diagnosed at nine years old and my uncles and granddad also have it.

“Diabetes can be hard to manage generally and to get good control can be hard, especially when exercising; balancing sugar and what you eat can be difficult. It’s a complete change of lifestyle and you have to be aware of what you put into your body.”

Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person’s blood sugar level to become too high.

Lydia. Credit: Lisa McGill Photography

Lydia. Credit: Lisa McGill Photography

There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 diabetes – where the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin, and type 2 diabetes – where the body doesn’t produce enough insulin, or the body’s cells don’t react to insulin.

In the UK, around 90 per cent of all adults with diabetes have type 2 (NHS online), while 65 people will die prematurely as a direct result of their condition today alone.

Lydia was diagnosed at 21 years old when she was studying English Literature at Oxford Brookes University.

She thanks her sister and family for helping her through, as they already understood diabetes and how it could affect people.

Lydia. Credit: Lisa McGill Photography

Lydia. Credit: Lisa McGill Photography

Lydia explained: “It’s always been part of my life, as my sister had it and knew about the symptoms.

“These can include: night sweats, losing weight, being constantly thirsty and feeling tired.

“I’ve not had any ‘hypos’, but my friend and I once went on a long walk in New Zealand and my blood sugar was low.

“I didn’t have anything on me, so we had to knock on a random stranger’s door and ask for a free biscuit!”

Lydia. Credit: Lisa McGill Photography

Lydia. Credit: Lisa McGill Photography

Now, Lydia wants to give something back to the charity Diabetes UK, as well as helping others become aware of the condition and how to manage it, whether they have been diagnosed already, or so their knowledge may be of help in the future.

Lydia said: “Pilates is a lovely form of low impact exercise and it is good for strengthening your core and posture. Spinning or aerobics might not appeal, but pilates is a really nice way to relax!”

To take part, Lydia asks that you kindly donate £12 (the entrance fee), which will go to Diabetes UK.

8:30-09:15am - SESSION 1. Pilates Wake Me Up

9:30-10:15am - SESSION 2. To The Barre - Barre Sculpt

10:15 - 10:45am - Break time! Get your herbal teas, popcorn, nuts and more!

10:45-11:45am - SESSION 3. Walk the walk, talk the talk - an upbeat walk in the village (inclines included!).

12:00 - 12:40pm - SESSION 4. Stretch and Tone Pilates

12:45 - 13:15 - SESSION 5. Absmazing Pilates and relaxation

13:15 - 13:30 - Photos, thank yous and goodbyes!

Anyone who’s keen to get involved can email: lydiamstrange@gmail.com or message Lydia on her pilates Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/LydiaPilates/

There are spaces to book in each session, and you can participate in all events. On the other hand, Lydia says that doing one or two is also “totally acceptable(!)”

If you are interested in attending pilates classes, visit: www.lydiapilates.com

Lydia has been running her full time pilates business and social media management for over a year.

She lives with her partner, Billy Cooke, 28, on Vandyke Road.