Colin had been trying to quit smoking for 10 years, but never managed to stay smokefree for long. The tragic death of his mum from cancer - and a pedometer challenge at work - motivated him to get free of the habit for good.
“The prospect of the challenge made me want to do more physical activity. I started running again but found I was getting short of breath. I’m quite competitive so the challenge was a real boost. It was the right place at the right time, and with the help of our Stop smoking centre I was on my way to quitting for good.”
And it wasn’t just Colin who was encouraged to think about changing his lifestyle. His workmates were spurred on too, getting together in teams and doing their best to make those extra steps a day that would put them ahead in the competition.
Now, Colin’s still off the cigarettes, cycling to work and going to the gym three or four times a week. There’s another bonus as well – the money he saves means he can afford to get out onto the golf course more often.
And he’s well aware of the advantages of staying smokefree.
“Having quit smoking, and with all the exercise I get now I feel better in myself, more alert, fitter and stronger. I know keeping in shape will reduce my risk of heart disease and I’m lucky to have extra inspiration - my nan is 94 and still walks her dog five miles a day, so it’s something to aim for in the future. If I’m that active when I’m her age, I reckon I’ll be doing pretty well.”