In 2008, my husband and I both decided to be part of the DaTa study at Gateway. I was mildly active already but the two of us turned it into a fun contest to track and monitor our walking steps, blood pressure, weight, and blood glucose. Underneath the fun, I had a real concern: my Dad died at the age of 41 of a heart attack, so I knew I had to do all I could to get healthier. I had too many risk factors.
The glucose numbers I found every day surprised me. I had no idea how much effect one chocolate milk had on my blood sugar levels until I was monitoring my numbers every day. They are really spiked!
I lost 20 pounds during the study and was able to drop all my medications. My energy really increased. During the study, I learned so much. It is the kind of structured preventative care program I wanted and needed but couldn’t get from my family doctor. Now I know I am on the right track and know that it is what I do every day that makes a real difference in my health.
Nine months ago, I became part of a Gateway Study. At that time my blood pressure was high and I was on medication to lower it. I was overweight and feeling it. I had been walking a little bit on my own, but when I joined the study I became dedicated to exercising every day. It was helpful to record my activities. It encouraged me to become more active.
Due to Fibromyalgia, I was struggling with sleeping at night. Since I started exercising regularly I can now sleep up to five hours straight. This is a huge improvement for me.
I am currently still on medication for blood pressure, but I know it is only a matter of time that I will be completely off medication. This is great because I had a very severe reaction to one of the blood pressure medications I was prescribed. It is so encouraging to see I’ve made real progress controlling my blood pressure with diet and exercise and that it is back to normal levels.
I have more energy and agility, so much so, that a year ago I was unable to work and on a disability pension. Now I am able to work again and I have returned to work part-time.
Last year a friend mentioned she was taking part in the ARTEMIS study and I thought that might be the motivation I needed to get control of my weight and health issues.
Over the past 40 years, my weight had increased by an average of a pound a year, my blood pressure was high, not yet medicated, and I was being medicated for high cholesterol. These facts qualified me for the study and for a year I was coached, encouraged, and provided with feedback about diet, exercise, and general health issues. Reporting and recording daily steps taken and frequent blood pressure, blood glucose, and weight numbers only took a few minutes daily thanks to the technology provided. The results have been very rewarding to me, and I hope somewhat helpful to the study.
Initially, I started a walking routine of a minimum of 10,000 steps daily at a target heart rate. This soon became a walk/run routine to reach the target heart rate, and eventually a running program. This, coupled with a three times per week resistance workout and minimal attention to diet, allowed me to lose weight (25 pounds) and drop from XL to L clothing. My blood pressure is normal, cholesterol reduced and arthritic joint pain much improved. I hope to continue this lifestyle as I find I have a much higher energy level and generally feel and look better than I have in many years.
The people working at Gateway were all terrific. Each contact and testing procedure was done in a friendly and professional manner by knowledgeable and capable people. The entire experience was relaxing and easy to complete.