After Matt Newell had knee surgery, he suffered years of insomnia and became overweight – but having two daughters changed his life and helped get his health back on track…
My pat on the back
Now I can cycle for hours at a time
The recovery from my second knee operation was quicker because I was fitter
I’ve made friends at the gym
I sleep better than I have done for five years
“I used to love surfing and skateboarding, but when I moved into an office environment I got stuck in a rut of not doing much physical activity.
“Then, after having surgery to repair torn cartilage in my knee, I couldn’t walk properly for nearly a month and it was six months before I did anything active at all.
“I put on weight, my clothes didn’t fit and I felt self-conscious. I was lethargic all the time but I wasn’t sleeping. It got so bad that it became insomnia, and there would be nights where I’d get three hours’ sleep at a push. Eventually I thought, ‘I can’t go on like this.’
“I was driven to get back into exercising, so I started cycling. I noticed that my sleep quality improved dramatically within the first few weeks and it became more than just exercise – it was a way to vent stress too.
“I started cycling to the station before and after work, and also at the weekends. It helped me focus and clear my mind – head down, on the bike and off I go.
“When I needed a second knee operation, it went so much better because I was healthier. The surgeon said this was why I recovered a lot quicker. This time, I was walking up and down stairs in a week and I was back on the bike after two weeks.
“My kids have definitely kept me on track. When my eldest daughter was born three years ago, I wanted to be around for her and be able to do lots of fun things with her. I felt the same when our younger daughter was born.
“They’re raring to go all the time and I’m able to play with them for longer periods. My girls are everything to me and I want to live a long life and enjoy time with them. I want to be around if they have grandchildren. It played on my mind a lot more when I was unhealthy, but now I feel like I’ve got a better chance of seeing them grow up.”
The Vitality difference:
- I’ve got 50% discount on trainers at Sweatshop with Vitality, which has been very useful with all the new activity I’m doing
- I bought my fitness device with a discount through Vitality to track my activity and keep me motivated
- Being active with Vitality earns me weekly cinema tickets, which the family enjoy