Alan is 60. He went to see his doctor because he had pain in his calves when he walked.

“When I first went to the doctor I could only walk a few hundred yards before the pain was so bad I had to stop. He diagnosed peripheral arterial disease and advised that I stop smoking and start walking daily. The clinic told me the same thing. But it didn’t make sense to me. It hurt when I walked, I wasn’t convinced that going for a walk could possible help me. I thought they should just give me some tablets.”

1 year Alan went back to his doctor. His pain was much worse, he could only walk 70-80 yards. He was referred to the hospital and admitted for a by-pass operation.

His GP advised him to stop smoking and start walking, this time he took notice.

“I’ve given up the fags, and I go for a walk every day. I was wrong, it does make a difference. I can now walk 300-400 yards again, which was where I was when I first went to see him. I can breathe better though and it’s good to be outside.”

“I just wish I’d listened to the doc the first time.”