A 75-year-old Thornbury man has lost more than two stone in weight after using lockdown as a chance to lose some weight.

Alan Thoburn shed the pounds by following calorie-controlled recipes and going for daily for walks with his wife Mary.

He used to suffer greatly with knee pain but since losing weight has found it a lot less painful to walk.

Alan said: “I knew I was overweight and had wanted to do something about it for some time.

“When lockdown started we stopped going to the pub for drinks and meals so I used it as a chance to lose some weight.

“It would have been hard to do it alone but Mary helped by cooking low calorie meals and we cut down on bread and started eating more pasta and fruit and vegetables.

“The weight started to come off gradually and Mary also lost some weight without really trying.

“I always used to walk but had knee pain but I noticed my knees were less painful as the weight came off.

“We walked every day during lockdown and I’ve continued, walking three to four miles a day.

“I am so glad I have done it and don’t want to want put it back on again, I feel I have changed for life and got used to eating smaller portions. I used to have trouble doing up my shoes but now I don’t, the only problem I have is I have to buy some new clothes now!”

New data shows that Alan is not alone. More than a third of people in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire increased their physical activity during lockdown.

Data from the Healthier Together Citizens’ Panel revealed that 37 per cent have increased their levels of physical activity since the Covid-19 outbreak, with 35 per cent saying they did the same amount and 21 per cent saying they did less.

NHS Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire CCG, which is part of Healthier Together, is encouraging everyone to look at ways to increase their physical activity and make healthy eating choices.

CCG medical director and GP Dr Martin Jones said: “It’s great to see so many people have increased and maintained physical activity, even during the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Getting regular exercise is one of the best things we can do to keep ourselves fit and well. It’s an essential part of keeping our weight at a healthy level and helps to boost our immune systems which protects us from infection.

"It’s also a great way to lift our mental health as getting out into the fresh air and getting the blood pumping releases feel-good hormones.”