Living with diabetes

Living with diabetes

Bridget Foley puts her best foot forward

At just 16-years-old, Bridget Foley was diagnosed with type I diabetes. From that challenging experience, Bridget set about starting a career in preventative health – helping others lead long, happy and active lives.

"At the time, the diagnosis made no sense to me. I was living a healthy lifestyle by being active, walking around, playing touch football, doing athletics and long distance running," Bridget says.

"So it was a massive shock. But staying active just had to stay part of my life. I didn't want to stop the active things I loved doing. Ten years on and Bridget says she's determined to set an example for others by incorporating walking into her daily life.

 "Walking is just part of what I do, I don't really think about it anymore. If I don't go walking I'm just don't feel as happy and that can really make my sugar levels go crazy. A walk helps bring sugar levels back into the balance where they should be," she says.

As an Erskineville resident, Bridget loves exploring her local area on foot.

"Every day, instead of walking the 5 minutes to Erskineville station, I walk a bit longer to Redfern so I get my 20 minutes walking in the morning.

"I walk through Sydney Technology Park, it's nice and green and you're not walking in the high traffic areas even though you're close to the middle of the city.

"If I'm meeting a friend for coffee, we often get a take away coffee and spend that time walking and chatting instead of sitting down for 40 minutes," she says.

Bridget's desire to better other people's lives has seen her design a walking app called Meet and Move, for students at the University of Sydney.

"Many people who are just starting university don't feel like they have much time, so they just stop exercising. When you start working, the bad habits are engrained.

"Meet and Move is really just a mechanism for people to meet up and chat to new people, but do it while they're walking.

"Even just getting people thinking about walking is a good thing," Bridget says.

Last updated: Thursday, 8 September 2016