Fast approaching 40, Ross Marshall (or ‘Rosco’) was starting to feel the effects of his lifestyle choices. Although he used to be quite active, in recent years, this had dropped off. He had also picked up a habit of drinking three cans of soft drink during the day. As a result, he was carrying extra weight around his stomach, had trouble sleeping and often struggled to get his breath.

This breathlessness was the reason Ross went to see his doctor.

After talking with his doctor about his health concerns, the doctor suggested what none of us want to hear – the biggest improvements to his health would come from lifestyle changes. To improve his breathing, his sleeping and his health, the best thing Ross could do was lose a bit of weight, and get fitter to improve his heart, circulation and breathing.

His doctor then suggested something that seems a bit odd – a “Green Prescription”. Most people haven’t heard of it, but Green Prescription is a free twelve week motivational health and fitness programme funded through the Ministry of Health. It is intended for people who have health conditions that would benefit from being more active and improving their lifestyle . Green Prescription is delivered by different organisations around the country depending on where you live. As Ross lives in Onehunga, the programme there is delivered by Sport Auckland.