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National Better Health Campaign

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a lot of us to re think our priorities and look at our own health and wellbeing needs through a different lens.  If you have decided now is the time to do something differently, the Better Health pages on the NHS website are there to help you.  If you’re not sure now is the time, maybe they can provide some inspiration for you and the family.

Reducing your weight and getting active are two of the most powerful things you can do for your body and for your mind. Nearly two thirds (63%) of adults in the UK are overweight or living with obesity. Weight is often gained over a number of years and modern life certainly doesn’t always make it easy to address this but it’s important to know that this extra weight causes pressure to build up around vital organs, making it harder for the body to fight against diseases like cancer, heart disease and now COVID-19.

Simple swaps and exercise snacks can make a huge difference to your health.  Small changes like swapping sugary drinks for water or ditching sugar from your tea and taking 10 minutes to get up from your chair to move can make a big difference in the long term.

Dr Clare Nieland, GP Partner at The Cedars Surgery in East Berkshire says:

“Keeping ourselves physically and mentally fit and well is so important. It helps us fight off infection and prevent chronic illness. It’s time to start looking after our own wellbeing and living the best lives we can. There are lots of reasons why people make the choices they do around nutrition, exercise, smoking, alcohol etc, but help is available to make healthier choices.

The NHS website has a section on Better Health which can help you lose weight, get fitter, and feel better, whilst reducing your risk of developing longterm illnesses. It’s time to make the change”

The brand-new Better Health webpage can help you to make healthier choices, by providing the most up to date evidence based healthy eating and physical activity advice enabling you to keep track of calorie intake, portions of fruit and veg, physical activity levels and support you with making changes that will stay with you for the long term.

But how much exercise should you really do. The handy poster below explains but don’t get too hung up on the numbers! It’s never too late to get active to improve your health, so start small and build up. 10 minutes of brisk walking a day, maybe round your garden, your front room or even up the stairs could make all the difference.  Get the kids involved with some 10 minute shake ups or grab that duster and give the house a spring clean.  It’s all movement and it all counts, this is especially important as you get older. Dr Jenny Watkins, Rheumatology Consultant at Frimley Health Foundation Trust tells us why:

“Physical inactivity contributes to 1 in 6 deaths and up to 40% of many long-term conditions. 1 in 4 adults and 1 in 5 children in the UK are overweight, while 34% of men and 42% of women are not physically active enough for good health. 

As little as 10 minutes of increased activity a day will make a difference with 150 minutes a week being the aim. I would encourage all health care professionals to use every opportunity to discuss physical activity and to be aware of the vast array of opportunities available within our community. Let’s use this moment in time to reset, change our behaviour and to become an active, happier and healthier society”

So if you need further ideas and motivation visit Better Health and see what simple swaps, easy meals and activity ideas you can find to get started today.