FEBRUARY can only mean one thing: those new year’s resolutions are long gone, and the new gym membership is already lying in a drawer somewhere.
But a Scottish government campaign is reminding residents of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle – and the health challenges we face as a nation.
Heart disease is currently the biggest killer in Scotland, and diabetes is second only to smoking as the cause of it – 80 per cent of people diagnosed with type two diabetes are overweight.
There’s also evidence to suggest that half of all cancers could be prevented by lifestyle changes including a diet rich in fruit and veg and low in fat, red meat and processed meat, and taking regular exercise.
Getting fit can feel like a challenge, but the Take Life On campaign is encouraging southsiders to get off the couch and embrace an active lifestyle – without breaking backs, or the bank.
The initiative suggests just 30 minutes of activity a day (60 minutes for children). The activity doesn’t have to be all in one go – instead, you can take exercise in short bursts, without the need to approach a treadmill.
David White, the Scottish government’s physical activity champion, explained: “Only 39 per cent of adults in Scotland are currently meeting the recommended physical activity levels – but getting active shouldn’t be viewed as a chore.
“It can be great fun and an opportunity to try something different or to meet new people.”
With so many parks in Glasgow and East Renfrewshire (they don’t call it the dear, green place for nothing), walking is a great workout, and entertaining too.
Parents know all too well the importance of keeping kids active – and, as their role model, it’s important to set an example about leading an active life.
Playing chase around the garden or park, or kicking about a ball, is good for all of the family. Swimming is a great way to exercise – and little ones will love the chance to splash mum and dad.
There are little lifestyle changes which can have the same effect – and whether it’s taking a walk during your lunch break or leaving the car at home for the weekly shop, it all adds up.
Holyrood spokesman David added: “Finding something you enjoy doing will mean you’re more likely to stick to it. You’ll feel better today, and reap the benefits for years to come.”
To find out more – including tips on leading a healthier lifestyle – visit www.takelifeon.co.uk.