Make 2016 the year you take steps to a healthier life

Get in shape with a healthier lifestyle.Get in shape with a healthier lifestyle.
Get in shape with a healthier lifestyle.
Despite our best intentions on Hogmanay, more than 40 per cent of Scots who pledged to lose weight in 2016 will give up by the end of this month.

To give us all a bit of extra support to keep our health and fitness resolutions this year, our papers are launching a new campaign which will see monthly features filled with tips, top advice and encouragement to make 2016 the year we make the small changes need to have a healthier lifestyle.

The campaign is in step with a new initiative, Let’s Do This, from the charity partnership of British Heart Foundation (BHF), Diabetes UK and Tesco.

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According to a study it commissioned, women are keenest to shed the pounds in 2016, with 42 per cent putting it at the top of their health agenda, although it was only a top priority with only 25 per cent of men.

In Scotland, the findings revealed:

More than a fifth (22 per cent) gave up their weight loss regime because they didn’t see a significant result.

Fifteen per cent abandoned their plans as they found them difficult, and struggled to stay motivated.

Thirty per cent felt the secret to successfully sticking to their New Year goals was to tackle one manageable target at a time.

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It also seems that the older we get the less likely we are to stick to our goals, with over 75 per cent of people aged 60 and over admitting they give them up, compared to just 60 per cent of 45-54 year olds.

Ten per cent of us have vowed to lose weight at the turn of the New Year a staggering 10 times before – with a further one in five admitting to having made this resolution more than five times.

Babs Evans, head of prevention for the partnership, explains: “At the start of each New Year, many of us set goals to cut out bad habits and to improve our overall health and wellbeing.

“More often than not, these aspirations can be many – and at times unrealistic, causing us to feel overwhelmed, lose our way and return to our old ways. The results from the study show that building one specific change into our lives, at a time, increases our chances of staying on track and achieving our long term goals.

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“Committing to a healthy lifestyle is an important goal we should all have. Research has shown that losing just five to ten per cent of body weight can have great health benefits, such as reducing the risk of conditions like Type 2 diabetes and heart and circulatory disease.

“That’s why the BHF, Diabetes UK and Tesco, as part of our national charity partnership, have launched the Let’s Do This campaign to inspire people across the UK to take small and achievable steps to living healthier lives. We will also be running projects in areas most at need across the UK, helping communities to get active, eat more healthily and lower their risk of developing these conditions, ultimately bringing about long-term health benefits for them in the future.”

Josh Hardie, Director of Corporate Responsibility at Tesco, said: “We know that our customers want our help to live more healthily and it’s great to see so clearly that shopping really is healthier in the first couple of weeks of January. But we all find it hard to maintain this change and by the end of the month we return to our usual habits. This new campaign will be a real help for people to stay on track and achieve their goals.”

A Let’s Do This website allows people to create and monitor their health-related targets. The site also provides a bank of useful information and inspiration to help stay motivated to achieve goals.