The benefits of turning over a healthier leaf
Stuart Reed is a musician and lives in Fareham. Here he looks at how small lifestyle changes can make us feel better about ourselves.
A lot of us are too fat, and being overweight can cause all sorts of problems.
Snoring, shortness of breath, lack of self-esteem, difficulty getting up and down stairs, depression – the list seems endless.
Don’t take my word for it.
Public Health England says that almost four million adults in England have Type 2 diabetes, linked to obesity and poor lifestyles.
It’s costing the NHS a fortune and the problem is growing, especially as more of us live longer.
Apparently we’ve got to change our ways before things get worse.
Most of us know already what to do.
The experts say we’ve got to take charge of our lives.
Get off the couch and take some regular exercise.
Eat more healthy stuff and less junk food. Avoid sugary drinks. Cut down alcohol or even cut it out. They say we can do it if we really want to.
Sharon Collins, from Fareham, understands the challenges and pitfalls.
She joined Slimming World as a member, stuck at it and became a consultant. She’s very positive. Her group sessions encourage members to cook mouthwatering dishes from healthy recipes.
Diets and regimes are just part of the answer, however.
Exercise is also vital and it’s easier to do with others.
We should get out more and meet people. Gym classes, running clubs, cycling clubs, dance classes and bowls clubs are all good for boosting our motivation.
There are plenty of these in our area.
Carli-jean Cross, a personal trainer at David Lloyd gym, at Port Solent, told me that when it comes to exercise, consistency is the key.
She believes that the first 28 days are the hardest but after that you’re into the swing of it.
You’ve formed a good habit and start to leave bad habits behind.
She and the rest of the team are there to educate and motivate people through their fitness journeys.
Jim Moulson, walks co-ordinator of the Ramblers’ Meon group, believes a walk in the countryside can do loads of good.
That’s why he leads walks where people chat to each other while striding through our breathtaking Hampshire scenery.
All you need is a stout pair of boots, a stick and an anorak.
Portsmouth GP Anne White says you’ve got to ask yourself, ‘What’s in it for me?’
If you can only see the benefits of turning over a new leaf, the wonderful feeling of wellbeing, greater self-esteem and a spring in your step, what are you waiting for?