A major charity initiative is urging families across Scotland to take action to combat the ‘January blues’ by taking simple steps which will also help to protect their long-term physical health.
A survey commissioned by the National Charity Partnership, a collaboration between Diabetes UK, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and Tesco, found that dark nights, lack of money and cold weather contribute to four in five adults (80 per cent) in Scotland feeling down in January. Four in ten (40 per cent) say going for a walk or a jog helps improve their mood, but only 23 per cent actually do it.
Being physically active can help improve mental well-being, as well as reduce the likelihood of Type 2 diabetes and heart and circulatory disease.
The survey also found that almost three in four adults (73 per cent) in Scotland said they would like to find more time to exercise. Almost all respondents (96 per cent) agree that being active can help to reduce their risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart and circulatory disease, but 60 per cent admit they lack motivation to do more.
The partnership is encouraging people to use its online motivational goal setter tool. It allows people to set and monitor their health-related targets and encourages them to keep going and achieve their goals.
Alex Davis, Head of Prevention for the National Charity Partnership, said: “It’s natural for people to prefer to stay indoors rather then get active during the winter, but January is a great time to start thinking about your health. It doesn’t have to be expensive either: our survey found that three in ten people in Scotland say the price of fitness classes is a barrier, but even just ten minutes of a free activity such as walking or jogging can help to make a big difference to your mental and physical health.
“More than four million people in the UK already have Type 2 diabetes and around seven million live with heart and circulatory disease. Millions more are at risk of these potentially life-threatening conditions, but this doesn’t have to be the case.
“Any kind of moderate exercise such as walking, jogging, swimming, cycling not only boosts endorphins leaving you feeling calmer and happier, but will also improve your general health.”
The National Charity Partnership is running a campaign, Let’s Do This, to support adults to reduce their risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart and circulatory disease by taking small steps towards healthier lifestyles. Its online Goal Setter allows people to set and monitor their health-related targets and encourages them to stay motivated and achieve their goals.
For more information about Let’s Do This this link