COVENTRY health chiefs are supporting a new adult health government-led campaign to help residents become more resilient to Covid-19.
Over the next six months Coventry Health Challenge will be challenging city residents to practice self-care in getting healthier offering advice & tips, checklists, case studies and signposting on social media.
Each month will follow a theme including diet & nutrition, physical activity, smoking cessation and immunisations.
For many, the past few months have been a wake-up call, with many people recognising that it is time ‘to get back on track’. Latest data shows 63% of adults in Coventry were overweight or obese in 2018/19, with only 25% of adults reporting to eat their ‘five a day’ portions of fruits or vegetables. And the number of adults in Coventry who are physically active – doing at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per week – is 61% below the national average of 67%.
Coun Kamran Caan, portfolio holder for public health and sport at Coventry City Council said: “Coventry Health Challenge is a fantastic way to encourage our residents and communities to take ownership of their health.
“We are living in a time where being in good health is more important than ever, especially with the Covid-19 virus still circulating. Eating better, getting active, quitting smoking and keeping up to date with vaccinations, especially getting your flu jab are just a few, but effective steps that will really boost our resistance to any future diseases.
“We can all do our bit to stay fit and healthy, to help protect us from coronavirus complications and alleviate pressure from the NHS. I would urge everyone to get involved with the Coventry Health Challenge, even small changes will really make a difference.”
Dr Sarah Raistrick, GP and Chair at NHS Coventry and Rugby Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We are very excited about the new Coventry Health Challenge campaign and we want as many people as possible to get involved, it’s never too late to start making changes to your lifestyle. Some of the quick and easy ways of doing this are to have a smaller portion size of food, try and reduce the amount of sugar, salt and fat that you eat on a daily basis and save yourself for a treat. You can increase your activity levels in a number of different ways, such as; walking, cycling, dancing, exercising in a chair or yoga which also helps to reduce stress and anxiety.
“We already have a number of local support services in place to help you along the way, our National Diabetes Prevention Programme, the Social Prescribing team, Health Link workers, Healthy Lifestyles and Improving Access to Psychological Therapy (IAPT) can all offer you a range of support. So dust down your trainers and pick up your water bottle and take on the Health Challenge to keep yourself fit and well and prevent developing a long term health condition.”
Evidence suggests that individuals who are overweight or obese are at increased risk of serious health issues including Covid-19 complications, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and death making it more difficult to fight diseases.
You can find out more information about the Government’s Better Health campaign here.