Small changes are key to improving lifestyle habits

British Heart Foundation (BHF) Scotland is urging the public to take just 10 minutes a day to help cut their risk of heart attack and stroke during Heart Month as new figures reveal worsening trends in the nation’s diet and exercise habits.

The advice comes as statistics show a decline in healthy lifestyle habits.

Only one fifth of adults in Scotland eat five pieces of fruit and vegetables a day, and 33% of Scottish men and nearly half (43%) of women do not do the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity a week.

To support the data, the BHF surveyed people to better understand the barriers to them living a healthier lifestyle, and lack of time and motivation topped the list.

The survey showed that Nearly half (45%) said they are worried about the effect that their current diet and exercise habits have on their health.

More than a quarter (27%) of people said their family/work commitments get in the way of them leading a healthy lifestyle, with 20% saying they lose motivation when they try.

One in five (21%) said they often set themselves goals for improving their lifestyle, but usually fail – three times the number that said they succeed (7%).

Many people said they would be more successful in attempts to improve their health if they had more money (28%), time (17%) and support from a group or partner (22%).

n response, the BHF is encouraging people to ‘start small’ by taking at least 10 minutes every day to make a small change towards a healthier lifestyle during February’s Heart Month.

This is in line with government recommendations that adults should aim to be active daily, in bouts of 10 minutes or more, adding up to at least 150 minutes per week.

For more information visit www.bhf.org.uk.