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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Just TEN minutes of exercise a day can protect against a heart attack or stroke: Making 'small changes' is the key to being healthy

You don't need to run a marathon or become a bodybuilder to protect your heart.
It takes just 10 minutes of exercise a day to drastically reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) said today.
Making small changes are the key to improving worsening lifestyle habits, the charity added.
Its new healthy living campaign comes after a study revealed deteriorating trends in the nation's diet and exercise habits.

 Research by the charity found that less than a third of adults in England (30 per cent) eat five pieces of fruit and veg a day.
A third of men and nearly half of women do not do the recommended two and a half hours of physical activity a week.
Lack of time and motivation topped the list of barriers people reported were stopping them living a healthier lifestyle.

The research showed 41 per cent of people admit they are worried about the effect that their current diet and exercise habits has on their health.
Almost 23 per cent said their family or work commitments get in the way of them leading as healthy a lifestyle as they would like.

One in five said losing motivation is the biggest barrier stopping them from being more healthy.
Meanwhile, another fifth say they often set themselves goals for improving their lifestyle, but usually fail - twice the number who say they succeed (nine per cent).

 More than a quarter (26 per cent) of people say they would be more successful in attempts to improve their health if they had more money.
More than one in six (15 per cent) said they would change their habits if they didn't have to dedicate as much time to health.

Another fifth said they would be healthier if they could share more activities with a group or partner.
Nearly half of UK adults (44 per cent) said they never do any moderate physical activity.
More than one in eight (13 per cent) spend more than 8.5 hours a day sedentary - a figure higher than the European average.

Households are also buying fewer vegetables per person, with a six per cent decline between 2005 and 2012,

They are simultaneously consuming more than the recommended levels of saturated fat and salt.
Now 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.
Catherine Kelly, of the BHF, said: 'The public have told us loud and clear that time and motivation are fundamental barriers to a healthy lifestyle.

'We have to listen to their concerns and during this Heart Month we are offering people manageable and realistic guidance to help make small changes to their extremely busy routines.
'We know that changing the simplest everyday habits can make a big difference - from getting off the bus two stops early to eating more fruit and veg, and building bite-sized chunks of physical activity in to your everyday life.'

 Cardiovascular disease accounts for one in four of all UK deaths and around seven million people are living with it.

The charity's campaign comes after a leading expert said the Government's official guidelines on exercise are impractical and can seem an impossible task for many people.
Even small amounts of exercise - including simply standing up - can have health benefits.
Dr Mike Loosemore, Lead Consultant in Exercise Medicine at the Institute of Sport, Exercise and Health said standing up for three hours a day is as good for you as running ten marathons a year.
Small amounts of exercise should not be thought of as 'pointless', he said.

‘It’s going to improve their health, it’s going to reduce their risk of heart disease, diabetes, it’s going to reduce their risk of cancer, it’s going to reduce their cholesterol and it’s going to make them thinner,’ he said.