Published: Monday, 24th August 2020

We are supporting a national health campaign which encourages residents to make healthier lifestyle choices.

The Better Health campaign, launched by Public Health England, has been prompted by the coronavirus pandemic and seizes the opportunity for a national reset moment.

The public had to immediately change their behaviour due to lockdown, and this has shown that many people are able to make and sustain changes to their lives.

Medway residents are being encouraged to join the Better Health journey by eating better and getting active. The campaign will then focus on helping people who want help to lose weight, quit smoking, drink less and support with their mental health – something our Public Health team can offer residents support with.

Nearly two thirds (63%) of adults in the UK are overweight or living with obesity. Gaining weight is often a gradual process that takes place over a number of years and modern life does not always make it easy. But this extra weight causes pressure to build up around vital organs, making it harder for the body to fight against diseases like cancer, heart disease and now COVID-19.

Find a Medway service to help you with your journey to better health

We have a series of services and programmes available to help Medway residents get their health back on track:

  • Healthy Way: A 12-week healthy living online programme which provides residents with the tools to manage weight loss. Residents are provided with a free pedometer, and advice to help with stress eating and controlling portion sizes.
  • Cycling groups: Guided rides along national cycle routes, taking in Medway’s sights. Suitable for beginners and more experienced cyclists.
  • Cycle lessons: Free one-to-one lessons for adults new to cycling.
  • Medway walks: Beautiful walks through Medway’s woodlands, rolling countryside and urban greenspaces. All walks are between 60 and 90 minutes.
  • Nordic walking: Guided walks and training - please bring your own poles. Nordic walking uses 90 per cent of your muscles and is a fantastic way to improve your fitness.
  • Stop smoking: While face-to-face services are suspended, Medway residents can still receive a telephone support service and free nicotine replacement therapy.
  • Drinking: A quiz allows residents to check if their drinking is affecting their health and a free app offers support and guidance to reduce their drinking.

'Get our health back on track'

Cllr David Brake, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder covering Public Health, said: “The coronavirus pandemic has affected us all in some way and has highlighted the importance of staying healthy. The Better Health campaign helps residents make small changes to live a healthier life, by eating better and staying active. Medway Council is committed to supporting residents with their health goals and offers a range of advice and support programmes, as well as walking and cycling sessions. I would encourage Medway residents to look into the support available to help them on their better health journey.”

James Williams, Director of Public Health at Medway Council, said: “It is now more important than ever that people make conscious choices to stay healthy. The pandemic is very much ongoing and medical research has shown that those carrying extra weight might find it harder to fight COVID-19. However, Medway residents adapted well to the restrictions during lockdown. I believe, given the determination our community has shown, they are ready to embrace the Better Health campaign. Medway residents do not have to make the changes alone though. Medway Council’s Public Health teams can offer the guidance and support residents may need to eat better and get active.”

Angela Baker, Deputy Director for Public Health England South East, said: “Gaining weight often happens gradually over time and can be just the odd unhealthy habit mounting up particularly since we have all be working at home. Extra weight puts pressure on our bodies and reduces our strength to fight off serious diseases, including COVID-19.

“COVID-19 has given us a wake-up call to get our health back on track. We know how hard it can be to lose weight and keep it off – our Better Health campaign will make it easier for everyone to introduce changes that will help them maintain a healthy weight. It’s never too late – or too early – to make changes that will have a lasting impact on your health.”

Residents are encouraged to visit the Better Health webpages for more information and advice on weight loss, from checking their BMI to accessing a weight loss plan.

Medway residents can also access local support from Medway Council.

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