Getting Fit This 2020

It's a new decade and a new chance to achieve your lifestyle goals, a notion that for many of us centres upon some form of health and fitness transformation.

Hoping to inspire more people to make a positive change, the Public Health Agency has offered top tips on healthier eating and becoming more active this Obesity Awareness Week.

A 2017/18 health survey revealed that 64% of adults were either overweight (37%) or obese (27%), a situation that many people set out to change in the New Year. For those wanting to improve their health and fitness in 2020, the PHA has advised the following:

Cut out the snacks – research has shown that eating as little as 100 calories more than the body needs each day could add up to 10lbs of weight gain in a year.

Cook healthier food - recipes that are low in fat, salt and sugar and portioned correctly are key to managing your weight. The Choose to Live Better website has over 80 easy to cook healthy recipes to help you on your way.

Get more active – this is a great way to manage your weight. A simple way to get started is to walk. By fitting more steps in to our everyday routine we can start to feel the benefits.
News Image
Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement Senior Manager at the PHA, Caroline Bloomfield told of the serious health risks that can come with excess weight.

"Having a waistline of 37 inches or more for a man and 32 inches or more for a woman can put you at a greater risk of developing a number of serious health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, some cancers and type 2 diabetes," Ms Bloomfield said.

"Your health could be at greater risk if you're storing a lot of fat around your waist. We store excess body fat under the skin but also around our vital organs in the abdomen, and having a large amount of tummy fat could make you more likely to develop heart problems or type 2 diabetes."

She continued: "Many people don't realise how much they are eating over the course of the day.

"100 calories can be as little as an extra slice of bread, an extra three sweets, or an extra forkful of spaghetti. Snacks, nibbles and second helpings are things we tuck into without even thinking, but every extra bit that goes in, ends up going on.

"By being mindful of what we eat, cooking healthier and cutting out the extras, we can help reduce the risk of putting on the pounds."

Including more physical activity in your daily routine can also go a long way in terms of boosting your mental health and reducing stress and anxiety.


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

19 June 2013
Health Minister Launches New Food Scheme
Health Minister Edwin Poots is to launch a new food-labelling scheme which aims to help more people make healthier eating choices.
03 September 2008
Changes Loom On Health Care
News of a radical shake-up proposed for health and social care in Belfast is not the only changes afoot as the way that health promotion is delivered across Northern Ireland is also being changed.
17 June 2015
Number Of People With HIV Almost Doubles In Ten Years – PHA
Northern Ireland had the biggest rise in new HIV diagnoses compared to the rest of the UK between 2000-2013, according to new figures. The number of people living with HIV has almost doubled over the last two years, the Public Health Agency (PHA) has announced.
03 September 2013
£7m Health Facility Launches At Jordanstown
A new £7m health research facility has been launched at the University of Ulster, Jordanstown. The Connected Health Innovation Centre (CHIC) follows a £6.8m investment by a consortium of technology companies. It is being supported by a £5m research and development (R&D) offer from Invest Northern Ireland.
26 April 2012
Suicide Awareness Training To Be Introduced To Council Staff
Suicide awareness training is to be introduced for all staff and politicians at Belfast City Council, the Lord Mayor has announced. The new initiative is just one outcome of a community conference hosted at City Hall by Councillor Niall Ó Donnghaile.