Take The First Step To Healthier Living

british heart foundation

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) is encouraging people to get active now lockdown is beginning to lift with “My Step Challenge”.

The charity has launched its new fundraiser to help people to get active in a safe, convenient and enjoyable way, while helping to raising funds for life-saving research.

According to recent research, the current coronavirus pandemic has resulted in the British public increasing their gaming, phone time and TV viewing.

For many, a commitment to staying active and sticking to a balanced lifestyle has gone by the wayside:

  • A quarter of those surveyed say they have done less exercise (25%)
  • Over a fifth have eaten more junk food (23%)
  • Three in ten say they’ve spent less time walking (27%)
  • One in five say they’ve drunk more alcohol (18%)
  • On average, those surveyed have been leaving their home just three times a week to exercise

My Step Challenge has three different levels. Those who are new to exercising or looking to get active again can start at 50,000 steps, for example.

Those who are already active and are looking for a goal to work towards can aim as high as 500,000 steps.

Each challenge can be completed in your own time, and was designed with the help of BHF cardiac nurses. This means they are suitable for all fitness levels, including those with heart and circulatory conditions.

Looking after our physical and mental health has never been more important

Olympic and World Champion runner and BHF Ambassador Roger Black MBE, who is supporting the campaign, said:

“I’ve never let my heart condition hold me back from achieving my goals. I’m proud to be a British Heart Foundation Ambassador. The research they fund helps people like myself lead a fit and healthy life.

“In these unprecedented times, looking after our physical and mental health has never been more important. Walking is an essential part of my life and a great form of exercise that anyone can do. My Step Challenge is a brilliant way to connect with others, get active and feel good.

“And it helps raise money to support the BHF’s vital work.” 

Barbara Kobson, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said;

“We’ve all felt the strain of lockdown but it’s important to try and limit the impact it has on our health. Brisk walking for 20-30 minutes a day is can be a simple way to achieve the recommended 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity each week and can also improve sleep patterns, reduce stress levels, boost your energy levels and help you get fit and active.

My Step Challenge has a target to suit you

“Whether you’re new to exercise or an experienced walker, taking part in the garden or at the park, or even if you’re walking in your own front room, My Step Challenge has a target to suit you. Each step you take will help support the BHF’s life saving research into heart and circulatory conditions.

“These conditions affect around 7.4 million people in the UK.” 

During this coronavirus crisis, the BHF has been working tirelessly to support people with heart and circulatory diseases, by providing vital information via its dedicated Heart Helpline and an online coronavirus hub.

But with the pandemic costing the charity around £10 million a month, it is now urging the public to #BackTheBHF.

By doing so, you can help the millions of people in the UK living with heart and circulatory diseases including coronary heart disease, stroke and vascular dementia. Research suggests that people with these conditions are also at higher risk of complications from Covid-19.

Sign up now to set your goal, count your steps and help save lives with My Step Challenge.

Visit the British Heart Foundation website here.

For more health advice from “The People’s Friend”, click here.

Iain McDonald

Iain is Digital Content Editor at the "Friend", making him responsible for managing flow of interesting and entertaining content on the magazine's website and social media channels.