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Change #onething For A Healthier Life

Eating less chocolate, walking to work, quitting smoking, the gauntlet is being thrown down for everyone to think of just one thing that they could change to lead a more healthy life. Health chiefs in the area are asking people to start their wellbeing journey by just doing one thing to improve their overall health.  

#onething pledges are already being submitted on Facebook and Twitter, and anyone can make their own pledge by visiting where there are also a range of helpful links to help the pledges become a reality.

Launched to coincide with National Heart Month, the #onething drive has come about as a result of a serious health concern in reducing the amount of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in Nuneaton, Bedworth and North Warwickshire.

For those needing a little motivation, their #onething pledge could be:

  • Eating chocolate just three days a week and not every day;
  • Quitting smoking;
  • Cutting down on smoking;
  • Doing more exercise;
  • Taking a walk;
  • Smiling more;
  • Learning to swim;
  • Cutting out morning cake snacks;
  • Eating five portions of fruit a day;
  • Or eating any fruit a day!

The campaign has already received endorsement from local Councillors with many making their #onething pledges during a number of public meetings.

GP and Chair of NHS Warwickshire North Clinical Commissioning Group, Heather Gorringe said: “Across the area there are more inactive adults and adults with excess weight in comparison to the England average.  Along with smoking these are all risk factors associated with CVD.  The #onething campaign is being introduced to show that just by making those small changes in lifestyle they can have a big impact on a person’s health.  Ultimately our aim is to see levels of CVD reduce across the area.”

Cllr Bob Stevens, Warwickshire County Council's Portfolio Holder for Health, said: “Our evidence shows that when people start on a program of change, they are more likely to succeed when they believe that they can make the change possible and that people like them are already making changes. 

“Our #onething campaign reaches out to all residents within the area showing that simple small steps can make a big difference to their overall health and wellbeing.”

Cllr Maggie O'Rourke, the county council's Chair of the Adults, Social Care and Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee, said: "We can all think of one thing we can change in our lives to be a little healthier. It might be that it is around weight management, and what we eat or how much we exercise, but early pledges are also showing that mental health is key, with people thinking about how much they smile and laugh."

Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council’s Health & Environment Portfolio Holder Cllr Neil Phillips said: “I thought I should commit 'one thing', one small life change, that could make a difference to my health.  I am not a gym person and remember as a child being told to 'step it out', and that walking is a good way to exercise so, I decided to walk to work whenever possible.  It is a brisk 20/25 minute walk each way and although it feels 'weird' not to be in the car, I am beginning to feel the benefit of this 'one thing'.”

Nuneaton mother, Karen, 44, is also keen to champion the campaign.  She embarked on a weight reduction programme in April 2014 and has now lost over seven stone.

Karen said: “I just decided that I wanted to make a change to my life, to become fitter overall and improve my health.  I haven’t dieted but I have taken up a boot camp style exercise programme that was offered free to local residents by Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council.  They gave me the encouragement to keep going and now ten months later I’m still at boot camp, I have joined the gym and a running club.  I’d encourage anyone to do the same, from just taking the stairs every day instead of the lift, to committing to swapping that chocolate bar for a piece of fruit.  If I can do it so can many others.”

The #onething campaign started on February 13, with support from NHS Warwickshire North Clinical Commissioning Group, Warwickshire County Council, North Warwickshire Borough Council and Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council.  

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