NHS Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group and Liverpool City Council have joined together to launch the brand new Fit for Me campaign in the city.
More than just another public health campaign, Fit for Me is a social movement which aims to inspire and get everyone more active in Liverpool. That can mean doing as little as ten minutes more activity, getting off the bus a stop earlier or simply taking the stairs instead of the lift.
These little things can make a massive difference to your overall health and wellbeing. Being active is good for you and can improve your everyday life. Even small changes can give you more energy, make you feel less tired and stressed, lift your mood, help you to sleep better and boost your confidence – as well as helping to protect you from serious illnesses such as heart disease and dementia.
Fit for Me is for everyone - it doesn’t matter what shape, size or age you are, whether you’ve been active in the past or if you’re an absolute beginner. However fit, or unfit, you may be, being active is something that can help us all feel good.
Dr Maurice Smith, a GP at Mather Avenue surgery in Allerton and Healthy Liverpool’s ‘Living Well’ clinical lead said, “Being active can be whatever you want it to be. It can mean simple things like walking more or finding active ways to spend the weekend with the kids. As long as it gets your heart beating a bit faster and makes you breathe a bit harder, it counts.”
Dr Sandra Davies, Liverpool’s Director of Public Health added, “63% of adults in Liverpool are currently inactive, Fit for Me aims to change this.
“The campaign features local people from across the city sharing their real stories about how they have become active and how this has improved their lives. We asked the people of Liverpool to get in touch with us to tell us how they keep physically active and why it is so important to them. And oh, didn’t they get in touch. We were overwhelmed with responses from people whose lives have been transformed by adding a little bit of activity into their daily routine. We chose 11 of these inspirational people to help launch the first phase of our new campaign.”
Dr Smith continued, “The campaign has been developed with a huge amount of insight work with the most important people, the people of Liverpool. There will be wide range of activities available across the city to help encourage small steps to getting fitter.
“We’ve also put together a short quiz to help you understand what being active means, how it can help you and give you some personalised advice on how to get started.”
Join in with free local activities, special offers and motivational support at www.FitForMe.info, like our page on Facebook www.facebook.com/FitForMeLpool, follow us on twitter @FitforMeLpool (https://twitter.com/FitForMeLpool) or access the Fit for Me quiz at fitforme.info/how-active-am-i/activity-quiz/.
Betty is 42 years old and is from Penny Lane in Liverpool. Betty hasn’t always been the positive and confident person that we see today. Being more active has taken Betty on a remarkable journey of empowerment.
In 2014 Betty was very overweight. She was unhealthy and struggling with painful growths in her uterus, known as fibroids. She’s always been comfortable in herself and although she always felt that she looked good, she didn’t always feel good.
Then something changed. Betty decided to change her life for the better. She started walking, then running in her local park and signed up for some classes at her local Lifestyles centre. With the help of an instructor, Betty developed an activity plan that fit around her life and worked for her.
Her friends and family have all seen first-hand just how much more confident, out-going and calmer she is, especially when she’s handling the pressures of her day-to-day life. Betty also loves how she feels happier, stronger and more willing to try new things.
Betty said, “Becoming more active has dramatically improved my emotional and physical wellbeing. My close circles of friends and family have noticed I am more positive, confident and calmer when handling pressure in my work and personal life. Thanks to taking part in regular exercise I have lost weight and feel empowered, happier and more willing to try new experiences as my confidence has increased.”
Paul is 38 years old and is from Old Swan. Paul didn't realise how important it was to be physically active until his son was born and he had the responsibility of a young family to look after.
When Paul’s weight hit 20st at the age of 31 he realised he wasn’t really living the type of life he had always imagined. A combination of no exercise, not eating right and drinking a bit too much meant that when his son Joseph started walking, he struggled to keep up and was often out of breath.
Paul knew he had to make a change but the idea of going to the gym didn’t feel quite right, he wasn’t really sure what he should do when he got there and he definitely didn’t want to go by himself.
Paul said, “I didn’t realise how being active and exercising could positively impact other parts of my life. My advice to people not knowing where to start would be to start small, walk or run for short periods of time and set yourself an achievable goal each month. The hardest part might be finding the time but the more you exercise the more time you will find; it will make a difference not only in your life but to the people around you. “
Now at 38, he's feeling happier and more fulfilled, ‘’I feel like I’m the person I should have been in my twenties and I’m looking forward to my forties (as much as you can) knowing I am a better father and husband.”
Meet Tom and Julie….
Tom, 67 and Julie 63 are from Garston. Since they started being active Tom and Julie have felt less stressed and had more energy for their granddaughters.
Tom has always been physically active, but recent ill health really affected his ability to keep fit. After having a cardiac arrest, Tom was nervous about being active. As he recovered, he realised he needed to do something to make him feel better.
Finding ways of being more active that fits in with their busy lifestyle and family was really important to Tom and Julie. It has led them to feeling more energised and ready for anything.
Tom and Julie want to encourage others to move more, especially those who have a long term health condition. It’s not all about running a marathon or going to the gym five days a week. Taking small steps, like Tom, can make all the difference to your mental health and wellbeing.
Tom said, “You feel so much better for being active, I feel physically stronger and mentally more prepared to face everyday life. I get a good inner feeling when I have been active. It makes you more positive.
“It is easy to do nothing and just sit around feeling sorry for yourself. But that does not help you in the long term. You need to do some activity, which is hard to start, but once you get going it becomes easier and gradually you reap the benefits. You can start small and build it up to suit yourself. It can change your life!”
Julie added, ““Doing small activities are a great place to start. I work one day per week at a college which has 7 floors, so I will always try to use the stairs rather than using the lift. We also get our friends and family involved in activities as much as we can. If we’re going to the park, we always try to walk rather than using the car.
“Becoming more active has also improved my wellbeing. I feel more alert and able to cope with a busy lifestyle and I never have a problem sleeping. When I wake up in the morning, I’m feeling refreshed and ready to face the day.”
“It’s never too late to start looking after yourself and becoming more active. You do not have to give yourself unrealistic goals. Small activities, little and often will reap the benefits.”
 Sport England Active People Survey Oct 13-Sept 15. Inactive is defined as ‘not participating in at least 30 minutes of sport or recreational walking / cycling on at least one day per week’