Radio celebrity Arlene Stuart joined a group of local mums and their babies this morning (Tuesday 06 December) for their weekly walk around Inch Park, Edinburgh, to help raise awareness of Small Steps Big Difference.
Small Steps Big Difference, a joint campaign between NHS Lothian and City of Edinburgh Council, launched in May 2011 and aims to raise awareness of the importance of physical activity and of eating a healthier diet.
Arlene Stuart, a mum of two and co-presenter of the Forth 1 breakfast show, Boogie in the morning, said: “A little can mean a lot in terms of your overall health. It doesn’t mean joining the gym or taking up some fad diet. The message is pretty simple, do a little bit and you will see a significant change.
“I’m sure that most people know what is and isn’t healthy for them, but I doubt everyone’s aware of how significant a small change can be. The notion that walking a little bit everyday or cutting down on salt seems very achievable and can be really beneficial.”
Dionne Froude, 27, from the Inch, takes part in weekly walks as part of the South East Healthy Living Initiative.
Dionne admits to noticing a big change since joining the group with her seven month old boy, Lewis. “It’s great to get out and about with Lewis and you really do get a good work-out walking with the pram,” Dionne continued. “It’s nothing too strenuous but you can certainly feel the benefits. Walking really is a great way to keep healthy and I try to get out with him on most days now.”
Dionne admits that not only has she started walking more but is also more conscious of what she eats. “I try to make all of the food I give to Lewis, like sauces and other things,” she said. “A lot of the baby foods you buy are packed with sugar and salt and that’s why I prefer to make my own.
“Not only has it made me think about what I’m giving to Lewis but I’m now starting to make small changes to the things I eat too. Knowing you don’t have to go the gym to be active or go on a diet to be healthy is a positive message for lots of women like me and one which I know to be true.”
Dr Alison McCallum, Director of Public Health and Health Policy, NHS Lothian, said: “A brisk 30 minute walk each day would see you getting your recommended amount of daily activity – for a lot of people that would be walking to and from work or dropping the children off at school.
“The Small Steps Big Difference campaign highlights the very important message that small but very meaningful changes can be achieved quite effortlessly by building these ideas in to everyday life.”
Councillor Paul Edie, Health and Social Care Convener for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “Small Steps Big Difference really does sum up what this campaign is all about – just making small changes to daily routines can make the world of difference.
“It doesn't have to be difficult or expensive – lots of little things such as walking to work or varying your eating habits all go towards having a healthier lifestyle.”
Notes to Editors
- The campaign runs until spring 2012 and more information can be found at the website: www.smallstepsbigdifference.co.uk
- The campaign launched in May 2011 and aims to raise awareness of the importance of physical activity and of eating a healthier diet to women between the ages of 20-49 years old.