Many people want to lead healthier lifestyles, but find it hard to make the necessary changes to their diet and exercise habits. A new survey reveals that one of the main reasons for this is feeling too tired.
The survey, conducted by YouGov for the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), asked 2,086 UK adults what was stopping them from eating more healthily and exercising more often. The results showed that 35% of them cited “feeling too tired” as a barrier. Other common reasons included lack of motivation (38%), cost of food (30%), lack of time (26%) and work/life balance (25%).
“It’s the question many of us ask ourselves: why don’t I exercise more, eat better food and generally lead a healthier lifestyle?” said Denis Campbell, health policy editor at The Guardian. “For many who want to, but just can’t seem to make it happen, it turns out the answer to that question is – feeling just too tired.”
The WCRF, a charity that aims to prevent cancer through diet and lifestyle, acknowledges that tiredness can make it difficult for people to adopt healthier habits. “People have busy schedules and we know that, for many, the last thing they might want to do when they are tired or lacking in motivation is to start cooking from scratch or going to the gym,” said Matt Lambert, health information and promotion manager at the WCRF.
However, the charity also offers a solution: an eight-week healthy living plan that helps people build healthier habits into their routine. The plan provides tips on how to eat well, be active, drink less alcohol and avoid processed meat. It also helps people set realistic goals and track their progress.
“Eating well and taking exercise are important ways of reducing people’s risk of getting cancer and other diseases,” said The Guardian. “One in two people will get cancer at some point in their lives. The charity, and Cancer Research UK, estimate that 40% of all cases of cancer could be avoided if more people lived healthier lives, for example by eating more healthily, being active, maintaining a normal weight, avoiding sunburn and not smoking.”
The Department of Health and Social Care also supports healthier lifestyles as a way of boosting physical and mental health. It recently launched its “better health – every mind matters” campaign that encourages people to use free apps, such as Couch to 5k and Active 10, to boost their activity levels. “It encourages people to use free apps, such as Couch to 5k and Active 10, to boost their activity levels,” said the department.
Tiredness may be a common obstacle to healthy living, but it is not insurmountable. With some guidance, motivation and support, people can overcome fatigue and make positive changes to their wellbeing.