A recent England-wide survey by Public Health England (PHE) reveals that more than a third of South Asian adults feel a lack of motivation might prevent them from adopting a healthier lifestyle. Of those surveyed, 72% believe that having access to ideas around effective exercise routines could help them to reach their health and fitness goals. In response, PHE is encouraging adults across the nation to use the NHS Couch to 5K app. This is one of several free apps available from Better Health, designed to support people to become more active and lose weight.

Natasha Gupta has been using the Couch to 5K app since lockdown started and has found each week to be easier than the one before. “I felt I could run for longer,” she says. “I felt healthier, I felt fitter, and my stamina has increased.” Natasha has particularly enjoyed being able to kickstart her running regime remotely with friends, and they’ve been using the app to keep each other motivated. “Better yet, I’ve had my teen kids join in, and run with me!” she shares.

Harri Dokia hadn’t been very physically active during lockdown but wanted to do more. So when her friends suggested they all do the challenge together, she agreed immediately. She has been using the app for the last six months, and has been running with both her husband and friends. “I really recommend doing Couch to 5K with someone; they can help you stay motivated and hold you accountable at the same time.”

Professor John Newton, Director of Health Improvement at PHE, welcomed the news: “We’re thrilled that so many people have been using the Couch to 5K app to get more active over lockdown. Keeping active is not only good for our physical health but also crucial for our mental health, and we hope the app has helped people to cope better with the challenges the pandemic has brought.”

Vin Patel, Fitness Trainer said: “Being active is good for your body and mind – and the more you do, the more you’ll benefit. So if you’re thinking about getting more active to improve your health, fitness and well-being, just go for it! Everyone deserves to enjoy the benefits of being active and it’s far easier to get started than people may think.”

The free NHS Couch to 5K app can be downloaded through the App Store or Google Play.

You can also search ‘Better Health’ or visit nhs.uk/betterhealth for free advice and support to help you get active and eat healthier this summer.