Star comment: Trying to break bad habits could save your life

The benefits of exercise are now very widely known. Those who lead active lives and are a healthy weight, live longer, and face fewer serious health issues than those who are sedentary and obese.

Research suggesting one in 10 cases of heart disease could be prevented if people reduce the amount of time they spend sitting in front of the television, therefore, will surprise few people.

But today’s world of wall-to-wall television, our reliance on computers, not to mention games consoles, smart phones, and the like, mean being inactive is more tempting than ever.

It is easy for people to be sucked into a world of sofa surfing as they play games, watch movies or engage with others online. In many ways it’s never required more effort to be fit and active than it does today. With so many other activities competing for our attention, there has to be a real sense of purpose if we are to motivate ourselves to keep fit.

Of course, we all know that getting more active is the answer but sometimes it is difficult, particularly after an evening meal following a busy day at work or dealing with children.

For many, slumping in front of the television is about unwinding. But small changes can help. Maybe a walk around the block, or half an hour playing with your children outside. Trying to break bad habits and replace them with good habits is not easy, but it could save your life.

And of course you can always embrace the best of both worlds – technological and physical – by using an app on your smart phone to monitor your progress and incentivise exercise.

They say a week is a long time in politics. And if that’s so, the time it’s taken for the Sue Gray report to be published on PartyGate feels like an eternity.

When the senior civil servant was initially asked to intervene, it seemed as though Boris Johnson was on the ropes. The public was unhappy that he and his staff partied when they did not attend funerals, hospital visits, school, work and more.

That anger may still exist, though the momentum for politicians to remove him has gone.

Following the conclusion of the police investigation, this week – finally – should see Sue Gray’s report published. The political agenda has shifted since the interim findings of her report were released and, unless there are some unexpected twists, it is unlikely to result in any major changes at the top. Boris Johnson is safe for now – and probably until the next General Election.

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