New Year, new you: Pledging to make 2021 the year to lead a healthier lifestyle

Published Monday, 04 January 2021

Coventry City Council and our health and care partners are encouraging residents to make a Coventry Health Challenge pledge.


The ongoing pandemic and lockdowns have altered our daily routines and for many of us, with extra time at home and self-isolation, our eating habits and activity levels may have also changed, especially over the festive period. That is why as the calendar flips over into 2021, it’s vital to make the new year, the year to become the healthiest version of ourselves and build our resistance to COVID-19 and Flu.

For many of us, the new year brings a sense of promise, for fresh starts and new opportunities. There are so many things we may want to commit to all as once as part of our New Year’s Resolution, such as losing weight, getting more active, quitting smoking or taking part in Dry January, but this can feel overwhelming and we can be more likely to quit early on or feel disheartened if we slip up. That is why we are encouraging residents to commit to just one thing for a healthy lifestyle promise and make a pledge for the Coventry health Challenge.

Councillors including Leader George Duggins, Lord Mayor Ann Lucas, Cabinet member for Public Health and Sport Kamran Caan, and Director of Public Health Liz Gaulton will be taking part and making a personal pledge in support of the campaign to encourage residents to do the same on social media.

The Coventry Health Challenge is all about empowering the city’s residents and communities by promoting healthy behaviour choices with a focus on older people and those with long term conditions practising self-care. Eating well to keep weight within a healthy range, being more active, quitting smoking, and keeping up to date with immunisations, are just a few, but effective steps to boost resistance to any future diseases. The challenge is here to offer advice, information, and signpost to services that can offer support such as Coventry Healthy Lifestyles.

Cllr Kamran Caan, portfolio holder for Public Health and Sport at Coventry City Council said:

“New Year is a great time to commit to making changes towards a healthier lifestyle and I would encourage all residents to give some thought to their long-term health this January and reflect on what you want to achieve when making a pledge for the Coventry Health Challenge.

“It’s all about prioritising your physical health and setting goals whether that is losing weight, being more active or drinking less alcohol, and quitting smoking. All of these things can benefit your health and the health of your loved ones, especially during Covid-19.

“The Coventry Health Challenge is here to encourage and support you with advice, tips, and signposting to services like HLS Coventry to keep you motivated and on track. Set yourself realistic goals and if you slip up just remember what you are working towards and try again.

“If you haven’t already been involved with the Coventry Health Challenge, don’t delay taking steps to improve your health and make your pledge today.”

Dr Sarah Raistrick, GP and Chair of NHS Coventry and Rugby Clinical Commissioning Group said:

“It would be wonderful if we made a New Year’s resolution we could keep! I’d like to encourage us all to set a realistic goal: this could be in relation to improving your physical activity (walking more, doing chair-based exercises, cycling) or opting for a healthier choice of food, or stopping smoking or drug use.

“Joining the Coventry Health Challenge is a great way to help us to commit to a healthier lifestyle. Across Coventry it is good to see people are already taking control of their health; eating better, getting active, and staying up to date with their vaccinations. Let’s continue this momentum into the New Year and we will see and feel the difference.

“We’ve seen the effects that Covid-19 has had on people’s health and especially those who have a long term health condition, such as; diabetes, asthma, and heart disease. We know that people who are overweight are at higher risk and that’s why it’s vital we take up this challenge, so we can all be the “healthiest me I can be”. Let’s not set ourselves up to fail, start with small changes, get involved in the challenge, and get support to keep it up.”

More about the Coventry Health Challenge campaign can be found online along with a Physical Activity booklet, and a printable Goal Tracker to record progress. Residents are also be encouraged to make a pledge and commit to just one thing for the campaign as part of prioritising their physical health, setting goals for themselves, and staying resilient this winter.

You also can read stories from fellow Coventry residents who have made lifestyle changes and improved their long-term health. 

Coventry City Council