MESSAGES of support for the Evening Times Active 2014 campaign have flooded in from the worlds of sport, health, politics and entertainment.

They are backing us in our move to take the first step to improving the health of everyone in the city.

We are highlighting that even the smallest of changes in activity and lifestyle can make a huge improvement in health. Join in - it all starts here.

Commonwealth Games and Sport Minister Shona Robison said: "We want to make Scotland a more active country by encour-aging people to make physical activity a part of their every-day lives.

"It is well known that regular activity provides a range of health benefits and makes people feel happier, less stressed and can add years of quality life.

"We are also committed to creating a lasting legacy from the Commonwealth Games. This legacy is being delivered through a range of programmes, including the active schools network, and the development of 150 community sports hubs.

"This Evening Times Active 2014 campaign is a welcome addition to our Healthier Scotlandn campaigns, and recognises that making small changes in activity and lifestyle can deliver huge improvements in health."

Public Health Minister Michael Matheson said there was no better time than 2014 to get healthy and active in Glasgow, whether by taking up sport, stopping smoking, eating more healthily or reducing alcohol consumption.

"Small steps are proven to make a big difference to overall health," he said.

"There are health-care services in your area that can give professional advice on all aspects of health improvement. If anyone is thinking of taking that first step, I'd encourage them to get in touch with these.

IT is never too late to do something about your health and fitness."

Celtic manager Neil Lennon, said that fitness improves wellbeing: "When you have done a decent work-out, you feel better about yourself not only physically, but also mentally, as the endorphins kick in."

And Rangers boss Ally McCoist said: "Active 2014 sounds like a great initiative and I would urge Glaswegians of all ages to get involved.

"With the Commonwealth Games coming to the city this year there could be no better time to start getting active."

Partick Thistle managing director Ian Maxwell said: "An active and healthy lifestyle is something that should be a target for everyone. Campaigns such as Active 2014 are a brilliant way of achieving this.

"Football clubs have a vested interest in keeping the nation fit and healthy as the younger generation is going to supply our stars of the future - not to mention the supporters that will be coming to watch them."

Glasgow City Council leader Gordon Matheson said he was delighted to be working with the Evening Times on a campaign that will build on the city's record of increasing participation in sport.

He said: "Glasgow is already recognised as one of the world's top 10 sporting cities - a position built on a track record of delivering international sporting events and investment in world-class sports facilities. The city council has invested more than £200million in the last few years alone.

"This investment has seen sports participation reach record levels, as people reap the benefits of having the best sporting facilities available in their communities.

"Many of these facilities, including the £113m Emirates Arena, will be at the heart of the Common-wealth Games but it is local people who are using them day in and day out.

SINCE the Emirates Arena opened around 16 months ago around 400,000 people have come through the doors.

"Active 2014 will help us deliver a lasting legacy for future generations."

Actress and comedienne Dorothy Paul is determined to remain fit.

She said: "I walk for 40 minutes a day. I find this is a great help in keeping the weight down.

"And two or three times a week I do a Maracattack, the Miranda Hart fitness DVD I got for Christmas.

"It really is great fun and what you do is dance and jump about while shaking maracas. I really think it works for me."

Dorothy, who is back at the King's Theatre in March with her comedy show takes fitness seriously.

"The truth is, I'm past caring whether I've got abs or not. But I want to feel alive. I want to feel good. When you get to a certain age it's important to keep the blood flowing."

Our campaign is backed by Dr Andrew Murray, GP, sports and exercise medicine doctor and ultra-marathon runner.

He said the year-long project is a key part of building a lasting legacy of a happier, healthier and more active Scotland.

"While only a few athletes will gain gold medals in Glasgow, through regular exercise they live an average of 7.2 years longer. This is achievable for members of the public through any form of physical activity," he said.

"Just walking, cycling, or running for 2.5 hours a week gets you these benefits.

"The key thing is that everything counts - any form of exercise is likely to get those happy hormones going and something is better than nothing.

"It's not just ourselves, but for children in Scotland. Regular exercise and physical activity is the single best present you can give a child.

"The Evening Times, and partners Glasgow Life and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, are to be commended for helping Scots to get more active more often.

"Just 30 minutes walking five times a week decreases the chance of dying early by 30% - and although we are busy people in the modern world, can we limit our inactivity to 23.5 hours per day."

ACTOR Iain Robertson, at 32, isn't bothered with weight problems but he realised at Christmas he would be if he didn't take a sensible approach to fitness and diet.

He wholeheartedly backs the Evening Times campaign.

The actor, starring this week at Oran Mor in comedy hit Frank's Dead, said: "I realised I needed to be more disciplined.

"When you are an actor you keep strange hours. And so my partner and I have taken to juicing, and it's fantastic.

"We are eating really healthily, and on top of that we've taken up climbing. We are tackling the climbing walls at the sports centre in Kinning Park.

"You'd be amazed how that really tones you up and helps with the breathing.

"The secret to getting fit is starting with baby steps, then gradually increasing what you can do. You can quickly see the difference."

Health professional Professor Miles Fisher, a diabetes consultant at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, is giving the campaign his full backing.

He said: "Having diagnosed and treated people with diabetes for more than 30 years, I see first-hand the consequences of inactivity on someone's health.

"When a patient is first diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes - the form of the condition which is associated with a person's lifestyle - one of the most important issues to tackle is to increase their activity levels.

"The health benefits for an individual once even fairly basic activity levels are maintained are truly remarkable."

And Joris Van Der Horst, a respiratory physician at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, added: "Breathlessness caused by smoking and inactivity go hand in hand and one is making the other worse.

"A walk a day keeps the doctor away."