Turning the heat up on health and fitness

27 May 2015 Chris James   Health and wellbeing Medicines and treatments

Turning the heat up on health and fitness

At some point, all of us have experienced the beach body blues. However, excess weight can have an effect on more than just your ego, it can affect your health. Of course, we all want that beautiful beach body, but your health is far more important. It's time to get fit for your health, not your vanity.

When it comes to getting fit, many people assume it's just a case of spending hours in the gym and sticking to a strict diet. Whilst exercise and diet play a big role in fitness, there are other things you need to consider too.


Exercise is great for your health, as well as helping you to lose weight. It can also help you to sleep better, reduce the risk of heart disease and it even releases endorphins that will make you feel happier. Interestingly, it can help to both prevent diabetes and manage the disease if you already suffer with it. Most importantly, exercise can be fun. Why not try an exercise class with a friend? If you suffer with joint pain, swimming offers a full body workout whilst minimising pain and impact on the joints.

Alternatively, you don't need to spend money on a gym membership to get fit. Even something as simple as going for a jog or brisk walk will burn calories, with the added bonus of getting some fresh air.


Struggling to find the energy to exercise? This could be a direct result of a poor diet. Refined sugars and foods that are high in cholesterol can leave you feeling lethargic. It would be unsustainable to completely cut out your favourite treats, but try to make smarter choices when it comes to food. Nobody expects you to live on a strict salad-only diet, but do aim to incorporate more fruit and vegetables into your diet.

The small changes often make the biggest difference. You'll be surprised at the changes in your body just from cutting down on fats, reducing portion sizes and snacking, along with reducing your alcohol consumption.

Eat breakfast

When it comes to diet, it's important that you don't cut any corners. Skipping meals and starving yourself won't do you any favours in the long run. With 43% of people in the UK skipping breakfast at least once a week, it's clear to see that breakfast has become the most neglected meal of the day. If you want to get fit for summer, then it's time to end the breakfast ban. Research shows that those who eat a healthy breakfast are less likely to be overweight than those who skip the meal altogether. If you skip breakfast, then you're more likely to graze on high sugar snacks mid-morning.

When you wake up in the morning, it's likely that you haven't eaten for between 10-12 hours, which means your blood sugar is dangerously low. Your body needs breakfast for fuel, without it your energy levels will plummet and convincing yourself to go to the gym will be more difficult than usual! These healthy breakfast recipes will help you to get those energy levels soaring, as well as reducing that waistline.

Drink more water

We often forget how important water is to our diet. Water is a vital digestive aid, it helps to move food through the intestines and activates the enzymes that break down the food that passes through the digestive tract. Also, the signs of dehydration don't take long to appear. Thirst is often mistaken for hunger pangs. If you feel like you've eaten an adequate amount of food but still feel hungry, try drinking a glass of water and see if this helps.

Vitamins and supplements

Vitamins can really help to aid weight loss and improve fitness. Vitamins are not a quick fix by any means, but when combined with a healthy diet and exercise, vitamins can help to strengthen the immune system, improve digestion and increase energy levels.

However, whilst a simple multivitamin can work wonders, diet pills are a different thing altogether and should be treated with caution. We always recommend that you speak to a doctor or pharmacist before using weight loss tablets because you often need to be of a certain BMI (body mass index) before taking them, along with a number of other factors.

These small changes will set you on your way to an overall healthier lifestyle that will have you feeling fit even after summer has passed. What have you got to lose? Aside from those last few pounds.

If you have any health issues then you should always speak to a pharmacist or GP before taking part in any new exercise regime or diet.

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