The way we live in the 21st century can make it too easy to give in to laziness.
We live increasingly sedentary lifestyles that often involve too much sitting down - at our desks, in our cars and in front of an ever-increasing array of screens - and not enough physical activity.
Modern living and new technologies bring convenience and privilege but at what price?
Physical inactivity has potentially serious implications for the body: it increases the risk of developing conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, osteoporosis and depression.
Studies have also shown that low levels of activity can increase the risk of certain cancers, such as bowel and breast cancer.
How to get fit and healthy
Develop the right mindset
One of the biggest barriers for many people who feel out of condition is the idea of getting started with exercise.
It can seem, at best, daunting and, at worse, impossible.
Spend time developing the right mindset by planning what you want to achieve and how to go about it.
It won’t happen overnight.
Take baby steps and be realistic until your muscles and mind get used to doing new activities.
Within a few weeks you’ll notice changes in your body and mood.
Use quality fuel
A healthy, balanced diet provides the right kind of energy for getting fit and staying fit.
Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables as well as protein, some starchy foods and a small amount of unsaturated fat.
Make sure to incorporate some superfoods in your meals and drinks to get more bang for your buck!
Mixing up a smoothie can be an excellent way to pack in loads of vitamins, minerals and protein into one tasty and filling drink, which is why they’re also popular with people who want to lose weight.
The naturally occurring algae Spirulina is a supercharged addition to a smoothie because it contains a high amount of protein as well as all eight essential amino acids.
Being dehydrated makes you sluggish.
Drink plenty of water to help flush out toxins and give yourself a huge energy boost.
For some extra zing, add a slice of cleansing lemon or lime, which can help to deal with liver toxins.
Get plenty of exercise
Exercise is so effective at reducing the risk of major illnesses that the NHS calls it a “miracle cure”.
Build some kind of moderate physical activity, such as walking or always taking the stairs, into your daily life.
To take fitness to another level, you should start exercising more vigorously to raise your heart rate.
Going to the gym, cycling, running or playing sports are great ways to get fit.
There are also plenty of tips out there for how to get fit at home without the need for expensive equipment.
High intensity interval training (HIIT), which uses quick bursts of intense exercise followed by short periods of recovery, is a great way to get fit at home.
Track your progress
Devising simple, achievable goals and writing them down in a diary can make getting fit seem less intimidating.
Achieving these goals builds your confidence and spurs you on to continue making progress.
How long does it take to get fit ?
Everyone is different and we all have our own definitions of feeling “fit”, which could be building stamina, toning muscles or losing weight.
With regular exercise you can expect to feel much better within 2-4 weeks.
Your body will become used to your new regime within 6-8 weeks after which you can think about moving things up a gear.
If it's painful, stop and seek professional support. It’s important to push yourself but to know your limits too.