I would say absolutely not, there is still plenty of time to get your body and your mind in better shape and get you feeling really good about your summer holiday.

If your fitness levels are not great at the moment, the first thing to do is start increasing your daily life movement. Getting out there and walking much as you can, lifting some heavy things, whether that’s lifting your children up or whatever it is that you do – but start moving the body. Do compound movements – these are movements that involves multiple joints. For example, when you sit down in a chair and get back up again, you’re using the knee joint, the hip joint, and you’re using the ankle joint as well.

One of the things I absolutely love recommending to people is running or jogging. It’s not necessarily for everyone, but it’s a really great way of toning and what I love about it most is you immediately start seeing improvement straight off the bat. It takes about two weeks and you can build up a nice base of aerobic fitness and start seeing some progress with your running which is always nice. You run a minute without stopping, then you do two minutes, then three minutes. People I know including family members have had some good success with an NHS programme called the Couch to 5K.

You could also try different types of exercise. For me, it’s boxing, it’s circuits, and it’s spinning at a place called Psycle (based in London), otherwise, you can find spin classes all over the country. There are all sorts of different forms of exercise, another one I really love is called animal flow, which is a body-wear exercise – that’s a lot of fun, but you need a bit of base fitness for that.

The key thing is to find something that you love and you really enjoy so you can get that consistency. But it just takes a few weeks to get that, but it’s good to start now.

If you’re thinking about some of the aesthetic of fitness, then you’re going to want to watch what you eat. I’d recommend doing some testing to find out what your ideal personal diet is for you, but also just go back to basics. Minimise your refined carbohydrate, include lots of vegetables and some fruits into your diet. Eat two, three meals a day, you could play around with time restricted feeding – which is eating breakfast as late as you can and dinner as early as you can so you’re just eating in a very short window of time.

Intermittent fasting works for some people as well. I don’t know you so I can’t give you a personal recommendation, but that’s worked well for some people and there’s some good science behind it.

The upshot of this is it’s definitely not too late. Start moving your body, start paying a little bit more attention to what you’re eating, and what you’re drinking as well. If you are thinking of trimming and toning, we drink a lot of calories in coffee, soft drinks, and things like that. Add in more water, be mindful of your alcohol, and good luck.

Leanne Spencer

This article first appeared in the June 2019 issue of SE22 magazine.