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Exercise: New Year, New You? - Tonight

Exercise: New Year, New You? is on ITV at 8pm on Wednesday 3rd January Photo: ITV/Tonight

With obesity a major health crisis in Britain, Helen takes a look at how we as a nation of ‘sitters’ can become more active beyond January, how we can learn good gym discipline and how to make fitness part of your daily routine.

‘Physical activity is one of the biggest problems that we face in society now we are seeing an ever increasing decline in physical activity levels across the entire population and of course, what that means is an increasing burden on the health services in the young, in particular but it also sees an increasing health burden in the aged as they become more fragile as they become less mobile less independent.’

– Professor Greg Whyte OBE, Physical Activity Expert

Helen meets forty-nine year old Tracy McCullagh who has used pole fitness classes to help her overcome some serious health issues.

Helen meets Tracy, who uses pole fitness as a form of exercise Credit: ITV/Tonight

‘I was looking for challenges and then somebody introduced me to pole fitness so it’s good mentally and physically for me…..it’s given me a purpose, it’s made me a lot healthier more confident and it’s a passion, I absolutely love it.’

– Tracy McCullagh

Helen also learns the benefits and the importance of activity for those in the later stages of life when she visits a group of over 60s Tai Chi enthusiasts.

‘I had bad arthritis ...mainly in my knees and back I could hardly walk....It’s changed a lot because I am able to do things I couldn’t do before, its eases the pain.’

– Barbara Rosen
Helen visits a group of over 60s Tai Chi enthusiasts Credit: ITV/Tonight

She discovers how our love of technology and apps are helping us to keep fit.

"...you can make it much more entertaining and engaging and even make it more like a game if you are doing it through an app but perhaps more than anything it’s easy . it’s really simple to start training you don't have to go to .. to wait for a class to start or .. or arrange something complicated in order to exercise you can download the app and go.’

– Paul Barnes, App Annie

Helen joins a boot camp class with a group of women in Merseyside where she meets Stacey McGlynn, one of the faces of ‘This Girl Can’ a campaign that has encouraged nearly 3 million women across the country to become more active.

And she visits Liverpool John Moores University for part of an experiment to uncover the truth behind fat burning pills, to find out if they can really make a difference.

‘Fat burners are a class of products that are claimed to help you to drop body fat. They’re claimed, to actually increase your resting metabolic rate, so the amount of calories that you use throughout the day. That is what everybody’s looking for. Everybody wants that magic bullet.’

– Professor Graeme Close, Liverpool John Moores University

Useful Links:

  • AGE UK- The UK's largest charity working with older people
  • Liverpool John Moores University; School of Sport and Exercise Sciences
  • This Girl Can - Nationwide campaign funded by the national lottery and developed by Sport England to encourage and celebrate women being more active no matter what size, age or ability.
  • Sport England - organisation working towards an active nation where everyone feels able to do sport and activity, no matter what their age, background or gender.
  • NHS - Boost your health and fitness with fun and practical ideas to get active and improve your general health.

Let us know your thoughts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, using #NewYearNewYou

  • Exercise: New Year, New You? will be broadcast on ITV at 8pm on Wednesday 3rd January.