Ready for the beach?

Many of us are self-conscious about baring our bodies in public and as summer arrives are seeking out last minute ways to improve them. Physiologist Edwin Grey suggests an holistic approach to looking and feeling great

The days are getting longer and the weather is gradually getting warmer, which can mean only one thing – it’s nearly holiday time. But what if you’re not feeling ready to hit the beach yet? How do you get your confidence back in time for summer? Feeling your best is possible by making small lifestyle changes which improve your overall wellbeing and result increased body confidence. Here are some great ways to help you get your spark back.


Set yourself a goal and tell somebody. Most of us are far more likely to achieve something if we make a public commitment to it. If your goal is to lose a little weight, or you have set yourself a fitness challenge then make sure you share your goal with someone else and give yourself a strict deadline.


Some of us aren’t built to run marathons, but we can all enjoy the benefits of moderate exercise. If you’re just starting out on an exercise routine then remember to start slowly, monitor yourself and slowly build yourself up. Do remember not to push your body, doing so could result in injury.


I always recommend that members have a health MOT before embarking on new fitness routine. The test measures 12 points including; body mass index (BMI), resting heart rate, cholesterol, aerobic fitness, blood pressure, blood glucose levels, waist to hip ratio, height and weight, as well as asking questions about hydration, alcohol intake and sleep quality. Following the test there is an opportunity to discuss what areas of your health and fitness you would like to focus on, if there are goals you aim to reach and an opportunity to learn more about the facilities and expertise available at your centre.

Remember that you know your body best; it will tell you when something is wrong so make sure you listen to it.


The best way to reduce your weight is to build some good habits into your lifestyle. Here’s some advice everyone can make use of


Caffeine is a stimulant that encourages the production of stress hormones such as cortisol. This may lead to fat storage over the long term, particularly around the mid-section. Slowly replacing caffeinated drinks with other alternatives like peppermint and fruit teas or simply swapping a few cups a day with a healthier alternative may leave you feeling more refreshed.


On work days ensure you take a break. This may help reduce your stress levels, thereby reducing the level of cortisol in your body. Also going for a walk encourages blood flow and increases your oxygen levels, helping you avoid the afternoon slump and preventing you from reaching for the chocolate.


Keep a bottle of water with you at all times and try to sip water throughout the day. Staying hydrated helps to reduce hunger sensations and raises your metabolic rate, meaning you continue to burn calories even when resting.


This plays a key role in making you feel fuller for longer and helps you avoid overeating at meal times. Ensure that you have some healthy foods like fruit, unsalted nuts and seeds ready for when you need a snack.


Edwin Grey is a Health and Wellbeing Physiologist at Nuffield Health Fitness & Wellbeing Centre Birmingham. This month the centre is offering you a three month summer membership challenge designed to help you feel your best in time for your holiday. If you want to book an appointment with the team or simply want further information call 0121 667 2627.