With obese people more likely to need hospital treatment for Covid-19, Dr Lucinda McWhor believes there has never been a better time to start a new health and fitness regime.

Obesity is among a number of health issues which have been aggravated by the coronavirus pandemic.

The government announced a new obesity strategy in July to help people lose weight, get active and eat better after what they coined a Covid-19 ‘wake-up call’.

Researchers at the University of North Carolina found that people with a Body Mass Index of more than 30 were 113 per cent more likely to be hospitalised with coronavirus.

And, linked to findings around the flu vaccine, there is also a fear that clinically overweight people may be immune from any Covid-19 vaccine that may become available in the future.

Dr McWhor acknowledges how difficult it has been to stay active in 2020 with leisure centres, swimming pools and gyms being closed, but also stresses how easy it can be to stay healthy by making just a few changes to your daily routine.

The BHSF clinician said: “Probably the hardest thing is making a start.

“People can sometimes feel overwhelmed about making any sort of change in their lives so it’s important to start small and keep on building after that.

“It’s about finding what’s right for you, what you enjoy and, perhaps more importantly, what you can fit into your everyday schedule.

“You don’t have to join a gym; there are plenty of exercises you can do at home which will help you get you fit and healthy.

“Eating well is also obviously key in fighting obesity. Again, making a few small changes to your diet every day can make a big difference in the long run.”

If you’re interested in improving your physical and mental health, the BHSF Connect app provides customers with nine tailored health and fitness features, including huge discounts across 3,200 gyms, health clubs and boot camps across the UK and Ireland.

Furthermore, a quick-and-easy in-app Q&A measures and improves your wellbeing.

The app makes it easy for you to contact a GP with a confidential helpline available to provide counselling, advice and emotional support 24/7.

You can also use the app to find a private medical specialist in specific areas of medicine.

And away from health and fitness, BHSF Connect can provide peace of mind by advising on legal matters, providing support for carers and helping with money management.

Visit BHSF Connect for more information