After a complicated and strange year of being locked in the house – and with the foodiest time of the year just round the corner – one fitness fanatic has shared her tips and tricks for looking after your body all year round.

While crash dieting and fitness frenzies have been a popular choice for many throughout the past countless years, personal trainer, fitness instructor and gym owner Keri Taylor is discouraging the trend.

Instead, she’s urging everyone to get on top of their health in the most positive ways, including getting those legs moving, blood pumping and lungs working – while still enjoying your favourite cheeky treat.

“I think this year people definitely have an increased awareness of what they’re eating and how much exercise they’re getting,” the 45-year-old, who also runs KT Tuition in Workington, said.

“There’s been a big emphasis on making sure you’re moving and looking after yourself during lockdown and everything, which has been good to see.

“Sitting behind a desk all day or not moving at all is definitely not good for anyone – it’s not good your physical or mental health.”

She continued: “If you just get up and go for a walk for half an hour, or even just 10 minutes, it’ll be a massive help.

“Moving around in any way is definitely better for you than just sitting on your bum all day!”

And although physical fitness is a key aspect of Keri’s life and work, her main focus is mental health, and she encourages everyone to prioritise their happiness and comfort above all else.

Everything from a brisk walk outside to get fresh air in your lungs to simply kicking your legs and stretching your muscles while sat in front of your computer are good ideas – and a simple way to keep alert and positive.

But of course, fitness isn’t just about how much you move, with what you eat – and how much you eat – being a massive influence on a person’s health.

Whitehaven woman Keri said: “An advantage to lockdown is that people have been looking for new ways to look after themselves – it’s been a great year for trying things, like veganism and dairy-free foods.

“When it comes to Christmas Day, eat whatever you want – calories don’t count on Christmas!

“Everything is fine to eat if you’re sensible with it – I really don’t believe in cutting foods out altogether, unless it’s for ethical or health reasons.”

She continued: “When people stop eating one food entirely really suddenly, they’ll just end up craving it and eating even more than they would have done anyway.

“The key is just being sensible – have whatever food you want in moderation, or make little changes, like swapping sugar for sweeteners.

“People cutting out chocolate and foods like that won’t work, because our bodies need a bit of the sweet stuff, that’s why we crave it – so still eat and enjoy food, just don’t go mad with it!”

The New U Functional Fitness co-owner added that she was looking forward to seeing everyone join the gym in the coming weeks and months, hoping to see many people visit to work on their fitness and strength.

But even those gym-phobics among us can easily keep on top of their lifelong health with Keri’s two vital pieces of advice.

“Keep moving, and keep eating,” she said.

“Don’t go crash dieting thinking it will make you really healthy. Losing weight is good if you’re unhealthily overweight, but even then, being responsible and sensible with it is so important.

“Not eating is not the answer to losing weight, or to getting fit and healthy – it’s bad for your general health, but is will also just make you miserable and sad, which isn’t ever a good thing.”

She added: “Short ten-minute walks every now and then are a great way to help yourself.

“It’s the best exercise – it gets your legs moving, your lungs breathing nice, fresh air, and it gets your blood circulating.

“Also, the more walks you take and the longer they are, the better your relationship with food can be because you don’t need to worry so much about how much you’re putting into your body, because you’re using that energy, which is obviously the key thing to do when keeping fit or losing weight.”

For more information, visit the New U Functional Fitness Facebook page.