Why Call the Midwife should be our fitness inspiration this January

"I'm calling time on the health and fitness fads of 2016. This January we'd be better off taking some advice from Call the Midwife," says Ellie Walker-Arnott

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Cutting out carbs, juicing, getting up hours before the sun to do squats. It’s all well and good, I suppose; we can’t be sat around watching telly every hour of the day. But I think we can all agree it’s not very pleasant. 

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Every January we put ourselves through gruelling detoxes and cruel health kicks, punishing ourselves for the enjoyable excesses of the Christmas period. 

We strain, complain and take selfies of our wobbly bellies in the mirror, keeping our fingers crossed for an impressive ‘before and after’ to share on social media. We restrict ourselves, calorie count and crash diet.

And enough is enough. I’m calling time on the health and fitness fads of 2016. This January we’d be better off taking some advice from Call the Midwife.

Sure, a bunch of nurses and nuns from the 1960s might not seem like the key to a healthy 2016, but tonight’s episode of the hit BBC1 period drama proved otherwise. 

Trixie’s Keep Fit class was all about how good exercise can make you feel, about how transforming your body can be a side effect to a healthy, happier mind.

It’s about finding new strength, being kind to yourself. About women getting together and supporting each other.

And it’s a million miles away from the way most of us approach fitness: being critical of ourselves and harsh to our bodies with the aim of an airbrushed and entirely unachievable goal. 

Oh, and Trixie also stops the class half way through for a cup of tea and a chat, which sounds like a terribly good idea to me. 

Call the Midwife’s message was that “owning a female body ought to be a joy.”

Of course, the episode deals with a lack of medical and biological education that thankfully, in Britain in 2016, I think we’ve bridged. But – as we skip lunch or fixate on our body’s imperfections – their health and fitness outlook is still a sentiment we could all do with remembering. 

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Call the Midwife is on Sundays at 8:00pm on BBC1