Boris Johnson pumps iron at gym as part of UK fitness drive

6 August 2020, 21:34

Boris Johnson pumps iron during a trip to a South Ruislip gym
Boris Johnson pumps iron during a trip to a South Ruislip gym. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Boris Johnson has been pumping iron during a gym visit in west London as part of his bid to trim down Britain's waistlines.

Following the prime minister's battle with coronavirus, which left him in intensive care, Mr Johnson has vowed to tackle his own weight issues and is hoping to inspire the nation to do the same.

On Thursday, the UK leader was shown round a branch of the low-cost fitness chain The Gym Group in his South Ruislip constituency where he tried his hand at a number of exercises.

Staff at the gym showed the prime minister how they are keeping members safe amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

During his visit, he was seen shoulder pressing dumbbells and testing the strength of his biceps on a preacher curl bench.

Explained: Boris Johnson's national plan for tackling obesity

Read more: Boris Johnson 'leading by example' in UK's fight to lose weight

Boris Johnson taking on some 10kg weights for a shoulder press exercise
Boris Johnson taking on some 10kg weights for a shoulder press exercise. Picture: PA

His outfit - a white shirt and grey tie - stood out among other gym-goers who were working out as he was taken on a tour of the facilities.

Richard Darwin, chief executive of The Gym Group, said: "The positive impact of exercise on mental and physical wellbeing cannot be underestimated and it was good to see our members tell the Prime Minister how great it was to be back in the gym.

"We know the PM is on his own fitness journey and he's welcome to come back and exercise with us any time."

Mr Johnson's trip comes after the prime minister urged the nation to join him in his fitness drive.

Read more: Prime Minister to ban confectionery at store checkouts to tackle obesity

Read more: Percy Pig packets branded 'wilfully misleading' by obesity campaign

Jamie Oliver welcomes government obesity action with James O'Brien

The push to slim down Britain's midriffs is part of the effort to tackle a possible second wave of coronavirus infections.

Last month, the government unveiled its new obesity strategy which includes bans on junk food advertising before the 9pm watershed, an end to buy-one-get-free deals on fatty and sugary foods and calorie counts on menus.

Mr Johnson said at the time: "Losing weight is hard, but with some small changes we can all feel fitter and healthier.

"If we all do our bit, we can reduce our health risks and protect ourselves against coronavirus - as well as taking pressure off the NHS."

Listen & subscribe: Global Player | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify