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Chester soap opera Hollyoaks comes top of new TV fit-list

The city-based soap is the first to receive the HEALTHie gong

L-R: Luke Jerdy (plays Jesse Donovan), Kieron Richardson (plays Ste Hay) and Maxim Baldry (plays Liam Donovan)(Image: David J Colbran)

Forget the critics choice awards, Chester-set soap opera Hollyoaks has a new accolade to celebrate after coming top of a new TV fit-list.

Sprinting ahead of rivals EastEnders , Emmerdale and Coronation Street , who came second, third and fourth respectively, Hollyoaks is the first soap to receive a ‘HEALTHie’ (Health in entertainment) award.

In a bid to understand the varying influences on the nation’s health and lifestyle habits, Fitness First commissioned independent analysis of behaviours depicted by the characters in Britain’s most popular soaps.

The HEALTHie award was created as recognition for the show that best represented health in entertainment.

Of the four soaps, Hollyoaks was the only show to exhibit as many instances of healthy behaviours as they were unhealthy, during the two-week viewing period.

Fitness and marketing director at Fitness First Lee Matthews said: “Soap operas are a much loved part of British culture with 40 million of us tuning in to watch the lives of our favourite characters every week. With such loyal audiences, positive behaviour portrayed on these shows can only be a good influence on our real life, which is why we’ve decided to create the ‘HEALTHie’.

“While studying Hollyoaks, we saw that despite there being three ‘big nights out’, there were zero instances of smoking shown on screen. In comparison there were 13 instances of jogging, walking and playing a sport.

“Hollyoaks has demonstrated perfectly that we can play hard and still incorporate healthy habits along the way.”

In total, 48% of activity in Hollyoaks was considered healthy compared to its rivals, EastEnders 36%, Emmerdale 18%, Coronation Street 15%.

The Hollyoaks characters were also the most active, with characters sitting down for just 15% of the episodes compared to Corrie which was double (31%).

Luke Jerdy (plays Jesse Donovan) with the Fitness First HEALTHie Award(Image: David J Colbran)

Fitness First PT Ambassadors also have these top tips for everyday health:

Work hard to play hard - Living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean the end of a social life. It’s about making smarter choices when you are out so you can enjoy yourself without undoing the week’s hard work. Try drinking one glass of water for every alcoholic drink you consume and opt for less calorific alcohol such as slim line tonic with your gin or Prosecco over wine.

Sweat it out – Alcohol is full of toxins and these contribute to a hangover. Going for a sauna the morning after a big night out is a great way to help remove all those toxins consumed through alcohol.

Remember to rest - Taking a day off from training is important. While you rest, your body is allowed to make the necessary physiological changes. Try and avoid training for more than three days in a row without taking a day off.

Be prepared – Plan when you’re going out and predict the foods you might need the next day. Being unprepared makes it easy to snack on the wrong foods or to not even eat at all! Prepping a range of healthy snacks and meals will help you stay on track.

Sleep well - Getting a good night’s rest is just as important than training hard and eating well as it allows your body and mind to relax and recover. Having a consistent sleep pattern allows your body to settle into a routine. Don’t stay up late watching TV, record it and catch up the next day!

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