Health & Fitness
idioms & expressions

Give your English vocabulary a new lease of life!

Learn English health and fitness idioms

Do you have a renewed motivation to improve your health and fitness? Let’s unravel the English language and dive into the dynamic world of health and fitness idioms and expressions.

We focus on the stages of being unhealthy, getting fit and healthy and achieving your goals. This includes 18 fabulous English idioms and expressions with meanings and examples to kickstart your health and fitness journey.

Idioms about being unhealthy

These idioms describe the effects of being unhealthy and not physically active. They can even be the starting point of wanting to be fitter and healthier.

Health & Fitness idioms - Being unhealthy

out of shape

Meaning
physically unfit or not in good condition.

Example
After months of inactivity, I am out of shape and need to start exercising.

a couch potato

Meaning
describes a person who is not physically active and watches a lot of television.

Example
After a long week of work, Emma becomes a couch potato at the weekend and binge-watching her favorite shows.

a recipe for disaster

Meaning
describes a situation or choices likely to lead to negative consequences.

Example
He’s  a workaholic and has been skipping meals and relying on fast food for far too long. Finally, he’s realised that this was a recipe for disaster and has decided to focus more on improving his health and fitness.

a wake-up call

Meaning
an event or experience that prompts a realisation or change in behaviour.

Example
Failing his annual health check was a wake-up call. The results were terrible and he realised that he needed to take better care of himself.

Getting fit and healthy idioms

Here are some expressions to describe the challenging and rewarding journey of improving fitness and having a healthier lifestyle.

Health & Fitness idioms - Getting fitter

get (back) into shape

Meaning
to improve fitness through exercise and healthy eating.

Example
After an enjoyable Christmas break, with far too much eating and drinking, I need to get back into shape and start exercising again!

hit the scales

Meaning
to weigh yourself.

Example
After my first two weeks of healthy eating and regular exercise, I was eager to hit the scales.

step up to the plate

Meaning
to take on a challenge or responsibility.

Example
Jason has been extremely overweight since he was a teenager, but getting into shape was never a priority. Now it’s really affecting his health and he needs to step up to the plate and improve his physical fitness.

hit the gym

Meaning
to go to a fitness centre.

Example
She plans to hit the gym every morning before work to get into shape. Let’s see how long it lasts!

break (work) up a sweat

Meaning
to start sweating as a result of physical activity.

Example
We joined a group workout last week to get healthy. It was so intense (or I’m just really unfit), and I broke up a sweat within the first few minutes.

put your back into it

Meaning
to do something with maximum effort.

Example
If you want to see results, you need to put your back into it and make your body work harder.

give it your all

Meaning
to give maximum effort or commitment.

Example
I gave it my all during the fitness challenge, and I’m proud of the progress I made. I can’t remember the last time I was so active, and I feel great.

stretch your limits

Meaning
to go beyond your usual boundaries or capabilities.

Example
Trying new workout routines is a great way to stretch your limits and improve overall fitness.

on the right track

Meaning
to move in the correct or desired direction.

Example
With a balanced diet and regular exercise, Anna is on the right track to better health and achieving her personal goals.

Idioms for health and fitness success

These health and fitness idioms and expressions offer a great way of describing success and reaching personal goals to become healthier.

Health & Fitness idioms - Success

fit as a fiddle

Meaning
to be in excellent physical condition.

Example
Despite being in his 60s, he’s fit as a fiddle and can outperform many younger individuals.

in tip-top shape

Meaning
in outstanding physical condition.

Example
After months of dedicated training, she’s now in tip-top shape for the upcoming marathon.

a clean bill of health

Meaning
a report or confirmation of good health.

Example
After the medical checkup, the doctor gave him a clean bill of health.

feel like a new person

Meaning
to experience a positive transformation or rejuvenation.

Example
Since incorporating daily walks into my routine, I feel like a new person – energetic and refreshed.

a new lease of life

Meaning
to be more healthy, energetic and active than before.

Example
Adopting a healthier lifestyle has given her a new lease of life, and she’s more active than ever.

Give your English vocabulary a new lease of life too!

English idioms are commonly used by native speakers and can be a fun and enjoyable part of language learning too. We recommend learning idioms because it is an excellent way to expand your English vocabulary and improve communication skills.

So, are you on the right track to take your English skills to the next level?

For English idioms about other topics, please visit our free vocabulary lessons too.

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