The Commonwealth Games may be over but watching the event on TV may have prompted some to start on a campaign of healthy eating and exercise.

ATHLETICS fans have enjoyed a bumper few weeks this summer with, first, the Commonwealth Games and, more recently, the European Championships.

And now the new football season has officially started, footie fans will be tuning in to follow the fortunes of newly-promoted Brighton and Hove Albion in the First Division or cheering on whichever Premiership team they support.

Which adds up to a lot of people who will be staying glued to their seats throughout the next few months.

Staff at BUPA in Brighton have outlined some things armchair sports fans can do to enjoy their sport and keep relatively healthy at the same time.

The first and most obvious step is to try and go easy on the calories.

Most people have experienced the mystery of having a full packet of crisps in their hand one moment only to find an empty bag the next time they look.

Health experts say developing good eating habits isn't just about what a person eats. It is important for them to be "mindful" of their eating habits. This means trying to limit grazing and sticking to regular meals.

Snacking while watching TV is, of course, the complete opposite of mindful eating.

Plenty of fans are happy to carry on snacking on their favourite treats but for those starting to worry about their dietary intake, nutritionists say all is not lost.

A few simple changes can make a lot of difference and allow them to watch their favourite sports with a guilt-free conscience.

For instance, instead of luxury ice-cream, which is packed with fat and sugar, try a low-sugar sorbet instead. It still tastes good but has far fewer calories.

Experts at BUPA also suggest trying sweet fruits such as cherries, strawberries and raspberries, all of which are packed with nutrients.

Instead of crisps, which are high in fat and salt and have little nutritional value, try a handful of mixed (unsalted) nuts and seeds. These are an excellent source of minerals such as selenium and zinc.

Drinks are a source of many "hidden" calories: There are around 150 calories in a can of soft drink and it is easy to consume several times that amount once you've cracked open a big bottle.

Try diet versions of soft drinks or, even better, water or diluted fruit juice.

Back-pain expert Colin Jones says it is now well known that our sedentary lifestyles are a major factor in the back-pain epidemic being experienced in the Western world.

He said: "Slumping in front of the TV for too long can increase your risks of aches and pains, especially if you have bad posture.

"Our bodies are designed to be moving rather than slumped immobile. In order to avoid back pain when watching the TV, it is a good idea to change your position every 20 minutes or so. If you are sitting down, stand up, stretch and take a short walk before you settle back again."

For those inspired by sports to try something for themself, fitness expert Ian Johnson from Brighton has some suggestions.

He said: "The most important thing is to find a sport or activity you enjoy because you'll be more inclined to perservere with it. There is no point forcing yourself to go jogging if you prefer swimming.

"With most activities, over-training is a major cause of injury.

"People should give themselves rest days between exercise and build up slowly.

"Warming up and down improves sporting performance and reduces risk of injury. It ensures muscles are warm enough to work efficiently and joints have a greater range of motion which will provide protection from muscle and ligament tears.

"Gentle aerobic exercise (such as a light jog) and stretching are usually part of the warm-up and warm- down routine but details will vary according to the sport.

"Basically, you don't have to be an elite athlete to enjoy the benefit of a workout - just 20 minutes brisk walking a few days a week will bring serious benefits."