"My 15-year-old son is a bit reluctant to shape up. He needs to get more active and lose a bit of weight.

"How can I persuade him to do this, even though he hates sport at school?" - Mrs D Turner, Arundel
Some kids are superfit and active with endless energy, others not so. Try to find activities he would have a natural affinity with or has expressed some interest in - martial arts, mountain biking, indoor climbing - anything, in fact, which will get him a bit out of breath and using a good percentage of the major muscle groups.

Heavy weight training is usually not advised for developing kids but, at a light intensity, it could help build confidence and generate an interest in health and fitness.

Just make sure he goes about it sensibly and under supervision from a qualified instructor.

Bad experiences at school can put people off fitness and sports for life so, if in doubt, quiz the school on what they are specifically doing to help him as everyone has some talent at something and it will only alienate him if he is forced into unappealing activities.

"Any tips for building my calf muscles using my aerobic equipment at home?" - Mr Mullins, Amberly
A Reebok step or similar is perfect for this. With the step lengthwise a few inches from a wall (no need for the height adjustors), put the balls of your feet on the long edge of the step (not the one next to the wall), feet about hip-width apart, legs and body straight and body facing the wall.

Touch the wall with your hands, leaning slightly forward for balance, and push up using your calves. Feel the contraction, then slowly lower to full stretch and immediately up again.

Try not to release tension on the muscle, bend the knees slightly if they feel a bit stressed.

Warm up without the step, go easy for a set then, during set three, pause at the top for a second for a few repetitions to really feel a burn in the gastrocnemius (visible calf muscle).

Aim for 10-12 reps. Watch you don't bounce up and down as the Achilles tendon is at the bottom and you could stress it. When you get stronger, try holding dumbbells and use spotting partner.

Article by personal trainer and YMCA-qualified gym instructor DAVID GORDON. If you would like to train or book a free consultation with David, call 01903 202 895 or email personal trainer@tiscali.co.uk. Send your questions to David Gordon, Features, Argus House, Crowhurst Rd, Brighton BN1 8AR or email features@theargus.co.uk. David regrets he cannot enter into personal correspondence. Please consult your GP before starting to exercise.