A personal trainer who has been helping to keep thousands of people fit and healthy over the pandemic has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

Lavina Mehta has devoted her lockdown to providing free daily virtual workouts to keep people healthy and mentally positive from home.

Her sessions have been aimed in particular at Asian communities across the world after she became alarmed at data which indicated that Asians are less physically active, and have a higher risk of diabetes and heart disease.

The mother-of-three, who lives in Watford, has broadcast her exercise class live on Zoom, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, racking up tens of thousands of views.

Watford Observer:

Lavina taking part in online exercises with her husband and son

In particular, she has targeted her workouts at the elderly and vulnerable population, in a bid to boost their immune systems and combat loneliness.

Mrs Mehta called in help from her 72-year-old mother-in-law to help with the classes for seniors, and her mother-in-law was also able to help with translation.

Among those who got involved was a 97-year-old and people in wheelchairs.

Watford Observer:

Lavina Mehta and her family

She was awarded an MBE for her services to health and fitness.

Reacting to the honour, Mrs Mehta said: “I’m very blessed and honoured and completely in shock.

"I just wanted to help people in these unprecedented times. I’m still in disbelief and still feels very surreal. It still hasn’t sunk in."

Mrs Mehta, who is also a wellness coach, says she will be continuing her daily class for seniors.

Just before Covid-19, she also launched a national campaign ‘Get UK Asians Fit’ and has been leading workouts for families, which she has broadcast from her garden with her own family.

She also has her own website called Feel Good with Lavina.