Get your fitness mojo back – fast

From five-minute workouts to exercising with your bub, influencers and insiders share their stay-fit secrets
Photography: Eva Espresso, Shutterstock, Susan Bell

To-do lists as long as your arm. Days as short as a chocolate finger. We know: there are plenty of reasons for swerving a sweat session in favour of the sofa. But those NHS-recommended 150 minutes of moderate activity a week (plus strengthening exercises at least twice weekly) won’t just give you better-fitting jeans. Exercise can help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes, may help improve your mental health and could even rev up your sex life. Mojo still meandering? Our insider tips will help you get into the fitness groove.

Seek the buzz

Hollie Grant, 31
Founder of PilatesPT and The Model Method
"Look at exercise in the same way as you’d view a nice dinner with friends – as something that brings contentment. If you haven’t found anything that makes you buzz, explore new ways to be more active, such as rock climbing, wild swimming, dancing or even gardening. When you discover what you love, you won’t have to dig so deep to stay motivated."

Plan smart, train smart

Paola Di Lanzo, 47
Founder of Paola’s BodyBarre and mum of three
"Schedule your workout. The physical act of writing it in my diary helps me work it into my day, and I honour it as I would any other commitment. If you’re exercising around your job, join a gym or go for a run near work or on the way home. Showing up is the hardest part, so make geography one less barrier."

Find your sling thing

Venetia Cowie, 36
Fitness instructor and mum of one
"If you’re a new parent, invest in a good baby carrier – it’s your biggest exercise enabler. I discovered carifit.co.uk, a 30-minute sling workout you can do online or in a class. I loved it so much that I now teach it to 50 postnatal women a week!"

Start small

Dr Rangan Chatterjee, 41
GP, author and TV presenter
"When first introducing exercise, I ask patients to spare just 10 minutes a week for two workouts of five minutes each, using simple movements such as squats, lunges, press-ups and triceps dips. Within six weeks, almost everyone is doing it – and eager to do more."

Be flexible

Ella Mills, 27
Founder of Deliciously Ella
"Be consistent but flexible to support a long-term habit. I commit to practising yoga every day: some days it’s an hour of sweaty poses, others just five minutes of breathing. Having a flexible ritual means I can always do something – which stops me from doing nothing."

Make it personal

Zoe Lawrenson, 24
Head trainer at F45 Stratford*
"Personal goals will boost commitment far more than, say, getting an A-lister’s abs. Share your goals with your instructors and they can remind you why you’re there, making your training more personal, too."

Inspire action

Zeinegul Salimova, 39
Independent strategy consultant and mum of one
"As a single mum to a teenage daughter, I think about how my lifestyle choices will influence her. When I take her to one of her clubs or classes, I look for a park nearby or plan a good route for a run. It’s an efficient use of my time and feels far better than sitting around."