Kiri Jones, Master Pilates & Barre Trainer
The mental benefits of exercise are just important as the physical. It’s fine to have an aesthetic goal in mind – whether it’s tangible weight loss or just toning up – but you need to have perspective and understand the other benefits to stay motivated. I always say it’s no good looking like a Ferrari if you’re made with Fiat Punto parts. That’s why I love Pilates – it focuses on wellness from the inside-out and is an incredible all-round workout. My formula for staying fit is all about a bit of morning movement – whether it’s a fitness class or a dog walk, I know I’ll be in a better headspace for it.
Doing what you enjoy matters. If you don’t enjoy the type of exercise you’re doing, you’ll either resent your ‘healthy lifestyle’ or won’t maintain it. I recently started going to ballet classes after retiring as a professional dancer seven years ago. It feels good to move my body in a way it already knows and understands.
Where possible, stay creative. I’m a realist when it comes to working out – if you only have 20 minutes, that’s better than nothing. If time is of the essence, I focus on bodyweight and small equipment – such as ankle and wrist weights and resistance bands – which allow for endless opportunities to get moving and sweating.
Rosie Stockley, Founder of Mamawell
Keep things fresh to keep the body challenged. I aim for four 30-minute sessions a week and try to go for a walk most days. These can be full-body weights sessions, runs or mat Pilates – keeping things varied stops the body from plateauing. Also, it’s good to experiment with working out at different times of the day – especially with summer approaching, when the longer days give you more opportunities to exercise later. It’s interesting to see how your body responds to exercising at different times.
Set goals. I like to set goals throughout the year, whether it’s learning a new skill, an endurance goal or time challenge, as opposed to an aesthetic goal. You’ll be so much more motivated if you can see yourself getting stronger and faster, rather than just ‘losing weight’.
I couldn’t live without a foam roller. Myofascial release – foam rolling – is an incredible way to warm up the body before a workout. It’s great for flexibility, activating muscles and prepping them for exercise. I foam roll on rest days too, to help my body grow stronger.
It’s worth getting the family involved. I’ve recently been jogging with a running buggy, which is fun for me and my 17-month-old baby. My five-year-old daughter also loves a HIIT workout, which we do at home. Exercising with little ones around has its challenges, but I believe it’s something everyone can grow to love as they get older.
Monique Eastwood, PT
It’s vital to be consistent. It’s a fact that you will lose muscle, bone density, mobility and strength as you get older, so it’s important to make movement integral to your life. At home, I have some light dumbbells, a Swiss ball, resistance bands and a foam roller, which I use three times a week. When I can, I start my day with a power walk – I walk fast for 40 minutes and add in a few step-ups or press-ups whenever I see a bench for an added challenge. There’s no need to overcomplicate things – sometimes, simple is better.
Creating challenge will help you stay motivated. We’re all wired differently, and this is important to recognise – there’s no such thing as one-size-fits-all when it comes to exercise. However, make sure you add an element of challenge to your week. Aim to move every day but challenge your body at least three times a week – this could be a harder walk, lifting a slightly heavier weight or even trying a different workout.
Remember the body needs time to repair. When I was younger, recovery wasn’t something I prioritised, but I now understand the importance. After a strenuous week, your sympathetic nervous system will be heightened, which is associated with markers of inflammation and stress. Factoring rest days into your week will help rebalance the body.
Anya Lahiri, Master Trainer at Barry’s UK
When all else fails, just show up. Getting to a class or the gym is often the hardest part – the rest just happens. I aim for three to five workouts a week, although I appreciate that this can’t always happen. Some form of activity every day is better than nothing – I’ll walk instead of getting a cab or cycle around town instead of getting the bus.
I couldn’t be without my Theragun. I use it religiously post-workout. I’m also very particular about the shoes I run in – I see so many injuries from wearing the wrong footwear. My Brooks trainers are my go-to trainer for the treadmill. I also really rate Hermosa’s protein powder – it makes such a difference to muscle recovery. Use it to make protein pancakes on the weekend.
Finally, be kind to yourself. I’ve had a long journey back from my second pregnancy and, at times, motivating myself to exercise has been a challenge. I try to listen to my own advice and remember that everyone starts as a beginner at some stage. Getting into a routine is what counts – whatever that looks like to you. The more I do, the more I crave it, and I love seeing and feeling the progress.
Michelle Morrey, PT & Online Coach
I’ve recently swapped HIIT for strength training. Having just turned 40, I’ve noticed a change in the way my body responds to exercise. My body is now more sensitive to stress, so I prioritise barre and Pilates. I also do one yoga class a week, a couple of low-impact, steady state cardio sessions and go on daily walks with my dog. Even if it’s 30 minutes in our local park, it’s a great way to get the steps in on less active days.
Being hypermobile, I need to stay strong. Hypermobility is very common, but it means some of your joints have an unusually large range of motion, and if you aren’t strong enough, you’re more prone to injury. Hypermobility also causes fatigue, so without decent sleep, I struggle with low energy. A solid bedtime routine keeps me on the straight and narrow, and I always supplement with magnesium bisglycinate and l-theanine before bed.
Amy Brogan, Founder of A Body Forever
Being fit is a 360° approach. I stay fit by moving my body five days a week. The golden secret is to listen to your body – it will tell you when you need to eat and rest, and when you need to push or have a day off. If you stop and listen, you’ll be better able to work with the ebbs and flows.
I have the same routine every week. On a Monday, it’s lower-body strength and conditioning, Pilates on a Tuesday, upper body strength on a Wednesday, HIIT on a Thursday, stretching and mobility on a Friday, and if I’ve missed a workout in the week, I’ll go to Reformer Pilates at Frame on a Saturday. The only time my routine changes is when I’m on holiday – this is my chance to unwind.
It’s all about the small wins. Forget setting unrealistic goals and instead, set yourself mini goals over the weeks and months. This will hold you accountable for your progress and keep you coming back for more.
Remember, food is fuel. If you want to see results, you need to eat well – a protein smoothie is not food. At every meal, I make sure I have a source of protein, carbs and fibre.
Half an hour is plenty. You don’t need to work out for crazy amounts of time unless you’re training for an event. Anywhere between 30-45 minutes will suffice.
Christina Howells, PT
EMS has been a game-changer for me. Electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) uses electrical currents to heighten the contractions in your muscles to supercharge your workout. In fact, 20 minutes of EMS is equivalent to 90 minutes in the gym. I do one or two EMS sessions a week alongside dynamic hot yoga twice a week. I walk, run or bike to clients – an easy way to fit cardio into my day. I aim to do at least 10,000 steps every day.
Train smarter, not harder. This is especially important in midlife, when quality trumps quantity. It’s all about choosing the right kind of exercise for your own personal health, mind and body, and finding a balance that fits with your lifestyle.
I love trying new things. I’m currently learning to swim, which is something I’ve always feared. It’s imperative to not only stay active but keep the body and mind challenged. It’s not ageing that causes a decline in fitness – rather, that a decline in fitness causes ageing.
Maria Eleftheriou, Head Of Barre at Psycle
I’m a morning person. My body needs to move first thing to feel calm and connected. If I work out in the evening, I just feel wired and exhausted. Remember, no one is made the same, so try to tune into what your body needs – three productive workouts is far better than seven half-hearted ones. My weekly formula is simple – I take two barre classes, one reformer Pilates, two spin classes and one Barry’s class. Each one challenges my body in different ways.
Missing one workout won’t matter. The pandemic made me realise that less can sometimes be more. When I worried that I couldn’t get to the studio or gym, I quickly realised that nothing would change if I missed a session. Now, I book workouts into my calendar the week before and treat them like appointments.
Music is my mantra and meditation. Playlists are where I lose myself for 45-60 minutes each day. I spent time curating my own playlists and will always book in with instructors whose music taste I really rate.
DISCLAIMER: Features published by SheerLuxe are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. Always seek the advice of your GP or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programme.