1. Establish a routine
“When it comes to exercise, I work my ass off – literally!” says queen of fitness Gwyneth Paltrow. “I do Tracy Anderson’s method five days a week. I drop my kids at school and go straight to the gym to get it out of the way. Tracy once said to me ‘Think of it like brushing your teeth - just get up and do it.’ So that’s what I do.” Gwyneth swears by a consistent workout schedule to maintain her killer bod: “I do an hour of dance aerobics and some muscular structure work with light weights every day.”
2. Adapt to your climate
It’s important to be realistic when choosing what exercises will make up your fitness routine, and this includes taking the weather into account. Leighton Meister agrees: “NYC girls are into their workout regimes – but for six months of the year, it’s raining or snowing outside, so you need to stay active. I love yoga. In a big city it’s good to lie there and take time out.” So don’t commit to a strict running regime if you know you’ll skip a day as soon as it rains, and living in rainy Blighty that’s a lot of missed laps.
3. Find your one true love
Try as many different activities as you can until you discover the exercise that’s a perfect fit for you. Supermodel Jourdan Dunn changed up her fitness routine before Christmas and is already enjoying the results: “Recently I’ve tried this thing called barrecore. It’s a combination of ballet, Pilates, yoga and cardio. You’re doing squats on your tippy toes and it’s very intense, but then you feel good afterwards.” You may find that rock climbing is your forte or that you’re awesome at spinning, but you’ll never know until you’ve given it a go.
4. Know your limits
“If you keep your targets and expectations realistic, then it’s easier to deal with any setbacks” says Olympic champion Jessica Ennis-Hill. “When you set targets, always identify the smaller steps with the main goals and review them regularly.” Not an athlete? That might just mean that a Sunday jog around the block rather than signing up for the London Marathon is a more achievable starting point for you.
5. Be a hydration hero
It must be one of the oldest rules in the fitness book but staying properly hydrated is crucial for optimum performance in your workout. Cameron Diaz swears by starting her day with an abundance of water: “I brush my teeth, then drink a litre and a half of water. It wakes up the digestive tract and flushes it with moisture, which helps release waste.” Drink as much water as you can before you begin your workout and make sure to keep a bottle handy so that you can top up.
6. Incorporate exercise into everything
Getting creative with your daily routine is an efficient way to fit more movement into your day. “A simple thing I do is raise my arms a little when carrying bags – it’s great for toning your arms, as it really engages the muscles,” says Helena Christensen. “Taking the stairs rather than using the lift helps tone too.” You’ll soon be spotting ways to add exercise to your every day chores and this will quickly add up to giving you a great fitness boost.
7. Don’t get stuck in a gym-rut
“I try to do one non-gym activity a week,” says Cindy Crawford. Breaking out of the four walls of the gym can be a good way of keeping your workout exciting. “Be it a hike, bike ride or a long walk. It’s hard finding the time, as I travel a lot and have early starts, but I’ll do an abbreviated version of my workout if I have to.”
8. Little and often is the way to go
We’re all time-poor and so it’s important to find inventive ways of fitting in an exercise regime. Rather than shunning a two-hour work out in the gym and getting into your onesie, try to fit in a short spurt of activity every day. Jessica Alba is a aficionado of this method: “I know it sounds brutal, but I try to get as much exercise as I can, even if it’s only 15 to 20 minutes a day. It helps keep my energy levels up.”
9. Buddy up
Working out with a friend gives you some accountability that makes it harder to skip that early morning training session. “Running with a buddy keeps you going. I would have hit the snooze button if I hadn’t planned to meet them!” says Heidi Klum. It’s also a great way of multitasking - turning a solitary cycling session into an outing with friends adds a hit of wellbeing to the boost you get from a workout.
10. It’s all in the mind
If you’ve asked yourself ‘what would Beyoncé do?’ during a workout then listen up: “To stay on track I visualise my goal,” the super fit megastar says. “I’ve pictured what I want out of life and it’s so important to have that picture, because we all get weak and we all get frustrated and we all get tired. I just have to relive that picture in my mind. I only let myself become so weak before I say to myself, ‘You’d better suck it up girl!’ If you want it, it’s up to you. But you’ve got to do it yourself!
By Catherine Scale