Charlotte Hawkin’s Shape-up Secrets

Be stronger than your excuses, they won’t get you results! It’s all too easy to find a reason not to exercise – ‘I just don’t have the time’ is the most common. Well, it’s rubbish – everyone has the time, it’s just a matter of managing your priorities and how you choose to use your time. Getting yourself motivated is key, and that’s easier when you’re doing things you enjoy. If all I did was running I would hate it and continuously put it off. But for me, I run 3k at the gym a couple of times a week alongside my other exercises, as this makes me feel so much better afterwards. I focus on how it doesn’t take me that long, but is so worth it. Find a routine that works for you – doing something you love and getting a buzz from it makes it so much easier.

The way to get a headstart is to build exercise into your everyday routine. I get my four year-old daughter Ella Rose up and moving with me – we dance around the kitchen, do skipping, play football and have races in the garden. My rescue dog Bailey is also a great motivator, as she needs walking every day and is a constant reminder to go outdoors, whatever the weather! It’s on those days when I think to myself ‘I’m too tired’, ‘I’ll go tomorrow’ or ‘I don’t feel like it’ when it really makes a difference to push myself, and those are the times I will feel the most benefit afterwards. If you really need a push in the right direction to stay in shape, stand in front of the mirror, take your clothes off and have a good look. What needs work? What would you like to change? Don’t see it as an insurmountable task – the right exercise done on a regular basis will soon bring results. Combine that with sensible eating and you’ll be there before you know it. I’m not the fittest person, my diet isn’t perfect, but I try to make sure that on the whole I have a healthy balance. Here are my top tips for keeping in shape:

1. Use all opportunities

Don’t walk upstairs, run up them! Ditch the car and walk, or get off the train a stop early. Do squats while you’re brushing your teeth and weights while you’re watching TV.

2. Diarise your plans

Keep a note of all the exercise you do, whether you jot it down in a diary, a planner or by using an app. Then, you can look back and see just how much you are doing on a weekly basis, and work out where else you can squeeze activity in.

3. Do things you love

If you hate running, you’ll dread making yourself go; if it’s a brisk dog walk, a dancing class, swimming or Zumba, you might be likely to do it. Instead of focusing on the exercise, try focusing on the results you’ll achieve. It works for me – I say to myself ‘this may be tough and I’m hating it, but it’s working off those biscuits I ate or will help streamline my stomach!’

4. Move every day

My New Year’s resolution to walk 10,000 steps a day means I’m wearing off 3,500 calories a week, and that equates to a pound of weight lost without even noticing. Set yourself a target – we’re heading towards summer now so it’s a good time to think about being bikini ready!

5. Assess your diet

Take a look at what you’re eating and have a think about where you need to make changes. Try a healthy recipe delivery service to kickstart your diet or make it easier to stick to a plan. Make sure you have healthy snacks to hand to stop cravings and keep you full until lunchtime.

Health & Wellbeing