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blog - Kate Smart Fitness Online
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Finding your Movement Mojo

I’m writing this in January, typically a month that sees many people hit the gym or sign up to fitness programmes with great enthusiasm and gusto, only to lose their mojo by Valentine’s Day.

I’ve frequently talked about disliking the idea of ‘new year, new me’ and am a firm believer in incorporating regular exercise and movement into one’s life to enhance health (mental AND physical) rather than as a punishment for indulgence or to change one’s body shape.

This week has been my first full week back teaching since the Christmas break and there’s been a lovely enthusiasm for the glow and endorphins as well as comments on the lines of ‘I feel so unfit’ or the noticeable DOMS, inevitable after such a break – these from those who ARE regular movers. So, how about those put off before they’ve even started? Those for whom it’s not yet a habit? To go from nothing to an entrenched habit is a big ask and it’s not unusual to hear of bold, sweeping goals however I’d advocate a slower start, perhaps taking smaller steps than you might expect.

So here are 5 tips on finding (and maybe even keeping) your movement mojo:

  1. Don’t worry about being a beginner – just start to consider yourself as an active person. Walk every day if you can. Stretch, breathe, take the stairs instead of the lift. If there’s a choice of movement over being stationary, take it. Find a ten minute online workout and give it a go. A walk round the block rather than a few minutes scrolling. You’ll start to feel the benefit I promise. If you have any specific injuries, conditions or concerns, seek advice from someone who knows their shizz.
  2. Sounds obvious, but ditch any exercise you don’t enjoy and find something you DO like. Just because your friend loves a 10k run, doesn’t mean you have to. Try out a new class, see what sparks your joy. Quite often one enjoyable activity will lead to another as confidence grows so don’t be afraid to try something new (I am currently getting great joy from adding a dance class to my week and seeing my co-ordination improve as the weeks go by – good for my brain as well as my body, not so good for the people next to me as I am still developing my skills!)
  3. Plan it – if you just try and ‘fit it in’, chances are that you will find a different priority when the time comes. Put in your diary when you are going to move and be realistic – if you’re not a morning person, maybe ditch the 6.30am slot and go for something more palatable.
  4. Make it easy and simple to get going – put your kit out ready, fill a water bottle and when you’ve done it, allow a dopamine moment of ticking a self congratulatory box (mentally or in real life!)
  5. Miss a session? – don’t sweat it. There’s always another day. It could be tomorrow or later that day. Missing one planned session is no failure and does not a couch potato make! It’s life. Move on to the next day, the next session and remember to see yourself as an active person. If you forget to brush your teeth one morning, it doesn’t mean you will never do it again (I hope!)

Please do remember it’s never going to be an all or nothing situation, not for my tribe of busy, life filled people. It’s got to work for you and it MUST be enjoyable!

If I’ve piqued your interest , I’ve linked below a super simple 10 minute workout lifted from my Online Members’ Hub to get you going. 10 minutes (well, 12 actually, but near enough!) click the URL under the video cover…

Roasted Butternut Squash and Red Pepper Soup

A really tasty, warming and soothing soup – packed with anti-oxidants.


1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed

1 red pepper, de-seeded and roughly chopped

1 onion, peeled and chopped

1 red chilli – de-seeded and sliced in half

2 cloves garlic

olive oil

750ml vegetable stock


Preheat the oven to 180 (fan)

Put the butternut squash, red pepper, onion and red chilli on a roasting tray, drizzle with olive oil and season, then roast for around 40 mins.

Once the veg and soft and slightly browned, remove from the oven.

Heat some olive oil in a large pan and gently fry the chopped garlic for a minute or two before adding the roasted vegetables and the stock.

Simmer for 5 mins or so then blend.

That’s it!

French Onion Soup with Gruyere Croutons

It’s a classic isn’t it! Probably doesn’t need much of an introduction. You can of course use vegetable stock instead of beef if you don’t eat meat.


5 white or brown onions (peeled and finely sliced)

50g butter

tblsp olive oil

1 tsp sugar

3 cloves garlic

2 tblsp plain flour

250ml white wine

1 litre beef or vegetable stock

a few baguette slices

Grated gruyere cheese


Melt the butter and oil in a large pan then add the onion and soften for 5-10 mins

Add the sugar and cook on low, stirring occasionally for 20 mins

Once it’s REALLY soft, add the garlic for a couple more minutes then stir in the flour

Gradually add the wine whilst stirring, then add the stock

Bring to a simmer for 20 minutes

Meanwhile pre-heat a grill and toast the baguette with the grated gruyere on top and serve on top of the soup.

Courgette, Spinach and Potato Soup

It always feels good to eat something green!

This is a really delicious blend of health and comfort and is another easy one to make. The addition of the cheese makes it taste amazing!


4 medium sized potatoes (peeled and chopped)

2 large courgettes (top and tailed and chopped)

4 spring onions (roughly chopped)

couple of handfuls of washed spinach

2 vegetable stock cubes

cheddar cheese (grated)


Pop the chopped potatoes in a large pan, cover with water, crumble in the stock cubes and simmer for 5 minutes

Add the courgette and cook for another 5 minutes

Add the spring onions and washed spinach for another 5 minutes

Once the potatoes are soft, turn off the heat and blend

Top with grated cheese

It’s that simple!


This just tastes of summer and is a perfect soup on warmer days. There is zero cooking involved so energy saving too! Full of antioxidants and s(o)uper tasty!


8 large ripe tomatoes

1 green pepper (de-seeded)

1/2 a white or brown onion (peeled)

1/2 a cucumber (peeled)

1 garlic cloves

dash of vinegar (white wine, red wine or sherry vinegar)


60ml olive oil


Wash and chop all the veg then add to a blender and blend to desired consistency (I like it smooth).

add a pinch of salt and the vinegar and blend again.

Finally slowly drizzle in the oil as you keep blending.

Put in the fridge as you want this super cold.

I served it with chopped cucumber and a drizzle of extra oil. It’s also really nice with a boiled egg hidden in the bowl!

Lentil, Bacon and Vegetable Soup

This is a ‘use what you have’ kind of soup. The ingredients can be switched with what you have available and of course, leave out the bacon and use vegetable stock if you are not eating meat. 

Ingredients (don’t need to be exact):

tblsp olive oil

1 onion (chopped)

2 cloves garlic (peeled and chopped)

2 sticks celery (chopped)

2 carrots (scrubbed and chopped)

1 red pepper (de-seeded and chopped)

4-6 slices lean bacon (chopped)

A couple of handfuls of dried red lentils (rinsed)

sprinkle of dried chilli flakes (to taste)

750ml vegetable or chicken stock


Heat the oil and add the chopped vegetables until they start to soften.

Turn up the heat and add the bacon  – stir until it looks cooked through and starting to brown.

Add the lentils and chilli flakes and stir through for about a minute.

Add the stock , simmer for 15 – 20 mins until the lentils are soft.

Serve and enjoy!

Cauliflower Cream Cheese Soup

This is a deliciously creamy soup that packs a load of heart and hormone healthy cauliflower into you whilst feeling comforting and soothing. I used to really dislike cauliflower but have discovered so many new and delicious ways to enjoy it recently. Fabulous in autumn and winter months. (credit to Jo Pratt)


50g butter

1 onion (chopped)

2 cloves garlic (peeled and chopped)

1 bay leaf

1 large cauliflower broken into florets

1 large potato peeled and chopped

500ml milk

750ml vegetable stock

200g cream cheese

1tsp mustard

salt and pepper

nigella seeds

For the onion topping:

4 large onions, peeled and cut into wedges

olive oil




Heat the oven to 200 degrees

Put the onions into a roasting tin, drizzle with oil, add small knobs of butter and thyme sprigs and roast for 30-40mins

For the soup:

Melt the butter and add the chopped onion until it starts to soften.

Stir in the bay leaf, garlic, cauliflower and potato and cook covered on a low heat for around 15 mins giving it an occasional stir.

Add the stock and the milk, simmer for 15mins until the veg are soft.

Mix the cream cheese and mustard together, then stir it into the soup.

Remove the bay leaf, turn off the heat and blitz ’til smooth.

Serve with the sticky onions and nigella seeds on top.


3 Simple Releases for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

17 April 2020

3 Simple Releases for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, sometimes experienced in pregnancy and the postnatal period and indeed way beyond can often cause issues at the wrist. Whether it’s difficulty in weight-bearing through the wrist, numbness, tingling or pain, the following video demonstrates three techniques which might help to alleviate symptoms.

Huge thanks to Burrell Education for the ongoing learning and inspiration.

Wrist and forearm release exercises from Kate Smart on Vimeo.

Kneeling releases for the diaphragm

28 March 2020

Kneeling releases for the diaphragm

This video is about kneeling releases for the diaphragm

Kneeling release exercises from Kate Smart on Vimeo.

Wall Angels Exercise

28 March 2020

Wall Angels Exercise

A simple movement to open the front of the shoulders and chest, addressing a common postnatal posture issue.

Explaining wall angels exercise from Kate Smart on Vimeo.