It's also important to remember that we all have different body types; and many of us will never have a six-pack, or Jen Selter’s arse. But fitness should be less about what our bodies look like and more about what they are able to achieve.
If you're looking for inspiration to get active, it should make you feel good. With that in mind, here's our list of the UK's best Instagram fitness accounts to follow, comprised of real people who set realistic work out goals.
@foodandlycra (9k followers)
Food and Lycra is an account run by London-based friends Kim, Laura and Rachel. They run, cycle, swim with Swim Dem Crew (more on them later), do yoga, Tabata (a strand of high-intensity interval training), lift, squat, surf, play football and eat pretty much anything.
"We have a no-diet zone which means we pretty much eat what we want. Lots of people talk about having a balance but we find it tough to balance our daily lives – let alone the types of food we eat. So we just eat good food and sweat real hard for it! That's where we're probably not your traditional Instagram fitness account."
@sarahscottpole (77k followers)
Anyone who has ever spontaneously decided to go to a pole class for a laugh and left with severe friction burns on their inner thighs will appreciate the level of skill which goes into the sport. Sarah Scott videos not only the astounding results of her hard work but also the strength training which is central to her technique.
@challengesophie (7k followers)
Three years ago, Sophie was working in the business development department of a London start-up. Today, she’s training to cycle a distance of 2770km in 14 days from LA to Miami. Typical posts include photos of her undertaking extreme hikes, Tough Mudder challenges and Triathalons... as well as celebrating with pints at the finish line.
That feeling 😊 This photo was taken today using the @gopro #hero4session the smallest, most versatile and easy to use camera I have ever come across. I can strap it to my wrist, dive into the deep blue sea with it, climb mountains with it, travel the world with it in my pocket and capture moments, unobtrusively, that enable me to share what it felt like to be THERE. I am learning every day to improve my skills and take better photos. I am so grateful to @goprofr for teaching me a few tips and tricks. Totally 💜 being a #GoProGirl #rockmyworld #holiday #mermaid #sunshine #sea #deepblue #happy #freedom #GoPro #goprofr #croatia #crostagram P.S yes I'm on holiday ☀️ @gopro @goprofr @goproculture @smallest_and_lightest @croatia_instagram @protestsportswear @protestwomen
@ajodudu (14k followers)
TV host, DJ and fitness vlogger AJ apparently never stops smiling. Her endlessly energectic Instagram account is a lesson in life balance, as pies and roasts are burned off with park push-ups and half marathons.
@pennypearson (7k followers )
This Welsh student teacher fills her spare time working towards competing in the British Weight Lifting Championships. Instead of smug inspirational quotes, Penny’s Instagram is filled with pictures of gritty gyms.
She is quick to acknowledge the demands of her hobby: "It shows my ups and downs in training, which is important because there are far many more downs. People forget about the struggle and think you get from A to B with ease. I never thought I could achieve anything through weightlifting, but here I am entering competitions and winning medals. If you want something and you're willing to work for it, you'll get it."
@swimdemcrew (2k followers)
Peigh Asante, Nathaniel Cole and Emily Deyn founded London-based collective Swim Dem Crew in 2013, when former marathon runner and long-time Run Dem Crew member Peigh had become too injured to continue running. Now with two sessions a week and a cult online following, Swim Dem encourages swimmers of all levels to challenge themselves.
"I aim to inspire others by being the best version of myself," Peigh says, "I want to demonstrate to others that it can be done. Don't be afraid to challenge convention and don't be afraid to fail. It's all part of growth and progression."
@camillamackintosh (1.1million followers)
Although former Made In Chelsea cast member, Quality Street heiress and wife of rapper Professor Green, Millie Mackintosh, has a naturally slender body, she has worked hard to transform from skinny to strong. Plus, as the cocktail-fuelled parties and festivals on her Instagram account demonstrate, she doesn’t take #eatclean too seriously. If you can’t get an invite to Skinny Bitch Collective (and, who can?), you can always copy moves from Millie’s Insta videos in your bedroom.
@marawa (28k followers)
Marawa 'the amazing' Wamp runs hoola-hooping collective @themajorettes. She holds five world records including the world record for spinning 162 hoops at once, and can roller-skate whilst hooping. In the place of static mirror selfies are pictures of Marawa in sparkly hot pants and heeled roller-skates.
"People comment that my pictures are always colourful and fun", Marawa says. "I think fitness pictures can be really boring, but we can make so many crazy shapes with our body – I think that's way more interesting to look at!"