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Ola and James Jordan share delight at daughter Ella's speech improvements - watch

The HELLO! columnists have also started a new workout plan

james jordan
Georgia Brown
Senior Lifestyle & Fashion Writer
April 8, 2022
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Ola and James Jordan, HELLO!'s resident parenting columnists have decided to start prioritising their health and fitness for the sake of Ella, their two-year-old daughter.

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Before the New Year, the former Strictly Come Dancing professionals told us that being healthier is on the top of their resolutions list. "We've got a baby now and she needs us for many, many years to come. So we need to be healthy," Ola said. "And eventually we'd like to have another baby, wouldn't we? So making our health a priority is for them as well, really," James continued.

WATCH: James and Ola head to their home gym and Ella watches!

So, how have the dancing duo got on during their first week back at the gym? Find out below…

The Jordans start their workout plan

James: We've been really good this week, we've started our new workout routine. We're just trying to get fit because we feel like we've let ourselves go a little.

It's so funny with Ella now because she knows what it means when we're in our gym clothes. She goes, "Mummy gym," then I'll usually take her to the cinema or spend time with her so Ola can work out.

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Ola: It's so sweet because the cinema is next to our gym so she can pop in and check on me while I'm exercising.

James: She's started copying Ola too, she'll start running around the house because she's seen mummy running on the treadmill. We're trying to get into a routine but we've both got bad backs now because we haven't worked out for so long and we're so unfit - we only worked out a couple of times and now we're struggling!

ella gym

Ella supervises at the gym!

Ola: I'm definitely feeling it, it's not as easy as it used to be. We go to the gym and then we feel like we need a day off - it hurts too much!

James: Of course, it's hard to factor exercise into our lifestyle now that we have Ella. We did a home workout the other evening once she'd gone to bed, but it meant we were exercising at 10 at night.

Ola: Then we went to bed late, so when you wake up you feel exhausted, so finding time to fit it in around Ella and each other is so much harder than we anticipated.

We like to work out together too, so we can motivate each other - but it's finding the time that we're struggling with. Of course, being dance partners we're so used to exercising together.

James: For example, we'd never be able to say to Ella, "You play for a minute while mummy and I go to the gym," she's still far too young. It's just something we'll have to get used to, but I do miss being able to work out with Ola - it's much nicer exercising with someone than by yourself!

ella daddy gym

Ella and daddy in the gym

I have to give Ola little lists of what exercises she needs to do when she goes to the gym by herself.

Ola: When I go down to the gym without James I always feel bored, I need a plan to keep me motivated or I'll walk straight out again. I like to follow a workout plan to keep myself in check.

James: At the moment we're doing about 3km on the treadmill, taking a two-minute rest in between each kilometre, then going on to do 10km on the bike.

Ola: It's a good start, but we used to do a 5km run and then 20km cycle without any breaks, so we're obviously far less fit than we used to be!

James: I'd say the last time we felt properly fit and healthy was probably before Ella was born. Don't you agree Ola?

Ola: Totally, what with having a baby and then heading into lockdown, I just don't think exercise has been our priority.

james and ola with ella

James and Ola haven't been able to properly work out since becoming parents

James: There were two types of people in lockdown… the people who became hooked on Joe Wicks' PE classes or the people (like us) who just sat there and ate…

Ola: Well we did have a newborn baby, James!

James: (jokingly) It's true, I did find it tough on my body having just gone through birth, I had to take it easier…

The Jordans' workout struggles

Ola: I don't think we need a personal trainer because we're professionals dancers at the end of the day, we're so used to training our bodies ourselves. 

James: No disrespect to any personal trainers, but we've got over 20 years of experience training in the gym to prepare ourselves for shows and competitions, so we probably know a lot more about our bodies than lots of trainers out there.

Ola: I suppose that's why we need each other for motivation. It's one thing knowing it, but doing it is another thing entirely.

James: It's definitely the 'doing it' that I'm struggling with. The problem is, when we were doing Strictly and needed to look good for photoshoots and shows, we felt like we had more of a purpose to stay fit and healthy, whereas it's difficult to get into the swing of it now we haven't got that!

Ola: Fitness needs to become part of our lifestyle for health reasons now. We want to be here for Ella.

Ella's speech is improving

James: Ella's speech has improved so much in such a short space of time.

Ola: Sometimes I'll come downstairs and she'll tell me: "Daddy has put more milk in the porridge," and I'm able to have a little conversation with her. A few months ago she could only say a few words.

ella speech improving

Ella is growing up so quickly!

James: Lots of people contacted me on social media after I posted a video of Ella counting to ten on my Instagram Story. I had teachers in my DMs saying they had never seen someone so young being able to count to ten and use her fingers was so advanced for her age.

Ola: We're thrilled we've got a really clever baby! Mind you, I'm not sure where she gets it from if James and I are her parents…

Ella has another accident

James: We're not having the best experience with Ella's sleep routine now that she's in her own bed, unfortunately. The furthest we've got is she's slept until about 4am. She's still waking up at 1 or 2am and then jumping in with us.

Ola: She fell out of her bed again last night… she doesn't necessarily hurt herself when she rolls out of bed, but it scares her and then she loses her confidence.

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James: We did buy a barrier for the bed that was supposed to stop her falling out, but it didn't fit properly. So we need to try and find a better one that will fit her bed. If we can be sure she won't fall out it will help us to sleep too.

Ola: She likes getting in her bed now and she likes getting under the covers, whereas before she didn't like the cover. So we can tuck her in which is really cute.

James: The other night she got in, pulled the cover over and fell asleep. We just thought 'Wow! That's amazing!', but that's only once she's managed to do that…

Ola reunites with her parents

Ola: My parents arrive this week and I'm so excited to see them. It's been about six months since we last saw each other, and before then it was over a year, so it's always lovely to be able to have them stay with us.

James: They'll probably be able to see a big difference in how Ella's grown since they saw her last.

Ola: Ella's really excited to see them too, she talks to them on the phone every day. We've told her that grandma and grandpa are coming this week and I do think she understands. It's so cute.

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