Gemma Flynn's top tips for getting fit

Sometimes the biggest challenge is to get moving when you don't feel like it, says Gemma. Photo / Supplied
Sometimes the biggest challenge is to get moving when you don't feel like it, says Gemma. Photo / Supplied

Olympic athlete and health and wellbeing specialist Gemma Flynn knows a thing or two about keeping fit and achieving workout goals.

As we head into summer, Gemma shares her top tips for getting into shape and staying that way.

1. Before you start

When it comes to exercise, everyone is different: "People have different abilities, enjoy different activities and have different goals," says Gemma. "It's important to recognise this when you're creating your own fitness programme."

Before making a fitness plan, Gemma says you first need to understand where you're at and then where you want to be.

"Define your goal and make it SMART - specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, timely. And identify some milestones along the way so that you enjoy a sense of achievement on your journey."

2. Staying motivated

Sometimes the biggest challenge is to get moving when you don't feel like it, says Gemma. "When I feel I can't be bothered, I focus on three things: my goal, supporting my team mates and how good I'll feel afterwards."

3. Time it right

Gemma's favourite time to exercise is first thing in the morning. "I'll go for a run before breakfast and then it's done and I can enjoy the endorphins and the benefits for the rest of the day."

But as an elite athlete preparing for an Olympic campaign, Gemma completes 25 hours each week of intense morning and afternoon training sessions: a combination of weight circuits, running, tabata and hockey drills.

"The simple fact is there are no shortcuts to a place worth going."

Gemma completes 25 hours each week of intense morning and afternoon training sessions when preparing for an Olympics. Photo / Supplied
Gemma completes 25 hours each week of intense morning and afternoon training sessions when preparing for an Olympics. Photo / Supplied

Work out like Gemma

•Set realistic goals
•Celebrate milestones along the way
•Make small, incremental adjustments to what you do - walk to the shops or school instead of driving, take the stairs
•Importantly, make exercise part of your lifestyle
•Schedule exercise into your day and week, find what works for you
•The hardest thing is implementing your plan, so do what you enjoy - walking, running, group exercise, gym workouts, dancing
•Experiment with exercising at different times of the day to find out what suits you best
•If you struggle to get moving, join a group fitness activity or find a friend to exercise with
•Let people know what your goal is - friends and family will want to support you
•Make it your time, a break from the kids
•Be disciplined and focus on your goal

Gemma Flynn is currently an ambassador for the AIA Healthy Kids Challenge, for more visit healthykids.kiwi.

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