Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill rarely sits still.
As well as running around after her children Reggie, 5, and Olivia 23 months, the former world-class athlete and TV commentator recently launched a new fitness app and website called ‘Jennis’ aimed at time-pressed, health-conscious people.
The idea was born out of star’s desire to pass on the tips and expert knowledge she received during a glittering career, which saw her win countless medals including the London Olympic gold in 2012 and her third World Championship gold in 2015 – just 13 months after giving birth to her son.
Relax Ya Self To Health caught up with the Adidas ambassador to find out how she juggles family life with work, training and walking her labrador, Myla.
What does your morning routine look like?
Andy [Jess’s husband] works early and is gone by 6am. Reggie will come into our room and wake me up. I’ll then get Liv up. Every day is completely different which is really nice. Reggie’s at school now so I take him there every morning and drop Liv to nursery a couple of days a week. I then fit in all my other [work] commitments. On the days when I do have time for myself, I like to go for a run in the woods and take the dog out.
How does it compare to when you were competing?
[Back then] every Monday I’d do the same running section, the same circuits, and the same weights. Every Tuesday I’d do javelin. Every Wednesday I’d do the high jump. You get comfortable and enjoy it but actually, it’s really nice to completely break out of that now. With having kids everything changes all the time with them. If they wake up in an amazing mood it’ll be a smooth morning or it can be total carnage. [Laughs] Every day is totally different.
What’s it like to live in Sheffield?
We live on the outskirts of Sheffield, two minutes from the Peak District and have the best of both worlds. From the back of our house, we can see the moors and the countryside but we’re not that far from the city which is nice. I’ve always massively been a homegirl. I went to Sheffield University at the age of 18 and moved in with one of my friends Hannah who was studying dentistry. We had a house nearby. My experience of university was very different to most students because I was training full time and competing so I made a conscious decision not to go into halls of residence. It was nice to move away from home and live with a friend independently but in a slightly different way.
How important is music in your life?
It plays a massive part in getting you up for training and competitions. I like hip hop and R&B and loved listening to music when I was competing – Jay-Z, Kanye West, Stormzy, Rihanna, Beyonce, something with a really good beat to get the adrenaline pumping. Andy’s taste is a bit different and he’s introduced me to other sounds too, like cinematic orchestra, which is good. I’m very conscious about getting the kids to listen to music so that they’ve got a really eclectic taste.
What music makes the kids happy?
Reggie likes a bit of Elvis – which has come from Andy – but he’s into George Ezra and that kind of thing so we have a bit of that playing in the house.
Why and how did you build a home gym?
After having Reggie in 2014, I had to significantly adapt my training programme and work out how to save time travelling to the track. I spent close to £2,000 converting the garage into a gym. Once I’d put Reggie to bed, I would go and do a 90-minute weightlifting session. It was one of the best investments in my career. I still exercise at home. I train at home in the garage. Both of our kids see us exercising, I think it’s really important for them to see it as a normal thing to do and enjoy being active themselves.
How do you relax at home?
We have an open plan kitchen diner which leads through to an orangery at the back of the house which has beautiful views and gets great sunlight. We’ve got the kids tepee in there, it’s a really nice chilled room. We like cooking and when the kids are in bed we have a nice meal and chill out with a glass of wine.
What’s in your fridge?
Lots of vegetables and fruit for the kids. My son eats so much – we’re constantly having to buy stuff. My daughter drinks a lot of milk. There are avocados and aubergines, my favourites. Also, lots of yoghurts. I normally have quite a full fridge!
Why did you create the Jennis fitness app?
I was lucky enough to train with the best in the world and I want to share that health and fitness expertise in a way that’s realistic and achievable.
The app costs £9.99 a month. Jennis Fitness allows users to train like a pro and features 30-minute programmes , while Jennis Pregnancy & Post Natal shares the exact workouts Jessica followed during pregnancy and after the birth of both of her children. Users are also given a behind-the-scenes glimpse into Jessica’s life and access to unique content covering nutrition, mental health and wellness.
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