Author, presenter and activewear founder Gemma Atkinson explains why working out first thing is key to a good day and how she unwinds of an evening
Soap fans of the early noughties might remember Gemma Atkinson, 35, from her role as Lisa Hunter in Hollyoaks, while Saturday night TV lovers will know her as a finalist in 2017’s Strictly Come Dancing.
Now a mother to one-year-old daughter Mia and author of two fitness books, The Ultimate Body Plan and The Ultimate Body Plan for New Mums , Gemma presents the drive time show on Hits Radio, acts as the ultimate fitspo for her 1.5 million Instagram followers and keeps us looking chic in the gym with her GA by Gemma Atkinson activewear.
Here she fills us in on her impressive workout routine (we told you she was goals in the fitness department), her average working day and the beauty that she buys on repeat.
My typical day
My alarm each day is set for 5:30am and I do my morning work out then, before Mia wakes up. I have a gym at home and you quickly get used to the early mornings. I train four times a week and I love mixing it up, from circuit training to weight training. I write my programme down the night before and find the workout sets me up for the day and helps give me some structure. It really helps to give me focus and provides a boost of natural endorphins.
For breakfast I have a combination of protein, fats and fibre and I love eggs with avocado or porridge with seeds.
Mia wakes up around 7am and we spend the morning together before she has a nap between 12 and 1pm. When she's sleeping I catch up on emails and find out what is going on with my work projects.
After I've finished working I do about 40-minutes of stretching. This really helps me to wind down at the end of a busy day. I also enjoy burning candles and incense sticks. Little things to make you feel grounded and calm are key when you have a busy life and a family.
I like to relax at the weekend and love to walk with the dog near my house in Manchester, getting the fresh air and spending time with the family. As I’ve got older I realise there's no need to spend a fortune on fancy weekends and instead I love to go outside in nature and enjoy taking in the fresh air and vitamin D .
I enjoy cooking and like making healthy brunches of omelettes, pancakes and milkshakes
My beauty routine
My beauty routine is very minimal – I don't wear make-up when I’m not working and I try to keep my skin and pores as clean as possible. I love a face scrub and do one twice a week and always apply an eye cream every night . I'm currently using Tropic's Eye Work Rejuvenating Serum , £28 for 10ml.
I try to have a facial every four to six weeks and always make sure I am well hydrated and drink lots of water. When I wear make up for a shoot I remove it afterwards with coconut oil , which I keep in a cool place so it is solid. I take a small bit of it and apply it to my face to take off my makeup – it’s lovely, really moisturising and cruelty-free .
I also love to clean my tongue ; I went to a fitness and health event in Ireland where I was given a tongue scraper. It is amazing and the amount of toxins on your tongue in the morning is amazing.
Wellness from the inside
Being a vegetarian is important to me and I think it's vital to keep the body well hydrated and to exercise well. If I don't drink enough water I get ratty and headachy and suffer with problem skin.
One of the most important things is to think about is what you put into your body; there's no point in spending a fortune on creams and products if you don’t keep your body well-nourished and hydrated. Like a fish needs to be in a clean environment to thrive, our systems need to be nourished and hydrated and I believe a beauty routine should follow this.
My top beauty and wellbeing buys
Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir, £50 for 30ml
My go-to fragrance for the last 12 years has been Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir. I smelt it in an airport and instantly loved it. I’ve never changed it and a friend I once worked with moved to LA and when we met up two years later they commented that I still smelt the same.
, £32 for 32ml
I use this under my eyes as light coverage when I’m going on a night out. I’m not into foundation; I like my skin to breathe so this is just enough. It also has SPF 50 in it.
Boxed Off Algae Oil supplements, £30 for 90
I take two of these tablets daily. Boxed Off is a vegan supplement company that I also use for my vegan protein powder and supplements. I love that more companies are going cruelty-free.
, £12 for 500ml Epsom Bath Salts
, £4.95 for 1kg
Again, these are both cruelty-free and the salts make for an amazing exfoliation once a week. The coconut oil is fab for cooking with as well as removing my makeup.
, £18.24 for 10 packs. Each pack containing 70 wipes
These are all over my house, in my bag and in my car. Plastic-free, biodegradable and made with aloe vera and water, they are fragrance-free too so gentle on my daughter's skin. Pura is also launching a range of eco- friendly nappies which are free from chemical nasties and good for the planet and babies skin too so I can’t wait to try them.
, £60 for 480g
This candle has a really rich smell that fills the room and lasts for ages. It has three wicks so feels extra luxe.
I made sure my leisurewear was comfy enough not only train in but lounge in. I’ve done them in sizes eight to 20. Hopefully other people love them too!
I love this lip balm especially in the winter when I’m on dog walks as my lips get chapped. It has both shea butter and cocoa butter for nourishing.
, £18 for 120ml
This feels nice and light but is great for skin hydration because it has jojoba oil in it.
Both this shampoo and the matching conditioner work really well with my highlights; they keep the blonde looking natural and stop it from going brassy.
, £65 for 100ml
I use this twice and week. You only need a tiny amount and it lasts for so long so the price is justifiable. It’s a great exfoliation for your face to get rid of dull skin.