With her new fitness app, JENNIS, Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill aims to share the expert advice and support she was so grateful for during her pregnancies
When did you start thinking about creating the app?
The original idea came when I was pregnant with Reggie. I found it overwhelming trying to find the right information about fitness in pregnancy and post-natally. Luckily, I had an incredible physio to help me navigate this and I am so grateful for that, so I wanted to find a way to share the information with women everywhere.
What can it do?
There are three options within the app: workouts for pregnancy, post pregnancy (Jennis Pregnancy) or people who have busy lives and want a quick effective workout (Jennis Fitness). The workouts are all very easy to follow and are tailored to different levels of fitness. The pregnancy workouts allow the woman to choose what activity they do based on how they are feeling and are tailored to suit each trimester of their pregnancy.
What kind of advice and support does the app have?
As well as the work outs, we have created something called ‘Your Pregnancy Questions Answered’. There are videos of me with physio Ali Rose chatting about some of the big things I discovered when pregnant and answering some common pregnancy exercise questions too.
On our website we will also host lots of informative pregnancy content, alongside our own content we have partnered with experts in their field – there will be lots of advice and support for mums to be – and Dads too!
How did you feel when you were pregnant?
I loved being pregnant but like every other woman I had no idea what to expect. Our bodies go through so much change and I was super lucky to have an amazing team around me to explain what was happening and why. That was incredibly reassuring and that is why I have created Jennis, to share these insights and training programmes.
Did you feel any pressure to get your body back, particularly as you’re Jessica Ennis, World and Olympic Champion?
After the birth of my first child I was still a competing athlete and I really wanted to get back – I was always asking Ali if I could start doing some ab work, she was very careful and taught me ways to check if my abs were knitting back ok. I am so glad I listened to her advice and that of my coach as I came back all the stronger for it. A gradual strengthening of your core muscles and building back strength sensibly is definitely advisable.
How do you fit fitness into your daily routine with the children?
I just try and grab 20-minute windows when I can, either when the kids are at school or after they have gone to bed. If they are around, I will still try but sometimes they might get cut short if the kids want to ‘get involved’ but even 5 minutes is better than nothing.
We’re told that through the app we’ll see the real Jessica Ennis-Hill. What’s she like?
Ha! I’d like to think… energetic, cheerful and honest. I am very down to earth and love a bit of a laugh.
Did you find becoming a parent tough?
I don’t think any parent is prepared for sleep deprivation! Having a baby is the most joyful thing you could ever imagine – but the lack of sleep is really tough. I am absolutely loving being a mum – it is a new challenge every day but the joy my two bring to our lives is immeasurable.
What advice would you give to new parents?
To accept help from family and friends and that there will be days when you have a newborn that you get nothing done and that is absolutely fine!
How well do Reggie (4) and Olivia get on (1)?
Brilliantly, I am so lucky!
What’s your favourite thing to do as a family?
I think holidays are the best time as we are all together 24/7 – otherwise a lovely walk with our dog Myla on a weekend.
Jennis app £9.99 a month www.jennisfitness.com