Gemma Ovens, a pre and postnatal exercise specialist who has carved her niche in the fitness industry with a passion for health and an unwavering commitment to supporting mothers in their fitness journeys. Gemma’s story is one of determination, love for exercise, and a desire to make a positive impact on the lives of others. We at CIO Global, are proud to have Gemma Ovens as one of the Influential Women in Fitness, 2023.

Gemma’s journey into fitness began at the age of 6 when she started competing in cross-country competitions. This early exposure ignited a lifelong passion for exercise. By the age of 9, she had joined an athletics club and competed at the county level until the age of 17. Gemma’s dedication to fitness led her to pursue a degree in Sports Science, setting the stage for her entry into the fitness industry.

Initially, Gemma ventured into personal training after completing her degree at the age of 21. However, she discovered her love for coaching and teaching, eventually obtaining a degree in secondary Physical Education. Gemma spent several years as a PE teacher, shaping young minds and fostering a love for physical activity. Eventually, she took a leap of faith, establishing her own personal training company, and later relocating to Dubai to embark on a new chapter, focusing on the unique needs of mothers. Gemma’s inspiration stems from her own journey, recognizing the lack of support for postpartum women in their recovery and return to exercise. Drawing from personal experiences, Gemma decided to make a difference by creating a space where mothers could find the support they needed.

“Keep learning and find your niche. The fitness industry is saturated, and unfortunately, not all people that enter set the best examples. It changes all the time, finding an area you love and are interested in and keeping up to date with new information is key.”

Addressing Misconceptions in Fitness

According to Gemma, the most common misconception about fitness is the belief in quick fixes. She emphasizes that fitness is a personal journey, taking various forms based on individual preferences and lifestyles. Gemma encourages her clients to discover their emotional “why,” focusing on overall health and longevity rather than fixating on weight.

Gemma acknowledges the positive role of social media in disseminating valuable fitness information. However, she cautions about the potential pitfalls, urging individuals to seek guidance from reputable sources to avoid potential harm, particularly in postnatal recovery.

For Gemma, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is second nature. Listening to her body and prioritizing self-care are crucial aspects of her approach. She advocates for a holistic view of exercise, encompassing activities like meditation, reading, and walking. Gemma believes that embodying a positive role model for her children serves as a powerful motivator.

Achieving Balance: Physical and Mental Well-being

Gemma’s key to a balanced approach involves listening to one’s body and prioritizing self-care. Balancing physical and mental well-being is at the core of her philosophy, ensuring a harmonious integration of both aspects in her fitness programs. Gemma beams with pride when mums share their success stories – running without back pain, healing diastasis, and experiencing increased energy for pain-free play with their children. These transformations, both physically and emotionally, underscore the profound impact of fitness on everyday life.

Gemma recognizes that time is a significant challenge for many of her clients. The key is to prioritize and help individuals understand that investing in their health is not just for personal gain but benefits the entire family. The link between nutrition and fitness is paramount in Gemma’s approach. She emphasizes the importance of fueling the body with the right nutrients, particularly prioritizing protein and ensuring an adequate calorie intake. Gemma educates her clients on the role of nutrition in energy, muscle repair, and hormonal balance.

Embracing Technology for All Stages

In the era of digital fitness, Gemma stands out with her own app tailored for mothers at various stages of pre and postpartum. Her 12-week kickstart program caters to new moms, providing a home-based solution, while gym programs accommodate those already accustomed to working out. Gemma’s app reflects her commitment to making fitness accessible and effective, recognizing the diverse needs of her clientele.

Guidance for Aspiring Women in Fitness

To young women aspiring to enter the fitness industry, Gemma’s advice is clear: keep learning and find your niche. Recognizing the industry’s saturation, she emphasizes the importance of staying informed and true to one’s passion. Being honest, caring about clients, and setting a positive example are key principles she believes can make a lasting impact.

Gemma acknowledges unique challenges for women in the fitness world, particularly the pressure created by misleading portrayals on social media. She advocates for a focus on specific areas like menopause, pregnancy, and postpartum rehab to address these gaps. Gemma encourages fellow fitness professionals to educate clients about the realities behind the images they see online, fostering a healthier and more supportive fitness community.

“Gemma’s dedication, coupled with her focus on supporting mothers, underscores her pivotal role in creating positive and lasting transformations in the pursuit of a balanced and vibrant lifestyle.”

Quick and Effective Workouts

For those leading busy lives, Gemma suggests a quick home full-body workout:

12 squats (utilizing water bottles as weights if necessary)

12 Bent-over rows

10 Kneeling push-ups

10 Jump wood chops

10 Mountain climbers

12 Deadbugs

These routines, designed for efficiency, can easily be incorporated into even the most hectic schedules.

Balancing Personal and Professional Life

Balancing personal and professional commitments is a challenge Gemma has faced and conquered. Learning to allocate time wisely and embracing a mindful approach to work has allowed her to enjoy both aspects of her life. Creating boundaries, especially with technology, ensures that her focus shifts seamlessly between work and personal life.

Gemma is on a mission to raise awareness of postpartum rehabilitation, offering training workshops and teaching pre/postnatal qualifications to fitness professionals. She envisions a future where every gym has specialists supporting women and educating them on the importance of postpartum rehab. Collaborations between doctors and fitness professionals in specialized areas are also part of her vision for a more integrated and supportive industry.

A Message of Wellness and Empowerment

In closing, Gemma has a powerful message for her followers and supporters:

“Fitness and Health are the key to mental and physical well-being. Invest in your body today to reap the rewards in the next decade. Prioritize your health, find your emotional ‘why,’ and remember, fitness is relative to you. It’s a lifestyle change, not a quick fix. And always listen to your body.”

Gemma Ovens, a true luminary in the fitness industry, serves as a guiding force for individuals on their journey to holistic well-being. With a wealth of experience and an unwavering commitment to empowering women in their fitness pursuits, Gemma emerges as a trailblazer promoting a personalized and holistic approach to health. Her profound philosophy extends beyond mere fitness advice, resonating as a beacon of wisdom for those aspiring to lead healthier and more fulfilling lives. Gemma’s dedication, coupled with her focus on supporting mothers, underscores her pivotal role in creating positive and lasting transformations in the pursuit of a balanced and vibrant lifestyle.