CELEBRITY

Jess Napier: ‘Keeping fit doesn’t have to be hard’

The McLeod’s Daughters star shares her workout tips and tricks
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She starred as the hard-working farmhand Becky Howard on McLeod’s Daughters and has notched up almost 30 years in showbiz, but when New Idea catches up with Jessica Napier, it’s clear that these days her life is vastly different to that of bustling sets, studio lights and Drovers Run!

Indeed, Jess’ day-to-day now consists of a lot of sweat, and the occasional groan, as she works to transform her clients’ lives as a personal trainer.

Watch: Mcleod’s Daughter’s Rachael Carpani Returns To Drover’s Run

“My passion for exercise developed in my early 20s to help my lungs – I have a lung condition called bronchiectasis – and to improve my mood and sleep,” reveals Sydney-based Jess, noting that during her teenage years she was a lot less interested by the idea of working up a sweat.

“As a teen [and] not having a natural aptitude for sport, I wasn’t particularly active. I go bright red when I exercise and that was embarrassing for me when I was young!”

Fully aware that the recent silly season might have seen many put a hold on their wellbeing, Jess insists that working out doesn’t have to be complicated.

Much to her credit, Jess, 42, is the first to admit she’s one of those “annoying people” who loves working out. But as she explains, finding a workout that suits an individual can make all the difference!

“I don’t feel good without exercise,” she says, “but I choose exercise that I love.”

While most would roll their eyes at the mere thought of rising early to squat, jump, spring and lunge, the actress insists it’s an imperative part of her everyday life.

Jess Napier
Much to her credit, Jess, 42, is the first to admit she’s one of those “annoying people” who loves working out. But as she explains, finding a workout that suits an individual can make all the difference! (Credit: Phillip Castleton)

Firmly believing that “the gym isn’t for everyone”, Jess has crafted a practical workout (see below), perfect for the park or your backyard.

“Choose something you enjoy doing – it could be walking, dancing, rowing, yoga or anything where you move your body. Remember, exercise produces happy hormones, so you’ll be happy once you’ve finished,” she says.

If Jess’ beaming smile and positive attitude is anything to go by, she’s certainly on to something when she says meditation is also a huge part of keeping mentally fit.

“I’m big on taking time out every day to meditate or just breathe. It might only be five minutes, but that’s enough to help reduce stress and improve your mood,” she explains.

As a mother to daughter Emily and son Oliver (who she shares with husband, David Adler) Jess explains that she’s never one to push her kids into doing something they don’t like.

“I think it’s important to find physical activities that your kids enjoy. Not all children are sporty and I think forcing them to do an activity they hate will backfire eventually,” she says.

“I also believe in leading by example – so get out there and get active with your kids!”

Jessica Napier
“Remember, exercise produces happy hormones, so you’ll be happy once you’ve finished,” (Credit: Getty)

SIMPLE SUMMER WORKOUT

1. Skater jumps x 10
Starting on your left leg bound to your right by pushing off with your left leg. Repeat the movement, this time pushing off with your right leg and landing on your left leg. Repeat.

2. Pop squat twist x 10
Lower into a squat. As you jump up from the squat, rotate your lower body to 90 degrees to one side then back to the centre. Drop into a squat and repeat on the other side.

3. Mountain climbers x 10
Start in a high plank position with shoulders over wrists. Pull your right knee up towards your chest and then return to plank position, repeat on the other side and continue alternating legs.

4. Walk out to Commandos x 5

Start standing, lower hands to the ground and walk out to a plank position. Lower to your elbows and then push back up. Walk your hands back to your feet (bent or straight legs) and stand up. Repeat.

Read more in this week’s New Idea, on sale now

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