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Gemma Atkinson shares heartbreaking reason behind health goals

The former Strictly star fits her exercise around baby Mia

gemma atkinson
Nichola Murphy
Nichola MurphyDeputy Lifestyle Editor
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Gemma Atkinson's health and fitness journey is an inspiration to many, but she recently revealed the heartbreaking motivation behind her diet and exercise routine.

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During an Instagram 'Ask me anything', which she took part in while on her exercise bike, one of her fans asked: "What motivates and helps keep you motivated every day?" The former Strictly Come Dancing star, who shares daughter Mia with professional dancer Gorka Marquez, confessed her late father's ill health plays a big part.

"Knowing that in picking good food and movement is all beneficial to my health. My dad passed away at 52 from heart disease so it kinda clicked that I need to be mentally and physically as healthy as can be, plus I love the feeling exercise gives me which helps," Gemma wrote.

WATCH: Gorka Marquez and Gemma Atkinson dance inside home gym

Despite being a non-smoker and only drinking occasionally, her dad David sadly passed away when she was just 17. Gemma previously confessed the tragedy had encouraged her to take care of herself as best as she can.

The former Hollyoaks actress, 36, also opened up about how she juggles her workouts, work and looking after Mia. "Do you have help with Mia to fit in everything you do? Work, workouts etc." another follower asked.

READ: 9 best online live workouts to stream during lockdown

MORE: Gemma Atkinson talks baby plans with Gorka Marquez as she reveals hopes for Spanish home

gemma atkinson father

The former Strictly star's dad David sadly passed away when she was just 17

Speaking of Gorka, who recently spent a long time away from home while competing with Maisie Smith on Strictly 2020, Gemma replied: "Her dad is home full time now and she has nursery two times a week. When Gorks was away working though my mum helped while I went to work but training wise I just set my alarm for 5:30 to get it done before she woke up." Now that's dedication!

gemma mia

Gemma fits her workouts around her daughter Mia

In an interview with HELLO!, Gemma also previously explained that her exercise routine is as much for her mental health as it is for her physical health.

"I've stopped training to be a certain size or shape and it's just for my mental and physical health. I'm in such a better mood once I've trained in the day which puts me in a better headspace to deal with Mia, to be a partner to Gorka," she said.

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