Today we welcome the lovely Giaan Rooney, 2 x olympian and gold medalist, wife, mum and TV presenter. Giaan shares with us how she balances life/work/fitness/family, along with lifestyle tips, her current exercise routine, and pregnancy/motherhood experiences.
1. We’ve seen your beautiful face commentating on the Olympic swimming in Rio, but what else have you been up to since retiring from swimming 10 years ago?
I have been fortunate enough to have had many different opportunities in media since ‘hanging up the togs’, including 3 Olympics, as a presenter on travel shows, a sports reporter & even a stint as the Weather presenter for the 6pm news in Melbourne! I frequently travel interstate as an MC and work closely with a few companies as an ambassador.
2. How do you remain fit now? What sort of exercise do you do?
I had no idea how hard it is to fit exercise into your life when it’s not your job anymore! These days I am certainly not fit like I used to be but enjoy walking with a pram & my dog and I really enjoy a pilates reformer class when I can fit it in. As I now have very little routine in my life, I’m a big believer in ‘incidental exercise’ and park my car at the back of the car park, use the stairs and squeeze in a few squats when picking up my toddler.
3. After you retired, was it a challenge to learn how to exercise for health rather than for maximum performance?
Absolutely! I had no idea how to exercise for health! I started off doing 5 pilates classes a week before my instructor pulled me aside & said ‘There is no pilates competition at the Olympics, you don’t need to be here this often!’ I also struggled with motivation & to find types of exercise that didn’t feel like work, particularly as I felt healthier, had more energy & a more positive attitude when I wasn’t running my body & immune system into the ground.
4. What are the two best things you learnt about mental endurance and focus during your time as an Olympic athlete? Do you apply these to your daily life and physical training now?
I think the most important lessons I learnt from my swimming days is that I am master of my own destiny, hard work will always get you places & to be aware of both your strengths and your weaknesses, they are equally important. I don’t actively apply these lessons in my daily life these days as I think they have become more of a habit, they are now naturally part of who I am.
5. What are three bits of advice you would give when it comes to balancing family, work and health/fitness commitments?
There is no easy answer here. I feel ‘Mothers Guilt’ when I’m at work just like everyone else but I love my job and believe I am a better parent because I’m happy in other areas of my life. I always try to spend quality time with my Husband & Son when I am home, (we like to go on little family adventures!) and I love to involve my family in my exercise habits.
6. What beliefs do you have that shape the way you live?
I have always lived by the quote that used to hang on the back of my bathroom door – ‘The harder you work, the luckier you get’ & my goal in life is to have no regrets. I don’t need to try everything that is out there, but I don’t ever want to look back and think, ‘I wish I had done that’.
7. How has your love for health impacted the way you care for your family daily?
I was very lucky to have healthy parents who passed on great lessons to me, and I hope to do the same for my family. My Mum was quite ahead of her time with our meals and snacks and so I believe that good health habits start early. I’m finding it quite challenging that my 2 and a half year old refuses to even try different foods, when there is so much goodness out there!
8. Why did you choose Life-Space as the probiotics for you and your family? What makes them different to other probiotics on the market?
Before I fell pregnant, I started researching what I could do to help prevent my children from having the same ailments that have bothered me my whole life, (I have asthma, allergies, hayfever & sinus) and everything I was reading kept coming back to healthy gut bacteria. Probiotics were the new ‘buzz word’ and I was worried it was just a fad but I couldn’t deny the connection between my poor digestion and my respiratory issues so I decided to give probiotics a try. When I started researching different brands, I realised that very few are manufactured here in Australia, but Life-Space ticked that box with the added benefit of not needing to be kept in the fridge, a necessity with my travel schedule! My whole family’s health has improved since we have added Probiotics to our life, so I’m a huge advocate!
Do you have a question about probiotics for Giaan?
I’ve also started to use the probiotics for pregnancy and breastfeeding to help boost my immune system, improve my digestive issues and to help to reduce the risk of Finn developing eczema in the first 2 years of life. I also love that they aren’t fridge dependent!