Adam MacDougall talks to Chris Bath and Jim Wilson about their fitness regimen
May 12, 2019
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People often ask me my number one tip for staying motivated while exercising, and I always tell them the same thing: train with other people who will help keep you moving, even when you feel like giving up.

And that couldn’t be more true for newsreader Chris Bath and her sports journalist husband, Jim Wilson, with Wilson admitting his wife is the driving force behind the couple’s training regimen.

“The burpees annoy me, jumping on the box annoys me, and lunges — who invented the lunge, seriously?” he asks. “And I’ve got Bathy in the background yelling at me like she’s Jane Fonda ‘get lower, get lower!’ I’m over six-foot tall; how low do you think I can go?”

TV personalities Jim Wilson and Chris Bath exercise at Rushcutters Bay park. Picture: Toby ZernaSource:News Corp Australia

The media couple share an easy — and often hilarious — chemistry, and it’s one that keeps them laughing, even when the training feels like torture.

“It’s funny when he starts chucking tantrums. I’m not sure is that’s part of the chemistry?” Chris asks. “I’ve exercised my whole life, since I was a little kid doing dancing and that kind of thing.

“In fact, I’ve done so much exercise I should have a heart like Phar Lap, but I’ve actually always had to work hard at it.”

The couple recently invested in a property in the Hunter Valley — a place they call Rancho Relaxo — and daily life on the 100-acre farm has now formed a key part of their fitness routine.

“It’s in our little slice of paradise, our Rancho Relaxo,” Jim says. “And we’re active at the farm, whether its chopping wood or carting stuff, and that’s been good for us.”

“I’ll tell you what’s great for fitness? Tree planting,” Chris adds. “I planted 90 trees in this ridiculous soil that was like rock. And I’m out there with a crowbar — I reckon I lost three kilos. If you want a quick weight-loss solution, plant some trees.”

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But their busy schedule — combined with the trip north from Sydney — does have its negatives, with the high-flying couple admitting they don’t get the sleep they should. But for that, Chris has a secret weapon.

“We’re probably not getting enough sleep. I think it does catch up with you after a while. But there’re probably lots of people operating on these sorts of hours, if you factor in a long commute to work, or you’ve got kids, or you’re running a business,” she says. “The eight-hours sleep is a lovely idea, but I think most of Australia is surviving on six-hours sleep.

“And I have to roll Jim over so he snores in the other direction. Sometimes he’s like a symphony orchestra … So that’s my tip number one; role your partner over.”

TV personalities Jim Wilson and Chris Bath motivate each other to stay on top of their fitness. The couple exercising at Rushcutters Bay park with trainer Adam MacDougall. Picture: Toby ZernaSource:News Corp Australia

HACKING TRAINING AS A TEAM

Find something you both enjoy

“We started seeing each other and he wasn’t doing much exercise. I used to run and run and run and he was somewhere behind me moaning. But then I had to give that up because my joints wore out, so now we do this crazy park circuit training together — doing these stupid things that 50-year-olds probably shouldn’t be doing — and it’s been great,” says Chris.

Start your training in the kitchen

“I don’t like chocolate or ice-cream, which is rare, but my mum brought me up with healthy eating. She wasn’t the best cook, if I’m honest: she used to make a dish we called cremated chicken — she used to cook a chook over about four days … But she was great with grilled salmon and veggies. So now when I raid the fridge, I’ll raid it for carrots or celery,” says Jim.

Employ an attitude of gratitude

“We are positive people, and we love being around positive people. At the end of the day, I think we’re so lucky to have the life we live, and live where we live. I know that sounds cliche, but I really feel that — I think we’re so damn lucky,” says Jim.

“We get away from the concrete. It’s good for the soul. And you don’t even need to leave the city. Just go for a walk in the park. Don’t take your phone with you, just walk together,” says Chris.

THE QUESTION

Question: I hear so many different things about just how much sleep we should be getting each night. A full eight hours feels impossible sometimes — what should we actually be aiming for?

Answer: The truth is that getting exactly eight hours of sleep is not the perfect number as sleep requirements are different for us all based on a number of factors. However the key seems to be getting at least six hours of sleep a night with extensive research showing people who sleep less much more susceptible to illness and being overweight. On average, most people sleep between 6.5 and seven hours a night, which, according to experts, is just right.

Adam MacDougall is a former NRL player and the creator of The Man Shake. Continue the conversation @adammacdougall5