Gemma Atkinson shares upsetting reason behind fitness after dad’s sudden death

Former Emmerdale actress Gemma Atkinson is often praised for her fitness journey, encouraging her legion of social media followers to also lead a healthy lifestyle.

Now, she has recalled the reason she decided to keep fit and why she chooses to wake up during the early hours to squeeze a workout in.

Gemma, 36, took to her social media to engage in a question and answer session with her 1.6 million followers as she reflected on her journey.

The Bury-born actress admitted that she "loves" the feeling she gets following a workout but also revealed the heartbreaking motivation behind her fitness journey.

When probed by a fan as to what motivates her, the ex-Hollyoaks star said: "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."

  • Gorka Marquez in emotional reunion with Gemma and baby Mia after months apart

Gemma was just 17 when her dad, David, died suddenly aged 52, following a heart attack, despite being healthy, never smoking and only indulging on the odd alcoholic drink every few weeks.

The Hits Radio UK presenter went on to add that she often wakes up during the early hours in order to fit a workout into her day when her Strictly Come Dancing boyfriend, Gorka Marquez is not at home.

  • Gemma Atkinson in horrifying car journey with baby Mia while separated from Gorka

"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," she told.

She has previously admitted she has stopped working out in order to be a certain dress size, instead, she works out in order to work on her mental and physical health.

The happy couple was forced to spend over two months apart when he was competing in the 2020 season of Strictly Come Dancing.

Gorka admitted it was tough to spend so long away from his family during an episode of It Takes Two.

Host Rylan Clark Neal said: "Gorka, you've had two months away from your family as well, we know how much you love them.

"Surely getting to the final now with Maisie going the full way is a little bit of a consolation for it?"

Gorka explained: "Obviously there were times where I thought, 'What am I doing? Why am I not going home?'

"It's very hard to be away from Gemma and Mia.

"But coming into the studio every day and to have Maisie there pushing and smiling trying to be her best, it pays off."

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