Getaway's Catriona Rowntree reveals her unusual exercise hack: She works out naked when she gets out of the shower!

So THAT'S how she does it!

By Paul Ewart
After more than 20 years at the helm of Australia's favourite travel show, Getaway, Catriona Rowntree has earned her title of "Australia's Most Travelled Woman".
Criss-crossing the globe several times over, she has transported us to some of the most far-flung destinations on earth.
Indeed, when Good Health & Wellbeing catches up with the small screen star, she's fresh off a flight from Alaska.
But while she's been fortunate enough to see more of the world than most of us could ever hope to, after two decades in the biz – and after getting hitched, relocating to the country, and becoming a mum to two young boys – the TV veteran has learned that there really is no place like home.
And home for Catriona is a sprawling farm in rural Victoria; a setting that is devoid of traffic noise, filled with bird song, and boasts greenery as far as the eye can see. Clearly this bucolic beauty is a tonic for her soul.
"I know this daily visual has a positive effect on me," the 47-year-old gushes. "We have an orchard, I've got my own chook house where I get my own eggs from, we produce our own honey on the farm, and I've created acres of beautiful gardens. Being here with my family just feeds my soul. It's blissful."
Growing up amidst the hustle and bustle of Sydney, Catriona had never imagined a life away from the big smoke. However, fate intervened by throwing her now-husband, country Victoria-based farmer, James Pettit, in her path. Not that their journey to marital bliss was a smooth one.
"I know this daily visual has a positive effect on me." (Image exclusive to Good Health & Wellbeing)

All for love

"Long-distance relationships are challenging to begin with," she reflects. "Back then I really thought that getting married, moving to the country and having kids would be the end of my professional life. I didn't want to bypass the career aspirations I had."
Breaking up and then getting back together after a year of soul-searching, in 2007 Catriona and her partner finally became engaged, marrying a year later. Their first son followed the year after, and then a second little boy just under two years later.
"I really was the runaway bride!" she laughs. "I was at a breaking point – I was going to lose the love of my life, and sometimes you just have to change your entire life for love. It's not easy, but I learned the hard way that a successful relationship involves compromise."
The ability to compromise is also something the globetrotter has applied to exercise. By her own admission, the mum-of-two is "allergic" to working out, so she's created her own methods for ensuring she stays in shape.
"Sometimes you just have to change your entire life for love." (Image exclusive to Good Health & Wellbeing)

On the road

"I don't think we should feel pressured to get to a gym," she says. "To run around the block, or to exert a huge amount of energy in order to stay fit. Perhaps because of my schedule, the fact that I have a job, a busy family, and that I live on a farm, I have mastered the art of finding every shortcut.
"A lot of people reading this are like me I'm sure and have children running around making it impossible to have the kind of lifestyle where they can go to a yoga class three times each week. I think it's way easier to get your head around something short and simple.
"For me, this involves exercise after my morning shower. I put the towel on the floor and I'll do 50 sit-ups, 20 push-ups, and a plank until I collapse, and three sets of 10 lunges. All in the nude – I don't mean to freak anyone out with the visual!
"I think just moving your body and being active on a daily basis is the best thing to do." (Image exclusive to Good Health & Wellbeing)
"In general though, having the right attitude is more important than anything. I think just moving your body and being active on a daily basis is the best thing to do. Other than that, I'm drawn to any form of exercise where I can dress up in an outfit. Horse riding, or polo in particular – any reason to put on those fabulous boots and my hand is up!"
Given that her day job sees her eat at some of the most decadent restaurants in the world and to live off a diet of luxury hotel breakfast buffets, it's hard to imagine the self-restraint that Catriona has to maintain her svelte figure. It turns out, she figured out how to resist temptation the hard way.
WATCH: Catriona Rowntree goes wildlife watching on Getaway. Post continues after video...
"When I first started travelling for Getaway I was overwhelmed by all the food that was on offer," she reveals. "But I worked it out quickly that you just can't have three courses for every meal when you're on the road. I mean, I work in TV, so you see the weight gain on camera pretty quickly!
"I did have a major wake-up call in my 20s when I first started travelling. I ended up having to visit a naturopath and re-educating myself. I've always had chronic asthma and I discovered that wheat and dairy exacerbate my symptoms. I always thought I knew how to eat well, but after that I realised that we all have to be open to learning again."
As with exercise, eating healthily is something that also doesn't come naturally to the effervescent star. While she tries to adhere to a diet that is body-friendly, the urge to "live off cheese and wine" is always in the background.
"I worked it out quickly that you just can't have three courses for every meal when you're on the road." (Image: Instagram @catrionarowntree)

Family focus

"I love cheese platters, wine, and chips," she laughs. "But unfortunately I am one of those people who has the extraordinary skill of looking at food and putting on weight – it's true! It's not hard to understand though. Sugar, too much wheat, too much dairy, and not moving your bum, are all going to lead to weight gain. I'm far from obsessive though, I never weigh myself, and my only rule is whether I can do up my favourite pair of jeans or not."
Infectiously positive, Catriona has mastered the art of mixing motherhood with work and travel, ensuring that while she maintains a high-profile career, she's still very much a hands-on mum to her two young boys, Andrew and Charles. But as a result this means that Catriona's household is busy.
Very busy. Our interview goes from her home, into the car, and to her children's school where she's racing to do tuckshop duty. "I'm determined to do it today!" she cries.
While she maintains a high-profile career, she's still very much a hands-on mum to her two young boys, Andrew and Charles. (Image: Instagram @catrionarowntree)
At odds with the glamour-filled world of TV and international travel, Catriona is the first to assert that having her life involves a lot of organisation, and discipline.
"Neither of which are innate for me!" she says. "But since having children, the choices I make have become a lot more simple – it all boils down to one question: 'What is best for my family?' Pre-children I used to get quite overwhelmed by everything on my plate, whereas now I don't. Life has become much simpler."
In addition to a 'back-to-basics' approach to decision making, there are other tools in the go-getter's arsenal that help maintain a state of equilibrium in her life.
"Like a lot of people, I can't afford a day off when it comes to work, particularly if I'm on the other side of the world. Throw into the mix jetlag, exhaustion and not being able to choose your own food I have to be armour plated. My crew told me to take vitamins and I take what I need for my body at various times. Before my trip it is all about probiotics and vitamin C, and I also take magnesium to alleviate bruising and help with sleep. I think a decent night's sleep is the ultimate cure-all and when that's jeopardised, everything else is impacted."
WATCH: Five ways to get a better sleep tonight. Post continues after video...

Life lessons

To help mask any signs of fatigue and to maintain her fresh-faced glow, the frequent flyer uses Nature's Way collagen supplements as her secret weapon.
While Catriona's skincare regime is ensuring that the signs of ageing are kept at bay, the life lessons that she's picked up in her 47 years are the biggest blessings that come with getting older says the TV presenter.
"I've noticed that your insecurities start to fade as you realise that your health is the most important thing," she says. "Also, you value relationships so much more as, when you get older, you start to lose loved ones… you look at your dearest friends and you cherish those friendships and try to tend to them as best as you can, because you realise how important it is to have these genuine relationships."
"I've noticed that your insecurities start to fade as you realise that your health is the most important thing." (Image: Instagram @catrionarowntree)
It's classic Catriona – looking at the positives, rather than the negatives. And just as she's learned not to sweat the small stuff, the city-turned-farm girl has also learned just how good we have it Down Under.
"I'm definitely a glass half-full sort of person," she says. "I've gone through all sorts of trials and tribulations and struggles like everyone else, but there's always a lesson in there. Also, I've been fortunate to see so much of the world – the best and the worst of it. I have seen genuine hardship and ultimately, as a world traveller, it would be an insult for me to get depressed about my life, because we have it so good here.
"But whatever words of wisdom I pass on, I want to emphasise that when it comes to where I am in my life – whether it be my career, or my relationship – if I can do it, anybody can. I've had to work really hard for everything I have, but it really is all possible for anyone."

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