Coach Rhys inspires everyday wellness

We talk to Rhys Jolly, celebrity coach and owner of boutique gym Playground fitness about his involvement with the MoveMeant Challenge, an annual collaboration between Fitbit and Diabetes NZ

Coach Rhys and other New Zealand personalities recently competed with each other in the MoveMeant Challenge to achieve the highest step count. This year, other MoveMeant challenge participants included Athena Angelou from Flava Radio, fitness influencer Ariana Omipi, and philanthropist Sir Eion Edgar. The challenge winner was Maurice Trapp, who will donate Fitbit devices to a Diabetes NZ youth group of his choice.

The MoveMeant challenge is all in the name of creating a conversation about diabetes, emphasising the importance of regular exercise. All fundraising from the challenge goes to diabetes NZ to support high-risk individuals, which is essential to fill gaps in grant funding. 

We ask Rhys what wellness means to him, and he says it’s a lifestyle that “integrates exercise and healthy eating into your normal daily routine where it is not seen as a chore, but a way of life”. 

Rhys notes the importance of wellness, as you’re able to get the most out of your life, even adding on years. “It charges you and doesn’t leave you constantly beaten and depleted by you always striving to fix what you see is broken”. 

Knowing how we can improve our wellness is essential to achieving balance, and Rhys’s tips are as follows: 

  • Focus on the positive response you get from exercise or food, the more you focus on that feeling, the more you will want to do it rather than see it as a chore. Also, it will change your mind frame completely by you not always looking at your body as a work in progress and the negative emotions that comes with that mind frame.
  • Enjoyment, you have to enjoy exercise and get stimulation from it, or you won’t adopt it into your lifestyle long term. Bring a friend with you, try different things, or join a studio where there is a community feeling and social element. 
  • Consistency, in anything you do you need consistency. Your body needs to adapt to the training stimulus, and by that, you need consistency with your training and eating to fuel your body. Along with that, you will establish healthy habits that will stop you from yo-yoing in your health and wellbeing. 

For those of us who struggle with consistency with eating and exercise, Rhys recommends we add some accountability: “join a challenge, grab a friend, book into a class or see a trainer…find something that is going to stimulate you which you enjoy”. 


In terms of eating healthy, preparation is essential. Rhys says to plan when you are going to eat, as well as what your go-to meals and snacks are during busy or stressful times to ensure you don’t fall off the bandwagon. 

Rhys’s go-to meal is a premade green salad from the supermarket with either chicken, poached eggs, or halloumi on top. His go-to snacks are green smoothies, raw nuts, and fruit. So simple yet delicious! 

Last but not least, we ask Rhys about his boutique gym Playground Fitness. Rhys set out to disrupt the fitness industry by launching Playground Fitness, as few gyms in New Zealand “focus on the member experience and value that they gain from their membership”. 

Every detail at Playground Fitness is thought out from the moment you step in the door – including ordering your smoothie or coffee! Even better, Playground Fitness uses music and lighting, kind of like a night club inspired studio, so you benefit from this extra stimulation. 

To find out more about the MoveMeant challenge, you can check out the collaboration between Fitbit and Diabetes New Zealand here

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