2012 Most Valuable Motivator: Denise Austin
Workout guru Denise Austin is still keeping America fit after 25 years.
Name: Denise Austin
Claim to fame: A true fitness pioneer, Denise Austin has been promoting health, wellness and exercise for more than 25 years. She began her career teaching aerobics classes in the Los Angeles area and got her big break as cohost of TV’s The Jack LaLanne Show in 1981. She went on to helm her own long-running TV shows including ESPN’s Getting Fit, (later known as Denise Austin’s Daily Workout), and Balancing Act, which debuted on Lifetime in January 2011. Besides gathering a legion of fans as a TV host and fitness expert, Denise has written 10 best-selling books, and has created nearly 100 videos and CDs, which have sold more than 20 million copies. The latest edition to her DVD library is the three-part DVD series Shrink Belly Fat. Denise also recently began contributing tips and videos to YouTube’s BeFit channel, an online fitness destination.
Health philosophy: Make yourself a priority. “My whole philosophy is to stay fit because you’re worth it! I’m from a big family and I love food, so everything in moderation. Just eat healthy 80 percent of the time and go ahead and have your treats 20 percent of the time. As long as you’re exercising, you’ll be fine. Consistency pays off.”
Vitamins/supplements: A multivitamin, extra calcium and fish oil. Every day.
Favorite workout: Variety of workouts from Hot Body Yoga to Kickboxing to Shrink Belly Fat. “I am a big believer in mixing it up. That’s what surprises my muscles and keeps me free from injury.”
Motivational trick: Positive thinking. “When you’re feeling negative or you’re down on something, switch it around to a positive thought. The more you switch it around, the more it becomes a good, healthy habit.”
Favorite healthy dish: Arugula Beet Salad. “When my girlfriends and sisters come over, I’m famous for making this!”
Secret weapon: Don’t sit. “I try to get up from the computer as often as I can and take walking breaks. Sitting is our enemy, so get off your butt and move.”
Role model: Her mom—and Jack LaLanne. “I want to be the next Jack LaLanne, the next girl Jack LaLanne, and keep it up until I’m 96, the way he did!”