Going to a gym or purposeful exercise wasn’t something my family or many in my generation did when I was growing up. But I was physically active in drum corp, track, and cheerleading. I never set foot in a gym until I was at Oregon State, where I continued to run for exercise. I graduated, got married, continued to run, and finally joined a gym. But working out at a gym was always a chore that I never enjoyed, and back then, there weren’t that many options for exercise.
One day my friend asked me if I wanted to go to a Jazzercise class with her. That was it. I was hooked. This exercise was FUN! I soon became a franchisee/instructor, and now, more than 36 years later, I’m still teaching, which is my main form of exercise. It is not the 80’s style, jazz, or easy workout most people think it is. It’s evolved over the years, and we do both cardio and strength sculpting that is challenging and current!
After working in the weight loss industry for ten years, I also started Lifestyles with Laura and began personal training and lifestyle coaching. I have been a regular guest on KATU Afternoon Live for six years as a fitness and wellness expert.
I also became yoga certified three years after only attending three yoga classes in my life. Crazy, right? It wasn’t the goal of flexibility that attracted me. It was the calm energy of the instructor and how it made me feel emotionally more than physically. I wanted to learn more.
A healthy lifestyle is my passion, and I love sharing it. Until college, I thought I’d be a nurse, but this career fulfills the need to help and care for others.
I still own the local Jazzercise studio. After moving from Beaverton, we are now in downtown Tigard, and I teach or attend about six Jazzercise classes per week and practice yoga at home a couple of times per week. I give myself one day of rest without exercise, although I’m always very active that day. When on vacation, I will exercise most days but not nearly as intense, mainly because it means working out in a gym, which I don’t enjoy as much. If you find joy in your workout, you will do it with more intention and consistency.
My philosophy is that no matter how old you are or what your limitations are, there is something you can do, and you have to keep moving. Especially when you get into your later years, the less you exercise and stay active, the faster you will age. I’m 61, and my Mom, who is 87, comes to my class. She modifies as much as needed, but like she says, “At least I’m moving!”
People often ask me what I eat (or don’t eat), assuming I always only eat super healthy. Ok, true. I mostly eat a very healthy diet consisting of non-starchy vegetables (starchy are corn, peas, and potatoes), brown rice, quinoa, protein, a couple of fruit servings a day, and I make my own muffins, homemade protein balls, and treats. I enjoy a little something sweet and try to watch my sugar intake. But I will eat almost anything on occasion. Who doesn’t love a delicious slice of pizza, a donut, or nachos? But one thing I won’t do is eat fast food unless absolutely necessary. I can say this happens about once a year.
I don’t label food as “good” and “bad,” and over-processed or unhealthy food isn’t a part of my regular diet. Not because it’s “bad” but because when I eat it, I usually can feel it later, and if I do it too often, I know it won’t give me the energy, a healthy body, and hopefully the long life that I want to have.
Motto: Eat anything in moderation. It’s too much or too often that gets you into trouble.
Rule: Don’t cut all carbs from your diet; they are your fuel. Don’t starve your body. Eat!
Favorite treats: Nothing Bundt Cake, Nachos
Always in my Freezer: A healthy frozen entree that I volumize with non-starchy veggies for when I’m low on groceries or need a quick meal.
Always in my cupboard: Can of tuna, collagen peptides or protein powder, peanut butter.
Always in my refrigerator: Fresh veggies, eggs, non-dairy milk
It’s so important to wear the appropriate shoes for your activity as it will affect your feet, ankles, knees, and back. I wear the Ryka training shoe, which is perfect for studio aerobics and training. I almost exclusively wear Athleta. Not only because I love their products but because they are a certified B company meaning they are committed to creating a positive social and environmental impact by using recycled materials, investing in renewable energy, and empowering women and girls worldwide.
With Jazzercise, the corporate team chooses the music and choreographs the routines for each song. It makes it easier for me! I have to memorize them, which is good for my brain! Plus, members get a variety of music and a safe workout since the routines are reviewed for safety and effectiveness.
When doing yoga, I most often listen to Deva Primal.
Our society has become very unhealthy, with about 74% of Americans overweight. It’s not about what you look like. It’s about health issues, the costs of those issues, quality of life, and longevity. I encourage you to take one step today to a healthier lifestyle.