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AMI LYNN APPENZELLER
Owner/Publisher – Philly Fit Magazine, Mom, Motivator, Fitness Guru, speaks with Marilyn Russell
By Marilyn Russell
Philly Fit Magazine is a bi-monthly news magazine with emphasis on health, fitness and leisure serving Bucks, Montgomery, Philadelphia, Chester and Delaware Counties. It is the brainchild of our Woman of the Week this week, Jami Lynn Appenzeller, who not only publishes the magazine, but also sells advertising space and I suspect has a hand in the distribution because suddenly Philly Fit magazine is everywhere! As we come to the close of the first month of the New Year, many of us are struggling to stay on track with our resolution to get and STAY in better shape this year.
If Jami Lynn Appenzeller has her way, she and Philly Fit Magazine will help us achieve our goals! After speaking with Jami, I realized the importance of eating right and exercising, and how helpful it is to start at an early age. It’s probably too late for me since as a typical Philly girl, I grew up on pork roll and cheese sandwiches, cheese steaks, soft pretzels and Tastycakes (umm, Butterscotch krimpets)! So, that means working a little harder to make up for the past. I’m thrilled to have found Philly Fit Magazine and even though Jami’s level of fanaticism scares me…I know she’s making it her life’s work to get her message across to the rest of us – no easy task.
WOTW: Where are you from originally?
Jami: I was born in Arizona, lived in Hawaii for six years, then England, now here.
WOTW: When did you make the commitment to fitness?
Jami: Well, I was diving in Hawaii at the age of three (with a diving coach), and I was taking hula lessons and trying to surf from age 3 as well. So I’m going to say 3 is the magic number.
WOTW: So, you’ve always been doing some kind of workout?
Jami: Yes, even if I didn’t realize it at the time. I was a champion equestrian in England, so I rode four hours a day/seven days a week, training for competitions year round. I was very fit by the age of ten, probably unusually fit because riding develops your entire body and the nice part was, I didn’t even realize the benefits. I started ‘pumping iron’ by the age of fifteen and just never stopped. Most recently, I hired Heather Hoehn, the GM at Summit Sports Training Centers and owner of Flip Fitness, to help me get back to training like an athlete. I was starting to feel a little burnt out from the traditional gym workouts, so we swim laps and do core training. This change has reinforced my advice to people – change up your routine, shake up the workouts before you get bored and/or burnt out and want to quit.
WOTW: When did you launch Philly Fit Magazine?
Jami: September 2005 and you can find it in over 2,300 locations including sports and health stores, beauty salons, fitness and rehab centers, medical centers, book stores and more.
WOTW: How do you motivate people to just get started?
Jami: I personally ask them to give me one month of walking every night after dinner. Take an apple, a bottle of water, your kids, dog, umbrella…whatever, just GO! Start with a ½ hour walk every day. Once people start to feel better and actually see results, they realize that if just by taking a daily walk for a month they are able to lose weight, imagine if they actually worked out? It really works…people just need to see a glimpse of results and that becomes the motivation to continue.
WOTW: What’s the secret to staying motivated?
Jami: Setting goals! For me, it’s about keeping my back healthy. I have back pain brought on by compression fractures from my horse riding days. Working out keeps the muscles around my spine strong and my back in line. Staying pain free is a great motivator and gets me heading to the gym as often as possible. But for you and for most people, your goal might be looking good for your upcoming beach vacation, or someone’s wedding you’ll be attending next month. You may even have your own health reasons for wanting to get in better shape…listen to your body, it may be trying to tell you something! If you can apply ANY reason to go, and then, make it a part of your lifestyle and top priority on your schedule, you’ll be on your way.
WOTW: Ideally, how often should one exercise?
Jami: It is pretty much an individual thing but, honestly, you should be doing some form of cardio or weight training six days a week. You could break up your schedule to include 2 to 3 days working out with weights, then on the other days, do 45 minutes of cardio.
WOTW: Jami, we’re now inundated with lots of different types of work outs and exercise equipment, what in your opinion works best?
Jami: Tough question as there are so many factors that makes one choice better for one type of person than another. I personally love the results I get from free weights, call me old school. But, there are so many incredible machines in fitness clubs these days which is great because workouts are more diverse than ever. I do think the trick is finding a trainer that can help you use whatever you have access to and teach you to use the equipment properly. One should experiment and find what works for them.
WOTW: How important is nutrition to your overall health plan?
Jami: KEY! Good nutrition is ½ the battle. You cannot get healthy without it and you’ll never get great abs without a good diet, no matter how many crunches you do!
WOTW: Is there a safe diet pill?
Jami: Nope, not in my opinion. But, I’m not an expert in that area and I don’t even like or use the word diet. Think balanced healthy meals…we should come up with a catchy “one word” title for that.
WOTW: How important is it to get kids interested in fitness?
Jami: It should be the number one priority. Start them young and instill the idea that fitness, sports and exercise are fun and make it fun for them. They will thank you later on in life for creating great habits for them. Kids, obviously, are too young to know the importance of fitness, so the responsibility falls squarely on the parents.
WOTW: Are your two sons athletic?
Jami: Both my boys are genetically blessed to be fit/slim guys. My 18-yr old, even though he’s very creative musically and artistically, loves working out at the gym. My 8-yr old likes basketball and football and is a big for his age, and that plays to his advantage.
WOTW: Jami, if we change one bad eating habit this year, what should it be?
Jami: That would be eating too much at one time. Cut the portions way down, and stop super sizing. And, try to cut your sugars in half – you’ll be amazed.
WOTW: What do you find tough to give up? Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Jami: Like everyone else, I can’t resist sweets – cookies, candy, cake, I love them all. So, what I try to do is splurge on just ONE goodie a day, but I do crave them all the time. Thankfully, I have such a high metabolism that I get away with cheating just a little.
WOTW: Finally, what celebrity do you think has the lock on great fitness?
Jami: Jennifer Aniston. She trains hard, but is so natural and just right, not too buff, not too thin. She’s also seems very kind and humble, not flaunting her assets, but she definitely has it going on.
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