We talked with Karen Dunn, who has always loved exercise – but when you talk to her, you might get convinced, even if you aren’t a big fitness buff.
How did you get started on your fitness journey?
I started when I was in my 30s with Jazzercise. I loved the music, the cardio, and the camaraderie. My friends and I had small children, and this was our ladie’s night out. We wanted to work out in a way that was fun. The high energy of the instructor was contagious, and the atmosphere in the room was like a big party. I took dance lessons all through grade school and high school, then later taught children tap and ballet, so this was a perfect fit for me. Later on, hitting middle age was a very difficult time, physically. I realized I was going to have to work at it to stay strong, flexible, and slender. It has always been important to me to be fit.
What would you say is the best thing you gain from being fit?
The best thing I gain by staying fit is keeping up with my children and my grandchildren. From hiking to zip lining, bowling, swimming, and kayaking, it means the world to me to be active and physically able to join in the fun. The other part of this is feeling great, just for myself. I think the aging process has a whole new meaning these days. Because of social media, new specialized gyms popping up everywhere, and the internet for learning more, the fitness journey has endless possibilities. I often read about nutrition, women’s health, and new ideas for a healthy lifestyle.
What’s your fitness routine?
I meet with my incredible trainer, Alison Cardoza, every 6 weeks or so. She is with Baptist Health/Milestone Wellness Center here in Louisville. At each session we discuss nutrition, bone strength, hydration, and she adjusts my workout plan accordingly. I take a Zumba class 3 times a week. My weekly workouts vary from strength training to cardio. She’s very aware of the limitations of my age and looks out for difficulties with knees, lower back, etc. It’s important to me to work out safely, at my age. My husband and I purchased a recumbent bike during quarantine, and I use that 3 times a week as well. I use a You Tube coach who incorporates weights with this type of bike, it’s a great addition to my program.
Any secrets to your success or tips for someone looking to see results fast (physically or mentally)?
For me, having a good trainer is key. With Alison, I’m more successful with a set challenge, I’ve got goals to reach, and I have a person looking out for me. She is extremely knowledgeable in nutrition, fitness, and overall health. My gym is close to home. For me, it has to be convenient, or I wouldn’t be as successful. Also, I have learned from her that hydration is key. Our bodies need it, we feel better when we make the effort to drink more water. I use large containers with markings on the bottle showing ounces. I drink a minimum 64 ounces per day, (sometimes a gallon if I work out a lot).
Do you track your exercise, steps, or your meals? What apps or technology do you use?
Great question. My husband bought me the Fitbit Versa 2 for my birthday last year. I kept track of everything I put in my mouth, every ounce of water, and every workout. It makes me more aware, and more accountable, so that I can stay on track. It’s like a challenge, and when it says, “you’ve reached your goal for the week”, I feel fantastic. I also follow several health and fitness experts on Instagram. It’s an excellent source for new recipe ideas and fitness tips.
Do you plan rest? What do you do?
I am very careful not to overdo it. Sometimes I feel like going to the gym every single day, but I know better. Instead, I’ll tackle a project at home, or just go for a walk. I also do a lot of yard work and gardening.
By Karen Dunn
P.S. You may also like Healthy Foods Made Healthier.
Barbara Schultz says
Great advice Karen , you look amazing.