We listen when a fitness expert of over 13 years who has trained FBI members gives us advice. Introducing Jenn Zerling of JZ FITNESS; author of Breaking the Chains of Obesity, 107 Tools & Creator of JZ FITNESS NUTRITION on IOS. Jenn is an expert writer for publications including The Huffington Post, SHAPE magazine, Self Magazine, Oprah.com, Muscle and Fitness Magazine, Prevention, Yahoo News, and the LA Times, 360 Magazine, New York Smash, to name a few. She’s appeared on E! News, Fox, NBC, ABC, KTLA, KRLA talk radio and ESPN radio.
So clearly, this gal knows a thing or two about fitness and we want to know more! Get your notebook out and get ready to learn!
BB: First off, tell us a little more about yourself. What sparked your passion for fitness and health?
Thank you for asking. My name is Jenn Zerling but everyone calls me JZ. I’ve been an athlete my entire life so fitness runs in my blood. However, I didn’t realize that I would be a fitness expert when I was growing up. As a little girl, I wanted to be a Broadway actress. I performed for years. In the last stretch of my undergraduate degree, Chaz from Bally’s heavily recruited me for his fitness team. I had to convince my mother to pay for my first certification, even though I was going to continue in my career as a performer. In time, I grew a stronger passion for fitness and health. As I grew older, I watched some loved ones suffer from conditions related to obesity and poor nutritional habits. After 9/11 (I was in NYC) I transitioned over from a successful performance background into the fitness industry full-fledged and made it my mission to break the chains of obesity in America. I began my journey educating myself and eventually earning my masters degree in Kinesiology. Who wants to get old and feel bad right? I certainly don’t. I will help as many people as I possibly can age well and feel amazing for as long as they are alive. The one caveat is, they must want it!
BB: You’re on a mission to fight obesity in America. Why do think it’s become such a big problem in our country?
Look at our society. Everyone is married to their cell phone, the internet is the main source of news and information and because the internet connects people very quickly, companies are even expecting a lot more from their employees since employees are replaceable. I believe this is putting an enormous amount of stress on everyone. Stress increases central adiposity or belly fat. People eat for comfort. People do not prioritize their health anymore. Some people are just too overworked and too tired as a result. When people state that they have no time to exercise, they are basically saying that optimal health isn’t important enough to them. We are living in a very tricky time because obesity, cancer rates and heart disease are at an all time high. While people may realize their risk for developing these inflammatory diseases, they refuse to change their habits and align with a healthier way of life. People have the attitude of “It won’t happen to me!” Well, it will, it’s only a matter of when. Because people are obsessed with their cell phones, I decided to invest in an easy-to-use phone app called JZ FITNESS NUTRITION which is available on IOS, and will be out on Android in 2015. If people use their phones that much, then I might as well send my message through whatever medium will teach the masses. Once people change their lifestyle habits, they won’t feel as bad anymore within their own skin, no matter what life tosses their way. It is a gift to watch people undergo this transformation.
BB: What can you tell us about your book, Breaking the Chains of Obesity, 107 Tools? What did you learn in the process of writing and researching it?
It is a perfect coffee table or bathroom read. I know that many people do not like reading books so I kept it simple and removed all science jargon, forming a non-technical read. It’s a toolbox of “how to answers” for the individual who tried every diet plan under the sun and still struggles years later. The title Breaking the Chains of Obesity aligns with the fact that I broke my chains from an obese family background. I am a very fit and lean girl who possesses excellent health. My mother came up with the title. She suggested this name to symbolize that anyone can break their genetic chains as long as (s)he learns new behaviors to over-ride the old ones. She is exactly right. I am the living proof of this. I am happy to say that she lost 37 pounds reading the book when it was in draft form. So, picture a book that is fun to read, contains short tools to avoid boredom, which are usable for one to incorporate today-that is Breaking the Chains of Obesity, 107 Tools.
I did not conduct any specific research during the writing of Breaking the Chains of Obesity, 107 Tools. My book started with an outline of tools that I have proven to work with the thousands of people I’ve coached over the years. I consolidated everything into a book form and turned it into a fun read so that people who do not have access to me, can experience my words. Every week I receive many thank you notes for writing the book. Some reviews include, that the book is to the point, it’s funny how I position some thoughts on things, and that it helped them lose a lot of body fat and weight. My purpose is to break the chains of obesity through building toolboxes such as my book, my new phone app JZ FITNESS NUTRITION, and through many other future projects that are in the works.
BB: What tips do you have for reducing cellulite? What moves are most effective for blasting cellulite?
How to reduce cellulite is always the million dollar question. In all the years I’ve been a fitness expert, I’ve worked with so many individuals who wanted to lose their cellulite, including girls who appear skinny. Cellulite is the configuration of fat deep to the top layer of your skin, so if you tend to accumulate fat in that particular area, then you will see it. Can you get rid of it? You can certainly reduce the appearance of it. The most important factor to consider is your diet. If you eat a diet that is high in refined carbohydrates, then you guarantee yourself high cellulite levels. When people follow JZ FITNESS NUTRITION, and stick with it for life, then cellulite reduces significantly. Drink plenty of water and avoid high salty foods. Also consider checking your hormone levels.
Ironically, women tend to show more cellulite around their menstrual cycle because of the hormonal shifts at the time. While you cannot avoid menses, you can certainly keep your hormone levels in check by visiting age management physicians such as Dr Yvonne Maywether. Last, I am a huge fan of strength training your whole body at least 3-4 times a week through power vinyasa yoga and/or through training that incorporates compound movements.
When you hit every muscle group from head to toe, your body becomes a metabolic machine which burns more fat, thereby reducing your overall body fat values, including that in which you see in the form of cellulite. Firm muscles reduce the appearance of cellulite. Be sure to couple any strength training program with cardiovascular that involves high intensity intervals (HIIT). The HIIT training should be executed at least 3 days a week for best results. More importantly, visceral fat, or deep fat surrounding your organs, also reduces which will decrease your risk of inflammatory diseases and heart disease.
BB: You also work a lot with physicians, helping their patients stay healthy as they age. How can we stay healthy at every age?
Whenever I attend a medical conference, the lectures always urge doctors to teach their patients to master their nutrition and exercise programs. Because doctors only take one nutrition course throughout their entire degree, most of them do not know how to coach an optimal nutrition plan. The physicians I work with have proven over and over that the plan I put their patients on works. It lowers blood sugars, decreases inflammatory markers, decreases high cholesterol readings, and increases the natural production of hormones. So how do we all get to age beautifully?
Eat right, move your body daily, exercise a minimum of 150 minutes a week (at a vigorous pace) and stop stressing. Life is joyous, so put the cell phone down and learn how to communicate again face to face with the ones you love. Those who connect with people physically tend to live longer. This might be because we get to laugh more (for real) in the presence of another human being vs. LOL on a cell phone!
BB: What should we do to kick start weight loss after a recent weight gain?
JZ FITNESS NUTRITION app is the way to go. Use this app for 30 days and follow the summaries at the end of every day to optimize your day tomorrow. Once you master this app, which should only take 30 days, continue following this way of life and you will be a lean mean fighting machine forever!
BB: How do you maintain the balanced babe lifestyle?
I practice everything I preach. I am not perfect by any means. I simply know what I want, and while I am a people pleaser, I still put myself as number one. By me loving myself and being connected with myself and my spiritual source every day, I am a better person to others around me and am more grounded as a human being. People who love themselves love others too. Those who do not love themselves tend to waste their lives in a jealous mind-set which depletes fulfillment and self-love. Optimize the person you are. You are unique. You are special. You serve a purpose in this world. Determine what that is, and stick to that plan, every day. And remember, your body is your temple!
BB: If we could take a peek at your daily routine, what would it look like?
Funny you ask this. Most people don’t know how I do as much as I do. I thrive off of a busy schedule. I always say, if you need something done, ask a busy person; it will get done. In general, my days start at 5am and go until about 10pm. I train clients, teach classes, write, attend meetings, volunteer, coach and develop programs every day. However, among it all, I find an hour or two to train myself so that I can continue to feel amazing within my own skin. While every day is different with who I train and what I do with the other items, the consistent thing that never changes is giving back to myself every single day. That is what makes me a happy go lucky person!
BB: What’s one health rule or mantra that you live by?
Maximize Your Potential by optimizing Your Health! It says it all in one sentence. Once you optimize your health, your potential is full of endless opportunity!
BB: What’s next for you and JZ Fitness?
JZ FITNESS is putting the JZ FITNESS NUTRITION app onto Android phones due to popular request in the first quarter of 2015. Currently, it is only on IOS. In addition, there will be a lot of program development over the next year. JZ FITNESS plans on expanding its reach into more corporations in 2015, and continuing its creation of hands on programming for teachers, trainers, medical personnel and organizations that have after school programming for students. I thrilled to have recently joined forces with Stay Fit Housing acting as the Director of Guest Wellness. This position, among many others, aligns directly with my mission to continue helping America break the chains of obesity. I know it is possible.