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What's Your Workout?


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Kathy Oren
Submitted photos Kathy Oren

Submitted photos
Kathy Oren
Submitted photos Kathy Oren


Kathy Oren

Age: 49

City of residence: Columbus

Occupation: Marketing and sales functional excellence champion for the engine business unit at Cummins Inc.

Family: Husband, Dan Oren; and sons Ben, 22; Peter, 20; and Connor, 18.

Where you work out: Tipton Lakes Athletic Club and on my mountain bike in Brown County State Park.

How many hours a week: 4.5 hours

Briefly describe your daily/weekly workout routine: I do a 30-minute workout during my lunch hour three times each week. And I ride my mountain bike twice a week for more than an hour each time.

What inspired you to begin a regular fitness routine? About 15 years ago, my husband bought me a mountain bike for my birthday, and I fell in love with riding. But I had not been exercising regularly other than that for many years. In my mid-40s I began to have problems with my neck, shoulder, knees and arthritis in my hand. And every time I went biking, I was stopping to huff and puff. I realized that the cure was to get fit and work on overall strength so that I could be fit enough to do the things I really love.

Why is it something you have stuck with? I work out with five friends from work on our lunch hour. We encourage each other. And we’re probably all a little competitive. That makes it fun, too.

How do you make time to work out? Working out on my lunch hour has been the best solution for me. I have to block my calendar at work, and sometimes things come up and I have to miss workout. But for the most part, I’ve been able to get there for those 30 minutes three times weekly. I would like to do more, but getting that 30 minutes in is so much better than not getting any time in.

When and why did you get serious about fitness? I was serious about fitness in high school and college. But when you have a family and three children busy with their sports and activities, it becomes difficult to make time for your own fitness routine. In the summer of 2011, I began working out with Ian McGriff at Tipton Lakes Athletic Club to get me jump-started back into shape. I feel better now than I did in my 30s when my kids were small.

Do you follow a special diet? I try to minimize sugars and typically have simple dinners like grilled chicken, a green vegetable and some rice. I try to eat some fruit every day.

Do you have a favorite fitness moment? I have started using STRAVA.com to track my mountain bike rides in Brown County. This app compares your ride to the times of other riders on the same trail. Recently I got a QOM – Queen of the Mountain for the Green Valley trail in Brown County. I am not a hard-core rider. I am an old lady and I go slow. But I like to try to beat my times when I ride.

What do you do to motivate yourself when you just don’t want to work out? I just think about how great I’ll feel when the workout is done. No matter how I feel going into a workout, I always feel better and happier afterward. I truly believe that working out makes me happier and smarter. It keeps my brain energetic, and I need that at my age.

What advice would you give someone who wants to start working out? Start out gradually, and don’t expect too much too soon. For me, if I push too hard too soon, I get tired and discouraged. I started my workouts at two times a week. Then I moved up to three workouts weekly. This summer I added a goal of three workouts at Tipton Lakes Athletic Club plus two bike rides on the Brown County trails. I was able to keep to that schedule and meet my workout goal all summer. I haven’t felt this good in many years.

We want to know about your workout, too. To be included in our weekly column, email features editor Beth Clayton-George at bclayton-george@therepublic.com.

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