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What's your workout: Jaclyn Sparkman


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Jaclyn Sparkman does a step workout at Total Fitness. Carla Clark for The Republic
Jaclyn Sparkman does a step workout at Total Fitness. Carla Clark for The Republic

Jaclyn Sparkman uses the free weights at Total Fitness. Carla Clark for The Republic
Jaclyn Sparkman uses the free weights at Total Fitness. Carla Clark for The Republic


Briefly describe your daily/weekly workout routine:

I normally workout six days a week. On Mondays I have a rest day, Tuesday and Thursday morning I run three to five miles, Wednesday and Friday I go to the 5:30 a.m. Fitness Fusion class at Total Fitness, Saturday morning I go to Step Aerobics at Total Fitness or run and Sunday morning I do a long training run of about 8 to 12 miles.

What inspired you to begin a regular fitness routine?

I wanted to lose weight after the birth of my son.

Why is it something you have stuck with?

 For the past two years I have been balancing working full-time, attending graduate school and having a family. Working out leaves me feeling energized, boosts my mood and keeps me motivated.

How do you make time to work out?

I work out in the morning. Once I am off work there are too many competing priorities.

When and why did you get serious about fitness?

I started working out about three years ago. Initially, I wanted to lose weight, but now I like the way it makes me feel.

What’s your favorite exercise?

I love all types of cardio.

Have you lost or gained muscle mass through working out?

My overall weight has decreased and I have increased muscle tone.

Do you listen to music while you work out? What’s on your playlist?

I do a lot of classes so there is always music playing. The type of music depends on the instructor.

Do you follow a special diet? If so, describe it briefly. Do you “cheat” much?

I try to be aware of how many calories I am eating by using MyFitnessPal on my phone. My husband does all of the cooking, so I eat whatever he decides he wants to make and depending on the day it may be less than healthy. We rarely eat out, though, and I take my lunch to work. I have an insatiable love for chocolate, so I cheat often.

Any exercises you dread, but do anyway? Why?

I hate strength training, but know I need it the most. I have a love/hate relationship with tricep dips.

Do you have a favorite fitness moment, for example, when you reached a tough fitness goal or overcame a plateau?

Finishing the half-marathon was a great moment; I never thought that I would even want to run that far.

What do you do to motivate yourself when you just don’t want to work out?

I think of how much better I will feel when I am done and usually promise myself a coffee on the way to work.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to start working out?

Start with a realistic goal (two to three days a week), go to a class that gives you some variety and find a workout partner.

What’s a little-known fitness fact about you?

I run with my 62-year-old dad several times a week. He got me into running and has really motivated me.

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