If you're searching for proof that a fitness lifestyle can be a fountain of youth, you need look no further than the pages of IRONMAN. Whenever we run even a small feature on an over-40 athlete, it generates a lot of response, including disbelief but mostly praise for the athlete's youthful appearance and vigorous lifestyle. Jennifer Micheli is a good example.
At the tender age of 40 she has three children and looks fantastic. Jennifer has taught aerobics for 23 years, so she's living proof that physical fitness can slow the aging process. Here are some of her secrets.
JL: Let me get this straight. Not only are you in incredible shape for 40, but you also have three children?
JM: That's right. I'm a very proud mama. I've got two boys and a girl, ages 12, 10 and 8. Dominic and Matthew, my boys, just ripped in a surf contest over the weekend, bringing home lots of trophies, and Vanessa is just as involved in sports as they are. She's currently a cheerleader, on the drill team, and she even plays football with my boys. She's also becoming quite a surfer herself.
JL: It sounds as if your kids are off to an active start in life. Living in Florida and being as athletic as you are, I'll bet money that you've taken up surfing as well.
JM: Yeah, I love to be just about anywhere the sun shines, and I'm spending a lot of time between workouts learning how to surf. One of my goals is to have us all riding the waves together.
JL: Then it's safe to say that you're always doing something?
JM: Pretty much, but I don't think I'd have it any other way. I owned an all-women's gym for three years, but now, when I'm not training, I'm also an aerobics instructor, fitness trainer, Herbalife distributor and aspiring fitness model. We still find time to go out for a nice meal or a movie once in a while too.
JL: It's easy to see why you're in such good shape'you don't slow down long enough to let age catch up with you. When you say we, you're referring to yourself and Lee Apperson, right?
JM: Yeah. Lee spotted me in a local gym, and we've been inseparable ever since. He's also right out there playing football and surfing with my kids. Just imagine that big guy on a board. With his knowledge and my desire to stay healthy and fit, we've made a great team.
JL: I'd say your cover shot on this issue is proof of that. Congratulations, and we hope to see more of you in the future.
JM: Well, I did speak with Michael Neveux about the lingerie issue, so you just might be seeing more of me soon.
JL: I'm sure I can speak for most of our readers when I say we're looking forward to that!
Sample bodypart program: Legs
Leg extensions 6 x 20
Hack squats 5-6 x 12
Leg presses 3-4 x 12
Reverse lunges 4-5 x 12
Leg curls 4-5 x 12
Deadlifts 3-4 x 12
Jennifer trains one bodypart per day with weights and teaches three to four aerobics classes a week.
Height: 5'6 1/2"
Marital status: 'Single but very attached to Lee Apperson.'
Occupation: Aerobics instructor/fitness trainer/model
Current residence: Daytona Beach, Florida
Hometown: San Francisco
Beauty/anit-aging secret: 'Herbalife products and lots of water. Most important, though, is laughter.'
Favorite food: Seafood, steak and apple pie
Favorite activity with your spouse/significant other: 'I don't think I can mention that here.'
Editor's note: To contact Jennifer Micheli, send e-mail to [email protected]