Dr. Jennifer Turner, DrPH
ACE Group Fitness Instructor, Health Coach
Here’s my story:
I was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago and never met a Happy Meal or a chicken wing I didn’t like. As I began to outgrow my childhood life-threatening asthma, the effects of the Hamburglar with accompanying McRib special became evident and I began to put on weight. After many crash diets, gimmicks, and several plays of the first Jane Fonda workout video (on Betamax!), I eventually lost weight in my teens by developing an eating disorder. Although I eventually worked through the disorder, I was not a naturally thin person, and my life-long struggle with weight and dieting continued.
It was in 1998 while attending Stanford University, tired of crash diets, gimmicks and bland dehydrated frozen diet peas, I decided to make a life change: I discovered and embraced fitness. I committed to going to the gym every day and for the first time stopped weighing myself. I stopped focusing on the results and focused on the process of embracing an active way of living. This was the last resort after a lifetime of being trapped in the crash diet death spiral. Although completely clueless in the gym, and feeling awkward working out in my not-so-cute 1986 L.A. Gear cross trainers and Flashdance legwarmers, I stuck with it. Through consistency and having the support of a workout buddy, two months into my program I noticed I had lost fat, my clothes fit differently, and most importantly I felt great and FREE! No more yucky peas!!! I also found I was attracted to healthier foods, creating a virtuous cycle of nutrition to support my active lifestyle. My personal fitness revolution had begun!
I would go on to complete 7 marathons, including the Boston Marathon twice and New York Marathon, over a dozen triathlons, including Iron Man Lake Placid, and become a pretty mean salsa dancer. I developed a lifelong commitment and connection to fitness while also developing my career as a television executive. Although tremendously rewarding to continue to achieve fitness milestones, my passion and mission in life, is to teach and inspire people and communities, with particular focus on women and children, to lead healthier and more active lives. As a formerly overweight kid from the South Side of Chicago, I am particularly sensitive to the obesity and health issues plaguing adults and our children in urban communities. To address these issues, I wanted to teach and inspire and became certified to teach group fitness through the American Council on Exercise (ACE). Recognizing successful fitness integration is impacted by many factors, I also received certifications as a Health Coach and Behavior Change Specialist, also through ACE.
I am a self-proclaimed “Fitness Activator”. I believe that everyone has the ability with the right tools, social support, and inspiration to be able to connect to fitness in an emotional way and this connection will lead to long-term exercise adherence, and ultimately what we all want: happiness. My mission is to activate that ability and inspire communities across the country. To this end, I became the fitness consultant for the Harlem Children’s Zone Adult Fitness Programs at the Armory, teaching exercise and wellness support classes to the Harlem community. Leveraging my business, creative, and fitness backgrounds, I founded MAD COOL FITNESS to inspire everyday people to move through content, social support, and multi-pronged tools to achieve and sustain long-term healthy, active living and happiness, and non-profit MAD COOL COMMUNITY, to better support community health. I developed my own cardio work-out, MAD COOL CARDIO, a low-impact, total body cardio workout accessible to all, as well as a holistic health coaching program to help to learn more about themselves and develop the skills to be healthy, long-term.
In my “spare” time, I like to go salsa dancing and have been playing the violin since I was 4.
I currently live in Newark, NJ my dog, Max, a Maltese whom I SWEAR is a person.