What’s Your Workout: Denise Dietz

Posted on Oct 08, 2015

Posted in: What's Your Workout

Building Strength to Boost Confidence

As an Office Manager for Peak Performance Physical Therapy, Denise Dietz does it all, from greeting patients, to answering phones, to dealing with thorny insurance coverage issues.  She tackles problems with confidence and keeps the office running smoothly.  It is her fierce independence that stokes her can-do spirit.  “I don’t like to rely on anyone but myself to get things done.  That’s why I like working out.  It makes me feel strong and gives me confidence to handle whatever life throws at me.”

Working out also relieves the stress from juggling two careers.  Denise graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and fell in love with photography.  She moved to Appleton in 1996 to manage her sister’s hair salon.  She worked long hours but still found time to pursue her true passion.  In 2010 she started work at Peak Performance which provided a better balance of work and personal time.  With the encouragement of family and friends, she dedicated more time to photography and her business grew from there.  Now she is Office Manager by day and a talented photographer by night.

The Workout

Although she stays busy, she makes time 4-5 times per week for a butt-kicking workout at Ellipse Fitness in Appleton.  Ellipse is a training center, not a gym.  It offers classes that focus on core work and strength training and it provides nutritional counseling.  She used to run for fitness but she wanted to ramp up her metabolism with strength training.  She took her first class at Ellipse two years ago and now she’s hooked.

Denise still runs but the class setting helps her stay motivated and adds a social component as well.  “I like to go there because if left to my own devices I would just skip working out altogether.  Plus, the staff and friends that I have made keep me coming back for more.”

On Mondays and Wednesdays she does kickboxing.  “Kickboxing makes me feel strong.  My anxiety and stress just melt away.  I’m not the most coordinated person but I do it anyway.”  On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays she focuses on metabolic strength training.  She prefers body resistance training but also lifts weights to build strength.  She focuses on core work with burpees and planks. “Keeping my core strong has kept me injury free.  Plus, it helps to work with physical therapists.  They show me strengthening exercises and give me fitness tips to keep my body healthy.”

To stay centered Denise practices Kundalini yoga at home.  The breathing exercises and mindfulness help bring balance to her sometimes chaotic life.

The Diet

Now that Denise has ramped up her workouts with strength training she eats more lean protein than she used to.  For breakfast she likes eggs or some other protein with veggies or fruit.  Though it is never a good practice, Denise skips breakfast in the morning if she is running late.  Later in the day she will have a healthy lunch and protein shake.

To keep her hunger cravings in check, she drinks lots of water and snacks on almonds, cottage cheese, veggies and fruit.  She will also eat a protein packed energy bar before she heads to her workouts.

At lunch she likes yogurt or whole grain bread with some sort of lean protein.  For dinner she likes to grill salmon or veggie burgers.  Now that it is winter she has been craving comfort dishes like chili, Thai peanut soup, macaroni and cheese and tuna casserole.

The Gear

Denise is not beholden to any particular brand of clothing.  She stays away from cotton, preferring synthetic materials that wick away moisture.  For shoes she wears Asics for running and Inov8 for her classes because they are light.  “It feels like I’m not even wearing shoes.”

She doesn’t use fancy gadgetry either.  She tracks her workouts and food intake with the My Fitness Pal app and that’s it.

The Playlist

Denise will listen to music when she runs.  She likes a mix of old and new like Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Big Sandy, Lumineers, Bon Iver and Cory Chisel.  For her classes she doesn’t listen to music. Her heart is thumping too loudly anyway.

Denise Hula Hoop