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Hudson grad turns TV fitness guru

by Tim Troglen | reporter Published: February 6, 2013 12:00 AM
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Hudson -- Hanging out with Olympians, quizzing Al Roker on fitness myths and sitting on a stage next to Steve Harvey are all just in a day's work for Jen Ator, a 2004 Hudson High School graduate.

Ator, fitness editor for Women's Health magazine, has made the rounds on TV and radio shows touting the latest trends in fitness and nutrition.

While not all Hudsonites may recognize Ator, her name is pretty well known in the world of sport and fitness.

Ator recently appeared on NBC's the "Today" show quizzing hosts Natalie Morales, Willie Geist and Al Rocker on fitness myths and facts.

Other venues Ator has appeared on include: "Extra," "The Weather Channel's Wake up with Al," "Live on the Couch," "Good Morning America," and "The Steve Harvey Show," she said.

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Ator will mark her fourth year at the magazine later this month.

"I started in late February 2009, as an assistant fitness editor, after working at Men's Health magazine," Ator, 26, said Feb. 1.

As fitness editor, Ator is responsible for managing and approving all of the magazine's fitness coverage.

"I both write stories and edit ones from freelancers," said Ator, who has always loved fitness.

The former Hudsonite "can't really think of a time that I wasn't involved in fitness."

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"It's always been an incredibly important cornerstone of my life," Ator said.

And it's not only Ator, her entire family has been active in sports and fitness, she said. And growing up, that rubbed off on Ator, who took part in a variety of activities.

"I did a little bit of everything--swimming, gymnastics, soccer, softball, basketball, field hockey and lacrosse," Ator said. "In high school, field hockey and lacrosse were an integral part of my identity."

Ator wanted to also give credit to her success on the fields, court and pool to her "incredible coaches who pushed me to work harder and be better every day."

The future editor also played Division 1 lacrosse at Ohio University, while studying journalism.

"Putting the two things together just made sense," Ator said.

Ator's family, which still lives in Hudson, is proud of her success, according to her mom, Margie Ator.

"[Her dad,] Steve and I, and Jen's siblings, Tim and Kyle, are so proud of Jen for the person she is, for the successes she has enjoyed, and for the passion she has for life in everything she does," Margie said.

Hearing from readers about the impact fitness has on their lives, both physically and mentally, is important to Ator.

"It's incredibly gratifying to hear from readers who have started following our workout programs, are seeing results, and are feeling a new sense of confidence and motivation," Ator said. "I've been there, I know how great that feels--being able to share that with other people is something that's really special."

And what does the editor enjoy most, writing about or actually taking part in fitness programs?

"You most likely wouldn't get into a job like this unless you really enjoy being active and exercising, so in many ways I'd say that I enjoy being active slightly more than writing or teaching about exercise," Ator said. "You can't do this job well if you're not hands on, and you can't teach effectively if you don't have firsthand knowledge of what you're talking about."

Testing new fitness workouts, attempting new sports and practicing with top athletes and coaches are also all aspects of the job Ator loves. Among her athletic accomplishments are completing two half marathons and one triathlon, she said.

"That being said, my job is incredibly demanding and there are plenty of days, weeks, even months, that I can't exercise and be active in the way that I would like to," she said. "I joke with my colleagues that if I got in better shape for every hour I wrote about fitness, I'd be an Olympic athlete."

Living among the glitz and glamour of New York City, Ator still tries to get home to Hudson as much as possible, with her last visit during Christmas.

"I might live in big, exciting New York City, but there truly is no place like home," Ator aid. "I take great pride in where I was raised, where I call home, and I'm constantly reminded and appreciative of everything I have gained from the people and the community in Hudson, Ohio."

Email: ttroglen@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9435

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