Meet a Health Hero: Annmarie Lorine
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Name: Annmarie Lorine
Role: Health and P.E. teacher at K.D. Markley Elementary School
Who or what motivates you to be healthy?
My mother, now 92 years old, was my first positive healthy role model. Many mornings, she would wake us up and we would jog as a family. My favorite thing was jumping rope with her in the kitchen and riding my blue bicycle while she watched from the driveway. This is where I first fell in love with exercise. Her support instilled confidence and positive self-esteem. An incredible cook, she taught me the importance of eating a balanced diet at a young age. I helped maintain our garden and was so proud to pick the tomatoes and zucchini. She exposed me to a wide variety of food and lots of fruits and vegetables, always encouraging me to try new things. Through her actions, I learned about the power of being positive and the importance of living life with a focus on helping others.
Now, the opportunity to be a role model to my students gets my heart pumping every morning. I appreciate the opportunity to create a positive atmosphere where they feel supported and empowered. Watching them grow and succeed motivates me to work hard and create opportunities to excite them about health and wellness. I feel fortunate that I get to be the person that provides them the tools they need to live a healthy lifestyle and inspire in them the same love for fitness that I grew up with.
My former Health and Physical Education teaching protégé Missy Eppleman, is another person who motivates me to be healthy. Missy is managing Parkinson’s disease with grace. Despite any hardship she faces, she continues to push forward. She helps me maintain perspective and inspires me to stay positive.
Describe a health or fitness-related turning point in your life.
A few years ago, a hiking trip left me with an unidentifiable insect bite. It turned into a medical mystery that had a big impact on my overall health. I was in and out of the hospital and was faced with new medical challenges. My passion for exercise and movement had to be put on hold. It was difficult to be sidelined from my daily exercise regimen. Simultaneously I was feeling a great deal of stress from family and friends who were facing health issues of their own. The time I spent unable to exercise made me even more grateful for the chance to get back into it when my restrictions were lifted. This setback taught me to be patient and encouraged me to explore other opportunities to stay well.
What policy would you institute to make Greater Philadelphia a healthier region?
I want to help the Greater Philadelphia region become known as an area devoted to health and wellness through education. Instead of cutting back on initiatives, I would promote the increase of health and physical education program opportunities for all students. Students need to learn the tools necessary to live a healthy lifestyle and be supported in practicing them throughout their entire educational journey. This focus cannot be limited to physical health, but also needs to address social and emotional wellness. Helping others truly understand the benefits of choosing to be positive and healthy will support our goals. We need to give students the chance to relieve stress and keep moving during and after the school day. Through action addressing these points, we can make an impact in diminishing childhood obesity and the negative health consequences that result.
What’s the most important part of your health or fitness regimen?
The most important part of my health and fitness regimen is variety. I am always looking for new classes to try. I love to take my activities outdoors where I find the best environment for stress relief. Exercising with family and friends keeps me accountable and makes every workout fun and challenging.
What is your number one piece of health-related advice or encouragement?
Move! Stretch! Try different activities and incorporate those that you like into your lifestyle. Start out slow and work up to your goal. No matter your health level, have the courage to take that first step towards creating a better you. Stay positive through setbacks and leverage your support network. Don’t think of exercise as a chore. Think of it as an opportunity to take control of your health and wellness.
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