Interview: Florida’s First Lady


Florida Governor, Rick Scott, Ann Scott, Florida First Lady, fitness interview, #fitfam, #fitinonlineIt was truly an honor to have the opportunity to ask Ann Scott questions pertaining to health and fitness. At the time of the interview we were producing a print version of FIT IN ONLINE in the city of Daytona Beach, Florida called, Fit in Daytona Magazine. Ann is pictured with her husband, Florida Governor Rick Scott, holding our magazine. From the minute she and Governor Rick Scott heard about our mission to highlight a healthy lifestyle, they were both very supportive of our small business with dreams of a big positive impact.  Here are the health-related questions we asked Ann in our interview:

Your husband, Governor Rick Scott, was very proud to tell us you value your health fitness passionately. What is your fitness routine like?
I exercise every day, at least five times a week with a trainer for an hour and then follow up with cardio on the elliptical. I am also focusing on activities that help maintain and improve balance, coordination and mobility.

Why is staying active important to you?
Rick and I have always enjoyed being active and we made it a priority because we want to live long, healthy lives. While our two daughters were growing up, we loved getting outside as a family for athletic activities. Whether it was hiking, skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, kayaking or a friendly – albeit competitive – game of ball, we always had a great time and made many fond memories. Our daughters share our passion for exercising and healthy eating as well.

Now that we have three grandsons, it’s more important than ever that we stay in shape. Grandparent is truly the greatest title I’ve ever held. They bring us such joy, and we are looking forward to being by their sides through all of their exciting milestones.

How do you find time to eat right and exercise with such a busy schedule?
Like most Floridians, I have to balance a busy schedule – being First Lady as well as a wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend. I have found that it helps me to set aside a specific time for exercise. I am a task-oriented person, so if it’s on my schedule, I’ll make sure it gets done.

I travel frequently in my role as Florida’s First Lady, so it’s important for me to stay on track while I’m on the road. I always look for menu items with nutritious ingredients – some of my favorites are salmon and spinach salad.

What is your favorite type of exercise activity to perform when you workout?
When I’m in the gym, I use the elliptical, and I always try to fit in at least 30 minutes. Since I am also focusing on enhancing my strength and balance, I have integrated light weights and stability exercises into my routine.

Rick and I also love exercising outdoors. When the weather is nice, we take advantage of our state’s many natural resources – we enjoy long walks along the canopy-covered roads of Tallahassee, hiking and biking Florida’s beautiful trails and kayaking through the many waterways. It’s a great way for us to spend time together while also enjoying all that our great state has to offer and improving our health.

You seem to have a personal mission to help encourage Florida’s children to read and write. We think that is great; and have you also been able to encourage children to stay active to combat the easily available world of tablets, smart phones, and video games?
Children have always held a special place in my heart. Even as a young girl, I was always taking care of everyone – my siblings, neighborhood children, my classmates. My nickname was actually “the little mother.”

So, when I became First Lady I knew I wanted to focus on children. In addition to visiting schools, libraries, state parks and hospitals from the Panhandle to the Keys, I have invited Florida children and families to the Florida Governor’s Mansion to learn and practice healthy recipes in our kitchen. We also share with them our vegetable garden, which we use to prepare meals for us and our guests, and talk to them about having a garden of their own.

I also encourage every child I meet to spend more time moving. In Florida, we are fortunate to have so many great opportunities to combine exercise and education with family fun and. For instance, we have 161 state parks, which offer residents the chance to enjoy the great outdoors. From swimming, kayaking and canoeing, to hiking, biking and even bird watching – the options are endless!

As a grandparent yourself, what activities would you recommend grandparents do with their grandchildren to build an awareness to the benefits of physical fitness?
I would recommend just getting up and playing with them – it doesn’t matter what you do as long as you’re moving around and spending quality time together.

Our two youngest grandsons, Quinton and Sebastian, aren’t walking yet, but our oldest, Auguste, who will be three in November, is very active. He loves to visit the zoo, and we love taking him. He gets so excited about each of the animals that it seems like we run the whole day, always anxious to see the next one.

We also visit the Children’s Museum of Naples (CMON), Children’s Botanical Garden and area parks.

On your Facebook page you mention “healthy bodies make healthy minds”. What is your favorite healthy snack?
I enjoy all sorts of berries, as well as veggie smoothies.

Now, I have to ask you, what is your favorite cheat meal?
I feel better when I eat healthy, so I rarely “cheat,” but when I do I have Mexican and order black bean tostados.

We noticed this past Spring you put out a Governor’s Mansion cookbook called, “Viva La Florida” with all proceeds going to support the Mansion Foundation and their preservation of state history. Can the Fit in Daytona readers find some healthy recipes in this cookbook to share with their families?
Absolutely. When we were developing the cookbook, we wanted to share healthy recipes that incorporate Florida seafood and pay homage to previous First Families. We spent a lot of time searching through the Mansion archives to make Viva La Florida much more than just a cookbook – it’s a piece of history.

Some of my favorite healthy recipes from the cookbook are the Baby Eggplant & Tasti-Lee Tomato Soup, Carrot Mango Smoothies, Wild Rice Chicken Salad, and Strawberry Arugula with Pistachios and Balsamic Vinaigrette.

Is there a fitness room in the The Florida Governor’s Mansion?
Yes, and Rick and I use it regularly.

If you could give just one tip on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle, what would it be?
I would recommend finding what works best for their lifestyle. There are a lot of different diets and exercise routine recommendations, but there is no such thing as one-size-fits-all when it comes to individual health and fitness. What worked for me when I was a mother of two young children doesn’t necessarily work for me now, so my routine has evolved over the years as my lifestyle and needs changed.

One thing that has remained consistent for me is exercising in the morning. To succeed in meeting your exercise goals, it’s critical to figure out what time of day works best and what activities you enjoy most and look forward to doing. Then, fitting it in your schedule will be a breeze.

Most importantly, have fun! Don’t be afraid to try something new and get creative.

Thank you for taking the time to chat with us, Ann!

About James Langan

In 2014, I created the Fit in Daytona Magazine as the writer, photographer, interviewer, and digital designer. After it's local explosion in popularity, the magazine grew & evolved into an online fitness publication. - Founder of Fit in Online, host of the Fit in Online Fitness Documentary.

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