A 2000 Graham High School graduate is among 5 finalists to become a national fitness star.
Lana (Runkle) Titus is featured on the flip cover of the June 27 edition (July/August issue) of Women’s Health magazine. Titus is one of five women vying to be the magazine’s fifth annual “Next Fitness Star.” According to information from the magazine publisher, thousands of women applied for the honor. In addition to Titus, the other four finalists, Angela Gargano (Cranston, Rhode Island), Denise Harris (Brooklyn, New York), Darcey Wion (Columbus, Ohio) and Betina Gozo (Portland, Oregon), have been selected for their tenacity, passion, empowering personal stories and incredible workouts. The winner will have the opportunity to star in a Women’s Health workout video series.
Titus lives in Los Angeles, California, but she is returning to Urbana this weekend to stage a workout session at Melvin Miller Park. She will be on stage at 9 a.m. Sunday, July 2. The community is invited to participate.
Those who wish to support Titus in her quest to be selected Next Fitness Star can vote for her online through Aug. 4. The process of selection involves several steps. Readers and fans are encouraged to visit WHNextFitnessStar.com to watch videos of each finalist and vote for their favorite. After the votes are tallied, the magazine’s panel of expert and celebrity judges will decide who should be crowned the 2017 Next Fitness Star.
This year’s judging panel includes Debbie Matenopolous (co-host of The Insider and Hallmark’s Home & Family), Jen Ator (Women’s Health Fitness Director and C.S.C.S.), Hilaria Baldwin (yoga instructor and author of The Living Clearly Method), and Emily Skye (F.I.T. program founder and Women’s Health July/August cover star).
Titus – a 35-year-old wife and mother of three girls – said in her magazine profile, “My mom was the kind of mother who fed my friends sweet potatoes instead of french fries when they came over for dinner. She bought a jungle gym for our backyard and restricted TV time so we’d play tag instead. When we’d ask for soda, she’d offer fresh orange juice under the guise of it tasting better. My mom is no longer with us, but she’s a part of everything I do. She knew how important health was, especially when starting a family. And now as a mom to three girls, I do too. I want to be the best role model I can be for my daughters. And that starts with being the healthiest you — mentally and physically.”
Titus said her “time-efficient, total-body workouts … give you energy and help you feel confident. I train clients, including tons of moms, one-on-one, in group classes, and through my online video series—because convenience is key. … I find it easier to push yourself when you only have 10 or 20 minutes to get it done.”
And Titus also offered nutritional and behavioral advice in the profile: “Get holistic. Fitness is nothing without a clean diet. Eat foods grown near your home; they tend to be less treated and thus better for you and the earth. And, mommy hack: Bring your kiddos shopping. They’re more likely to eat stuff they picked out. Don’t overthink it. Getting started is half the battle.”
Titus graduated from Carroll College in Helena, Montana with a degree in communications/public relations.
“I got into fitness after gaining 40 pounds with my first daughter,” Titus told the Daily Citizen. “My husband (Zac) and I were America’s fittest couple along with other fitness titles.” Zac is also a GHS graduate. “Fitness became my life after I discovered I could help others with my knowledge and transformation,” she added. “For 12 years I have been inspiring and transforming lives of not only moms, but anyone looking for motivation and inspiration.”
Titus works as a full-time personal trainer and group fitness instructor in Los Angeles. She teaches at Burn 60 Studios www.burn60.com in Los Angeles.
She decided to return to her roots after becoming a finalist for Next Fitness Star. “It was very important to me to come back to my home town where I grew up and share my passion for health and fitness with my community,” she said.
“The community class at Melvin Miller Park is a way for me to show my hometown community how fun fitness can be and that if you have the right attitude anything is possible. My class will be for all levels. It will be fun and challenging. I wanted to have an event where the entire family can participate. I think it is important to promote health and wellness as a family. It is our responsibility as parents to teach our kids at a young age to eat good foods and move their bodies.”