by Elizabeth Liberatore / photos by James Patrick / hair by Carissa Mott; makeup by Lisa Moore
The benefits of exercise are numerous. Higher sleep quality, more energy, and stronger brain health are some of the more obvious ones. The lesser known include psychological benefits, as exercise is a powerful prescription for common mental health issues like depression and anxiety.
Jennifer Bowie, who has her bachelor’s degree in psychology, was so fascinated by the healing powers of physical movement that it prompted her to become a certified personal trainer. She’s been training people for more than 10 years and, having earned additional certifications, is a Pilates, barre and Total Resistance Training (TRX) instructor in the Valley. Bowie is currently working on her master’s degree in mental health and wellness.
“I expect that my master’s will allow me to further connect with my clients from a mind-body perspective,” she says.
Born in Las Vegas and raised in Seattle and Phoenix, Bowie identifies the most as an Arizonian since she’s lived here the longest. Plus, Seattle’s year-round gloom wasn’t doing it for her.
“I love the outdoor fitness lifestyle that the Arizona climate affords. Taking my workouts outside, whether that is hiking or playing tennis with friends, is one of the best things about living here,” she says.
An active lifestyle is the only kind of lifestyle Bowie has ever known, courtesy of her parents who encouraged her at a young age to participate in school sports. Bowie was on her high school’s dance, cheerleading, volleyball and track teams, all of which taught her valuable lessons on disciple, teamwork and self-esteem.
She remained active throughout college and competed in her first fitness competition in 2012. Shortly after, she became a certified personal trainer. And although training clients was her profession for a good amount of time, she felt like something was missing. That something was revealed to her when she stepped outside of her comfort zone and took a group Pilates class.
“I took my first Pilates class six years ago and I knew I needed to become an instructor. The mind-body connection was real, and I loved it,” she says. “I believe that change does not happen when you are comfortable. Our times of biggest personal growth and change occur when we are operating outside of our comfort zone. This is where the magic happens.”
Bowie is without a doubt making magic by helping Valley residents transform their minds and bodies. She trains private clients and instructs group classes for Pilates, barre and TRX, which is a piece of training equipment that uses a suspension system to workout. Some of her Pilates classes include both barre and TRX movements for variety.
She teaches approximately 24 classes a week — so you can’t miss her! — at the Scottsdale, Promenade, Desert Ridge and Paradise Valley Club Pilates locations. The caring, energetic and altruistic instructor will have you swearing by Pilates, too, after taking just one class with her.
“Hearing from my clients how much better they feel each day after class is incredibly rewarding for me,” she says. “Pilates is an exercise methodology that is accessible for everyone regardless of their current fitness level. The low impact nature and focus on flexibility and strength makes it an excellent option for those dealing with injuries, back issues, and physical limitations.”
Bowie’s lean and sculpted physique is a product of both consistent exercise and healthy eating. She believes in moderation with respect to nutrition. She’s tried the overly restrictive approach and has meal prepped in the past, but the first wasn’t sustainable and the second became boring over time. Bowie will, however, plan out what she’s eating between classes to healthfully fuel and sustain herself.
“In general, I eat healthy 80 percent of the time and the other 20 percent will indulge in my favorites. Above all, I am a big believer that enjoying life includes good food and wine in moderation,” she says.
When she isn’t teaching classes, Bowie enjoys taking them in her spare time. She sees group fitness as a way to decompress, especially as she wraps up her graduate program.
“I love taking Pilates, barre and yoga classes. I think finding an hour for oneself every day is incredibly important for self-care and reflection,” she says.
She also enjoys traveling with her husband, hanging out with their two dogs and being an ambassador for Carbon 38, an online store for fashionable, high-performing activewear. In all her life roles — instructor, ambassador, wife and friend — Bowie reminds those around her to prioritize themselves.
“Take pride in the baby steps, the little victories, in order to maintain your motivation. I know that when I exercise consistently, I have more energy, confidence, and am better able to care for my family,” she says. “Know that self-care is a necessity and not a selfish act. You must take care of yourself first, body and mind, or you will have nothing left to give others.
To learn more, follow Bowie on Instagram @jen.bowie or sign up for a class with her at www.clubpilates.com.