Arden Zinn, founder and creator of Arden’s Garden, is a true trailblazer of health and nutrition. Dubbed “Atlanta’s First Lady of Fitness” by the President’s Council, Arden has built her career on her passion for teaching others to live the healthiest lives possible through nutrition and fitness. She opened her first Arden Zinn Studio fitness center on Peachtree Road on June 1, 1970, and eventually opened 30 studios throughout metro Atlanta, Savannah, Macon and Augusta, as well as Tennessee, Florida and the Carolinas. Arden Zinn Studios taught Ardenics, a combination of several forms of exercise including aerobics, yoga and dance. After years of concentrating on keeping people fit, Arden started focusing on what they put into their bodies. She started distributing the same healthy libations she’d make for her family and friends to others. Arden’s Garden juices and smoothies are now sold widely, continuing Arden’s legacy of health and wellness.
What’s your favorite part of your career?
Helping people improve their health and at the same time having them share their lives, challenges, hopes, dreams and goals with me.
Your least favorite?
Collecting money for what I do.
How did you come to this point in your career?
I have always been interested in health and sharing my knowledge with others seeking better lives. After opening the Arden Zinn exercise studios, my focus shifted a lot more to what we put in our bodies and how important that was, whether one exercised or not.
What do you see as the keys to being your “best self”?
Finding out what my true passion is and following it, whether it is financially profitable or just spiritually profitable.
What’s the hardest lesson you’ve ever learned?
Not everyone is trustworthy or well intentioned.
What has been your greatest achievement?
Raising two good kids and teaching them how to be productive members of society. And making my passion my life’s work.
What’s your No. 1 fitness and health secret?
Don’t put junk into your body. What we eat absolutely affects how we look and feel, how happy we are and how much energy we have.
What are the keys to your health regimen?
Fresh juice throughout the day and food that is mostly leafy greens, colorful veggies, beans, fresh whole fruits, sprouts, nuts and seeds.
As a pioneer of using fruits and juicing to stay healthy, what do you think about the recent resurgence in the popularity of smoothies and juicing?
I am not surprised and think many [of the new products] are not focused on health. What I am more excited about is the surge in popularity of juice fasting and detoxing regimens like Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s, described in Eat to Live.
What changes in your life would you like to make this year, if any?
I’d like to learn to slow down and respect that my body is older and needs more rest. I’d like to do less and enjoy more. I’d like to be an even better grandmother than I already am.
What’s your favorite getaway destination/activity?
I recently traveled to Israel after not having been there for almost 40 years. It was the best trip I’ve had in decades. I now would like to travel there on a more regular basis to connect spiritually and physically to a very beautiful place.
Learn more about Arden’s Garden at ArdensGarden.com
Note this article was first published in 2010.