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Women's Bodybuilding Megan Avalon

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Dr. Malea Jensen On Her Bodybuilding and Medical Careers

This is a great article on my friend Malea Jensen; and sent to me by Malea. Her website's at www.maleajensen.com

by Karris Golden - for Wartburgh Magazine:

Dr. Malea Jensen is the total package:

She's exceptionally bright.
She's remarkably attractive.
She's a doctor.
She's a bodybuilder.

"I have been competing in bodybuilding since 1996,"Jensen explains. "I placed second in my first show, the 1996 Natural Iowa. I have competed once or twice a year since 1996."

A natural outgrowth of her competitive bodybuilding has been modeling. There is a high demand for photos of muscular women who have also maintained femininity. I fit into both molds. I actually love to get in front of the camera."

Jensen, an osteopath in practice at Urbandale Family Physicians, completed medical school at the University of Osteopathic Medicine and Health Sciences in Des Moines. Despite the difficulties of her academic workload, she has always balanced it with an intense physical regime.

"Bodybuilding was never a whim,"Jensen says. "I have always admired men and women with muscle. Initially, it was not my ambition to get up on stage and pose. This has been a way to extend my competitiveness. It is an ambition of mine to keep fit and look lean, with muscular detail.”

She credits her father for pushing her to "give 100 percent,"whether it was school, work or one of the many sports at which she excelled.

In high school, she was a four-sport athlete, taking all-conference in each sport. While attending Wartburg, Jensen played basketball and softball while maintaining a high grade point average and notching all-conference honors in softball.

Jensen started lifting weights in high school as a way to condition her body and improve her strength. "I was literally pushed into competing by a couple from Pennsylvania,"she recalls. "I really had no desire to get up on stage in front of a thousand people in my bikini. It is funny how our perspectives change as we gain self-esteem. Needless to say, (the couple) thought I had the body for the sport. But more importantly, they acknowledged the fact that I worked hard in the gym and was always intense with my training. Intensity and passion are the two hallmarks of a competitive bodybuilder."

These qualities are also present in good doctors. Jensen approaches her medical practice with the same determination. In particular, she is concerned with the way obesity has compromised public health.

"(Obesity) has reached epidemic proportions, and links to cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other chronic diseases are well established,"she notes. "The effort to understand how to promote more active lifestyles has been of great importance to the health of this nation. Schools, workplaces and families need to weave physical activity into the fabric of their daily lives. The key to lifetime fitness is consistency!"

Saddened by current statistics regarding widespread American obesity, she looks to public leaders, such as Arnold Schwartzenegger, to push for change.

"There is an awareness of how we have inadvertently created an environment that promotes obesity by discouraging physical activity and encouraging overeating,"Jensen says. "As a doctor, I not only need to tell my patients to exercise more and eat less, I have to outline a program to do just that. Most people do not know what to do unless it is spelled out for them on paper. But even then, it is very difficult, from my clinical experience, to change my patients' lifestyles. It is going to take a nationwide education program."

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