Famous Feet - Athlete Interview
by Faye Rapoport
Daytime star McKenzie Westmore (website) plays Sheridan Crane-Lopez-Fitzgerald on the NBC soap "Passions." As the stunning and compassionate daughter of "Passions" patriarch Alistair Crane, and sister of the despicable Julian, she had found her soul-mate in Luis Lopez-Fitzgerald only to lose him when Julian tried to kill her. Westmore's portrayal of the role earned her a 2001 Soap Opera Digest Award for Outstanding Heroine.
Born and raised in Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley, Westmore appeared in her first feature film at age 3, when she played Robert DeNiro's (as Jake LaMotta) daughter in the Oscar-winning "Raging Bull." She also appeared in the film "Star Trek 9: Insurrection." and "Weird Science." Her television credits include "Star Trek: Voyager," "Star Trek: The Next Generation", NBC's "Days of Our Lives," and a guest appearance on "Friends".
Westmore's talents don't stop with acting; she is a trained opera singer and equestrian, and a certified personal trainer. For any actor, staying in shape is critical to maintaining a successful career. For Westmore, who explained to Foot.com that she was an overweight child and has dealt with a debilitating foot condition, being active is a routine part of a busy life.
Read on for more from this likable actress.
Foot.com: First, tell us about your background in health and fitness. Is it a big part of your life?
Westmore: Health and fitness has always been a huge part of my life. I was overweight as a child and ever since the age of 12 and having a nutrition book put in my hands, that became my bible. I went into my parents' kitchen at that same age and threw out everything unhealthy (without them knowing -which was fun when they found out what I did) but my parents have as well lived a healthy life since. It was very difficult for me a few years later when I was diagnosed with Freiberg's infraction (a bone deformity in my foot) and was in a cast to try to fix it for eight months. That was so hard as an active teen. It didn't completely heal, so to this day I battle with it now and again.
Foot.com: Clearly, staying in shape is important in the acting profession. What kind of workouts do you do?
Westmore: Being an actress, the long lean look is always wanted. So to not bulk up (which my body has a tendency to do if I lift too heavy weights) I stick to cardio (running, the Eliptical Precor, or Stairmaster) and yoga - I work with a great coach, Steve Ilg, who owns HP Yoga. He also has me do some light weights once in a while or Pilates.
Foot.com: Is there one particular sport or activity that you find most helpful?
Westmore: The most helpful activity to staying in shape for me is yoga. I resisted it for so many years until I found Steve Ilg's High Performance Yoga. It incorporates everything: strength, cardio, mind and spirit as well as doing interval training while running or on the Precor Machine.
Foot.com: Do you do any specific exercises for your legs or feet?
Westmore: There are some specific exercises that I do on the Pilates machine for my feet and legs that have helped some of the pain that I have to deal with in my feet.
Foot.com: Do you use a certain kind of socks and/or footwear when you work out to support your feet?
Westmore: I swear by a very particular running sock that has some cushioning to it by Asics, and I wear Saucony running shoes - they are the best! Those puppies helped me to do my first 5k in under 23 minutes!
Foot.com: Have you had any other foot injuries or problems from working out?
Westmore: I dealt with the bone problem in my foot for years now, but I have also had heel spurs that had to be dealt with by getting cortisone shots in each heel - ouch!! I have also had numerous ingrown toenails!
Foot.com: We're sorry to hear you've had such painful foot conditions, but you've obviously overcome them, which is great. Do you have any other fitness tips for our readers?
Westmore: Just remember that fitness is so important for a healthy life. Listen to your body always - it really does tell you what it needs - when to work harder and when to back off and rest.
Foot.com: Thank you