Katie Austin gets it from her mama.
The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model and health coach caused a stir in 2022 when she and her mom, fitness icon Denise Austin, strutted down the runway in bikinis during Miami Swim Week.
The fitness trainer, who has followed in the famous matriarch’s footsteps, is featured in the 2023 issue available on newsstands now.
“She will always remember that – so will I,” the 29-year-old told Fox News Digital. “It was just amazing because Sports Illustrated Swimsuit really wanted to highlight walking down the runway with someone who has been a day one supporter to you. And for me, that’s my mom… She was a pioneer in the fitness industry… It’s just cool to follow in her footsteps and have her as a mentor. But then for me to have her walk down that runway, it was almost like she was getting immersed in my world, which is so different. Usually, I’m immersed in her fitness world, and she’s showing me the ropes.”
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“But [this time] I was showing her the ropes,” Austin shared. “It was such a special moment that we will always cherish, walking down the runway together. We did a little flex at the end to show our muscles, and that’s my mom’s iconic move.”
Denise, 66, has sold more than 24 million exercise videos and DVDs, as well as authored over 12 books on fitness. She has been married to Jeff Austin, a sports attorney and brother of tennis champ Tracy Austin, for 40 years. They share two daughters.
Austin said her mother continues to dedicate herself to fitness. Denise is known for her 30-minute workouts.
“I think [our appearance] was really well received because my mom now is 66, and she’s had no work done,” Austin explained. “She’s all-natural and… she practices what she preaches. And so, it’s showing all demographics and all women of all ages that they can do it. They can have children, and they can walk down that runway at 66 years old. I think it was really, really powerful to have that mother-daughter duo do that.”
“She was born with a lot of energy,” Austin shared. “I personally think because that woman wakes up at 5:00 a.m. just ready to go. But I truly think she just appreciates life… She has so much gratitude. She wakes up and chooses to be positive, which is really important. And then going back to working out, she does work out every single day for 30 minutes. I think working out helps with her mental health and making sure that she’s staying happy… She believes that health is wealth. If you don’t have health, you have nothing in life. She’s making sure she’s active every day… People meet me, and they’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, you have such high energy.’ I’m like, ‘No, no, no – wait till you meet my mother. She’s just off the charts with her energy.”
“She does have her cups of coffee in the morning, but [that energy] is natural,” Austin added.
Austin has made her mark in fitness. The former Division I lacrosse player at USC has more than 2 million followers on social media. She also has her own app, which highlights over 230 workout classes and more than 150 recipes.
In 2021, Austin was named the co-winner of Swim Search, the magazine’s annual casting call. She was named co-Rookie of the Year with Christen Harper for her 2022 issue appearance.
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Austin said that when it comes to kicking off a healthy lifestyle, timing is everything.
“Some people try to do a 45-minute to an hour-long workout,” she said. “They think they need to strain their bodies. For me, low impact or low intensity does not mean it’s not going to be an effective workout. I always preached [that] a 25-minute workout is all you need. A lot of people don’t have time for 45-minute workouts. And truly, under 30 minutes is all you need to feel better.”
The model, who said she has “a consistent routine,” added a 20-minute walk on top of her 25-minute daily workout to prepare for her photoshoot with SI.
“I added that walk for two different reasons,” she explained. “Of course, it’s great for your fitness goals, but a walk helped clear my mind. It was great for my mental health to get outside, clear my mind and decompress after a long workday. I think the one thing that I really changed before my shoot was practicing more of my mental health routine. I tried to make sure that I was going into it not only feeling my best self with my body but also mentally as well.”
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Austin noted that discipline is essential to staying consistent with any workout routine, especially when trying it out for the first time. She said fitness apps and YouTube videos have made it easier than ever to break a sweat at home if one cannot get to a gym. Austin also recommends having five-pound weights and a resistance band.
“You’re not going to have motivation every single day,” she warned. “The first step is to make sure you’re consistent. I think knowing how good you feel after a workout is so important because if you wake up and don’t have any motivation, you’re just going to continue with your day, and you’ll skip it for that day. But if you realize, ‘I’m going to feel so much better after this. I’ll just do 10 minutes,’ you’re going to feel more productive. That goes back to discipline and making sure you have that habit of working out.”
“What happens afterward? You gain a lot of energy, you get more productive, and you feel so much better about yourself,” she shared. “I think switching the word ‘motivation’ to ‘discipline’ is so important to be consistent.”
Austin noted that it is just as important to be mindful of one’s eating habits. She encourages people to swap processed foods with a medley of fruits and vegetables.
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“I try to show women and girls especially that carbs are not your enemy,” she said. “I eat a piece of sourdough toast every morning… And I’m huge on butter. If you follow me anywhere… you know I use a lot of butter and a lot of olive oil. I love avocados. I think my favorite vegetable is zucchini. I love a lot of great, lean proteins like ground turkey and chicken. I have fruits like raspberries, strawberries, bananas – whole foods in my refrigerator. You will rarely find a lot of processed snacks in my pantry. I will say when I go to make myself a snack, it usually takes me about five minutes to make that snack… You can always meal prep ahead of time. My go-to snack right now is ranch dip and cucumbers.”
Austin hopes her photos in SI Swimsuit will inspire other women to “feel like their best selves.”
“That’s really what Sports Illustrated Swimsuit stands for,” she said. “They want everyone to feel their best, to feel authentically them and not change a thing of who they are. They showcase such a magnitude of different women, which is so powerful because not a lot of publications have such a wide variety of women…. Every single girl has a different mission. Mine is to empower girls and women to feel their best selves through health and fitness, which is what I currently do.”
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