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Why One MTV Star Isn’t “Awkward” About Running

Jillian Rose Reed shares why she loves running and how she thinks it could benefit young women.

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Photo: Danny Hernandez
Photo: Danny Hernandez

In between acting and starring as Tamara in the critically-acclaimed series “Awkward” on MTV, as well as and being a spokesperson for The American Diabetes Association, Jillian Rose Reed is a health and fitness enthusiast. The actress shares her favorite places to run, how she balances a hectic filming schedule with running, and how the sport betters her career as an actress.

Women’s Running Magazine: How did you start running?
Jillian Rose Reed: I only started running recently, when I decided I needed to shed a few pounds by including more cardio in my workouts. I’ve always been a dancer, so I had to learn how to shift from that into some more intense cardio.

WR: What does your typical day look like?
JRR: It depends on what time I have to be on set, really! Most days I have to be at work anywhere from 5 and 8 a.m., so my days start early. I typically try to squeeze in a workout on my way home since getting up at 4 a.m. to workout isn’t my cup of tea!

WR: How does running make you a better actress, friend and woman?
JRR: For me, cardio is a great stress reliever. I tend to get wound up pretty tight, which can cause stress even in my relationships. When I run, I can clear my mind and be an overall more relaxed person, which helps in all aspects of my life.

WR: Where are some of your favorite places to run?
JRR: I usually run outside. I can’t get myself to stay on a treadmill long enough, it’s too boring unless it’s my only option. I live in a beautiful neighborhood, so running along the street or even the baseball diamond at the park is my favorite!

WR: What are some of your favorite pre- and post-run meals or snacks?
JRR: I like to start my morning with green tea and protein! I love Quest Bars, they’re one of the only protein bars I’ll eat, and they keep me really full! After a good workout I like to grab a smoothie or a juice. Robeks has some of my favorite smoothies; that are packed with protein, which is great for post-run.

WR: What advice do you have for people aiming to balance a healthy routine and a career?
JRR: My advice would be to find something you love! I get bored with working out very easily, so I like to balance my week out with one to two days of cardio, and the other days I alternate between yoga and piloxing. I’m still figuring out how to properly balance my nutrition, as I LOVE carbs, but I have been trying to do the “no bread” thing during the week!

WR: How do you think running helps boost confidence in high school girls who might be going through those awkward stages of puberty and self-discovery?
JRR: Well, there’s obvious physical benefits to doing cardio. It can help you stay lean and fit especially when trying to balance out the “puberty weight” that most of us gain. More importantly, it feels good to run! If you’re anything like me, it can help you relax and feel a little more care-free. It is extremely important during those awkward years of puberty!

WR: How do you use running to help with your philanthropic efforts with ADA and the other nonprofits you’re involved in?
JRR: Staying fit and healthy is one of the biggest things I push when I talk about my work with the ADA. Living a healthy lifestyle is the best way to avoid falling into traps that could lead to Type 2 Diabetes.