How GH Star Jacklyn Zeman Stays Fit

As Bobbie Spencer, R.N., Jacklyn Zeman has been administering care to patients on General Hospital since 1978. Of course, the best medicine is preventative, and Zeman has much to say on how to keep both a healthy body and a healthy mind.

Wellness Wednesday: Jacklyn Zeman

Other GH stars and/or alumni including Maurice Benard (Sonny) and Jacob Young (ex-Lucky) have chatted with Soap Hub about Wellness Wednesday. Now, we’re talking to Zeman, a fan favorite and four-time Daytime Emmy nominee for her role as Barbara Jean “Bobbie” Spencer, about what she does to stay fit in this week’s installment of Soap Hub’s  Wellness Wednesday.

Soap Hub: Jacklyn Zeman, how do you schedule fitness into your life with work, family, other commitments?
Jacklyn Zeman:
I walk every day. I take my script with me, if I have lines to learn, or my phone if I have videos or calls to make. Sometimes, I walk with a friend or family. And I do some stretches, and exercises on a yoga mat. I also have some light weights at home. Exercise is important for our mind, body, and spirit. It has been a priority for me all my life. I encourage everyone to exercise every day in some way.

What’s a typical fitness regime?
Jacklyn Zeman: An average walk for me is five miles. My exercise routine is 42 minutes.

What’s your favorite physical activity?
Jacklyn Zeman: Currently, my favorite physical activity is dancing with my granddaughter Kennedy. She is now 20 months and keeps me going strong. We put on music and dance all around the house. And a walk on the beach always makes me happy.

Do you have a “cheat” day? Do you believe in them?
Jacklyn Zeman: Because I have been committed to exercise all my life, I can still eat anything I want without gaining weight. So, I never feel that I am “cheating,” but if I did skip something for whatever reason I wouldn’t feel guilty about it. That would be non-productive with no point or win. Flexibility is good for the brain.

Do you meditate?
Jacklyn Zeman: Yes, I meditate every day.

Have you always been active?
Jacklyn Zeman: Yes, I have been active all my life. Favorite pastimes over the years have been dancing, waterskiing, swimming, jogging and running, parachute jumping, and various kinds of fitness training.

How important is water, rest?
Jacklyn Zeman: Drinking plenty of water is an absolute must. It’s one of the easiest and best things we can do for ourselves. I actually really like water so guzzling lots of it is easy for me. And rest is so important. I have learned this only in the past decade of my life. I have never required much sleep. When I was shooting on GH every day for all those years and my daughters were young, I was also traveling every weekend to QVC and HSN. I was booked solid every day. I would get to bed at 1 am and wake at 4 am to go to work. I could function fine, or so I thought.

I realize now that three hours a night is not enough time to rest and rejuvenate. Now, I give myself six or seven hours of sleep every night and I feel a world of difference. Of course, my daughters are grown and I am no longer shooting every day. We have to be open to growth and change as we navigate the various chapters of our lives. Change is good for the neuropathways in our brains, so my best advice to everyone is to have an open heart and mind. To choose wisely but maintain flexibility.

What advice would you give to someone looking to embark on a new fitness routine?
Jacklyn Zeman: Do it. Start from whatever level you are presently at and make a plan. Commit to a schedule that works for you and your family. And if you can find a buddy to share workouts or playtime with, that is helpful. If you make it fun, it will become the gift that you give to yourself.

Soap Hub extends a big thank you to Jacklyn Zeman for sharing her thoughts on fitness and health. Click this link for past Soap Hub Wellness Wednesday features. As always, consult with your physician before embarking on a new fitness regime.

General Hospital (GH) airs weekdays on ABC. Check your local listings for airtimes. For more about what’s coming up in Port Charles, check out all the latest that’s been posted on GH spoilers, and for an in-depth look at the show’s history, click here.

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