Denise Austin (born February 13, 1957) is an American fitness and exercise expert, author, columnist and instructor. She is also a member of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. She is married to sports attorney Jeff Austin, with whom she has two daughters: Kelly (born 1990) and Katie (born 1993). Her sister-in-law is U.S. tennis champion Tracy Austin.
Austin was born Denise Katnich in San Pedro, CA. She started gymnastics at the age of 12, which led to an athletic scholarship to the University of Arizona. She graduated from UA with a degree in exercise physiology, and has since been teaching classes, produced shows, made videos, and written books and columns on exercise and staying fit. Examples include Shrink Your Female Fat Zones, Pilates for Every Body, and Eat Carbs, Lose Weight.
She is known for her emphasis on staying fit naturally, emphasizing that she herself exercises only about 30 minutes a day and never skips meals. She also prefers use of sugar and butter over artificial sweeteners and margarine, though she does emphasize portion control, nutrient/food balance, and exercise.
Her exercise programs often integrate a variety of different disciplines including yoga, pilates, cross training, and aerobic exercise.
Austin has created a stir in politics because of her ardent support for President Bush and his programs. In addition to being named by Bush to the President's Council on Physical Fitness she was famously photographed leaning over a crowd control rope and hugging the President in 2001. As a guest on the Don Imus radio and television program she proves adept at bantering and sexual innuendo to promote her line of merchandise going as far as taking off her shirt to model the Denise Austin sports bra.