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Q&A: Al Roker leads NBC Start Today walk at Universal Studios Florida

by Tharin White

The Today Show’s Al Roker was joined by trainer Stephanie Mansour, and 200 Start Today Walking Club members at Universal Studios Florida to kickoff the November Start Today walking challenge. This walk, which began at sunrise, brought Al Roker and this crew a mile walk around the Universal Studios Florida park.

Al Roker and Stephanie Mansour with a crowd of 200 Start Today Walking Community Members at Universal Studios Florida.

Start Today is a popular broadcast and digital fitness series, that gives viewers the tools they need to jumpstart a healthy lifestyle. This plan comes with new 30-day walking plans at the beginning of each month. Recently, Start Today gained momentum among those on Facebook. More then 100,000 people have now joined the Start Today Facebook group, which has become a community of fans sharing accomplishments, setbacks, and inspiration from their own personal fitness journeys.  


Al Roker & The Today Show ‘Start Today Walking Challenge’ Behind-The-Scenes at Universal Orlando

We were able to speak to Al Roker during the early morning filming and ask him about visiting Orlando, this walking campaign and more.

What inspired you to start this campaign?

You know, Stephanie Monsour really got us going, and I just kind of was walking anyway. I glommed onto it, you know, so I just think it’s really terrific. Because what Stephanie has created is this kind of easy way for you to adjust to what your capabilities are. And that’s the beauty of walking, you know, if you want to, you know, walk like crazy or run you can do that. If you want to walk and take your time, you can do that as well. The message is just get out there and do it.

How does it feel to lead this large group walk at Universal Studios Florida?

It’s fun, you know, that’s the beauty of walking, it’s what you make of it. If you want to walk with a group, that’s great. You want to walk by yourself? That is good too, but you just feel better when you are done. You know, you have accomplished something … you can just kind of chill out and enjoy yourself. You don’t have to pay for a membership. All you have to do is have a comfortable pair of sneakers. I think that’s the big mistake people make is they don’t know they’ve got to get rid of their seven or eight year old sneakers. You should really rotate your sneakers out, and just have at it. It isn’t a competition, you are just trying to better yourself. Oh, this person did seven miles, I did two. But you did it. You got out there and you did something. That’s it. That’s the point.

Al Roker and Start Today Walking Club members celebrate completed walk with food and drink items from the Today Cafe at Universal Studios Florida.

Here at Universal Studios Florida is the Today Cafe with energizing and healthy food options. What do you eat to prepare for your days?

You know, I usually have something kind of light in the morning. Because we, you know, get up really early. Yeah. So, I usually have yogurt with maybe some granola on it or maybe a smoothie. Something not really heavy. And I probably try to make lunch a heavier meal of the day. Fish or chicken or you know, some steak or something. For dinner, something small and something light before bed.

Are you going to be able to check out some Orlando attractions and these Universal Parks before you head back to New York City?

As soon as I get done here I am going to WESH TV to do some stuff with our friends there. And then out to hit MCO and back to New York. We are on a tight schedule here … we keep moving. My grandad used to say, “Never present a stationary target.'” OK, just keep moving. It’s like Dory from “Finding Nemo.” Just keep swimming.

You are based out of New York, but you are able to visit a lot of places, like Orlando. Where is a favorite walking location you like to go again and again?

You know, wherever, especially here in Orlando at Universal. It’s really an easy kind of walking place with all these great paths between the hotels and the park. It’s easier than, you know, waiting for a boat or a train.

Al Roker getting the views and walkers energized before their 25 minute walk around the park.

If you are interested in signing up for the Start Today walking challenge, visit Today.com. And, you can head to Today Health & Wellness to learn more to improve health and become more active.

This special event happened just a few hours after Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights event ended. It let these special few dedicated Start Today Walking Club members get a rare look at the non-stop operations inside of a world-class theme park. From live television to commercial shoots, wrestling events and more, Universal Studios Florida is still an active studio. You never know what you might see or be a part of when you visit the park.

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