Exercise & Fitness

Fitting In Fitness

Making time for workouts can be hard, especially if you have a demanding work schedule or are juggling kids and family schedules on top of that.

I make it a point to do my workouts first thing in the morning, even before I check my email or voicemail. As a business owner, if I don’t do that, I take the chance of getting caught in a meeting or project and missing my workout altogether.

So how do you fit in fitness?

If you’re not a morning person, then schedule your workouts a week in advance, just like an important business meeting or doctor appointment. Make that commitment to your health: It’s one of the most important things you have.

My top two tips for making sure you get up and get out:

1. Put your alarm clock across the room so that you have to get out of bed to shut it off

2. You might try sleeping in your workout clothes, or have everything laid out and ready to go so that you don’t waste a lot of time getting to it in the morning.

My first tip is scheduling your workouts and getting them in early before the stresses of the day get to you, but my second tip is preparation. Be prepared with a couple of quick exercise routines to fit in on days when you don’t have a lot of time or can’t make it to the gym. I also like to pop in a quick workout DVD from time to time for something different. Try anything to mix up your routine and get it in, even when it’s just 20 minutes.

When you are short on time, there are three basic moves that are the most effective choices for a strength workout: lunges, push-ups and crunches. Treat your mini-workout like a circuit, and push yourself through these exercises, adding enough weight to increase your heart rate and burn calories. Speaking of heart rate, how do you know when your heart rate is up high enough? Instill the talk test. If you could have a conversation with your girlfriend, then you aren’t working hard enough. Managing only to mutter a few words here and there? Then, you’ll know you’re on track and burning a lot of calories.

One more thing I like to do when short on time is to incorporate intervals into cardio training. Interval training cuts down on time and actually help you burn more fat. When you interval train, you want to push your body to move faster for a short period (1-2 minutes), back off and recover for 1 minute, and repeat.

To stay healthy and stress-free, don’t neglect your workouts. It’s proven that you feel better if you take time to get moving and break a sweat every day.


 Jill Stoppel has been involved in the fitness industry since 2009 and has been personal training full-time since 2002. She is the sole owner of Excel Wellness Studio, is certified through the American Council of Exercise and holds several certifications in group exercise, spinning and kickboxing. She also maintains memberships, affiliations and mentorships within the major health and fitness organizations in the nation to stay connected to other top professionals. She and her team offer fitness advice to Kansas Citians exclusively for Good Health KC magazine online.