We’ve hit month three of REDBOOK’S Real-Life, Healthy Life Makeover, and our participants–Jennifer, Julie, and Adrienne–are already reaping benefits from the small lifestyle changes they’ve made. This month. our fitness expert. Jillian Michaels of NBCs reality TV show The Biggest Loser. shows them–and you–how to squeeze doable exercise into any busy schedule. Michaels created two routines that are so easy and fun, you’ll truly fall in love with getting fit.
MICHAELS DROPPED BY ADRIENNE’S OHIO HOME FOR SOME ONE-ON-ONE TRAINING. But before they started sweating, Michaels, creator of the DVD collection The Biggest Winner!, showed Adrienne how to rearrange her schedule to make time for fitness–without disrupting her life.
Step 1: Prioritize.
Adrienne: “I have a gym membership, but I rarely use it. Taking care of my two kids leaves little time for exercise. Even when I do hop on our home treadmill, the kids inevitably need me.” Reality Check: “Like so many of us, Adrienne has the time to exercise, but she’s choosing to do other things,” says Michaels. “It’s admirable that Adrienne’s bowing to the needs of her kids, but she has to put herself first sometimes.” Every week, Adrienne should sit down with her schedule and jot down workout times in realistic slots. (See “How Adrienne Can Squeeze in Exercise,” right.) Planning ahead is the key to getting anything done.
Step 2: Make Your Exercise Plan Stick.
Adrienne: “During my best stretch of exercise, I went swimming a few times a week for a month. Then the YMCA pool closed for repairs–and I never returned.” Reality check: About 50 percent of people who start an exercise program quit within the first six months. So write down the reasons you want to get healthy, says Michaels. Maybe for you it’s to live longer or look great in clothes. On the days you don’t feel like exercising, read your list. Find a fitness buddy who will give you a mental kick in the rear when you need it–and vice versa. Finally, try a few different exercise routines to beat boredom, an exercise nemesis.
Step 3: Allow Yourself to Get Back on Track.
Adrienne: “Within a couple of weeks of walking or using workout videos, I lose the motivation to squeeze exercise into my day.” Reality check: When you veer off course, ask yourself what stopped you. Was it logistics? (You didn’t block out enough time to shower post-exercise before picking up the kids and the process became too stressful.) Was it physical? (Your knees hurt.) Whether it’s reexamining your schedule or getting better gear, figure out how to fix whatever turned you off. By taking action, you’ll also banish any self-hatred you might feel (Why can’t I get my act together?) about not following through on your goals.
How Adrienne Can SQUEEZE IN Exercise (and you can too!)
5:30-6:30 a.m.: Wake up, have tea. Husband Tim often goes to the gym.
* EXERCISE FIX: Adrienne and Tim should take turns going to the gym in the morning. Whoever stays home can use the treadmill.
6:30-8:45 a.m.: Make breakfast, get kids ready for school.
900-11:30 a.m.: Run errands, volunteer at schools.
* EXERCISE FIX: Since both kids are in school on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, Adrienne should use one of those mornings to head to the gym or back home to work out.
11:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.: Have lunch with son, tackle household chores.
* EXERCISE FIX: Since Adrienne’s gym offers babysitting, she should schedule one of her workouts during this time.
4:00-5:00 p.m.: Help daughter with homework, play with kids.
* EXERCISE FIX: Once a week, she should have her kids play on their own as she exercises at home.
5:00-7:15 p.m.: Dinner and family time.
* EXERCISE FIX: After dinner, the family should take a walk.
7:15-830 p.m.: Get kids to bed.
8:30-10: p.m.: Read and watch TV with Tim.
* EXERCISE FIX: Do strength-training moves in front of the TV for 15 to 20 minutes.
* Adrienne found six time slots for exercise–so can you!
The Build-Strength, Lose-Fat Workout Choose the level that’s right for you and get going!
If you’re new to working out …
Jillian Michaels created this beginner strength-training routine for Adrienne and Jennifer, whose fitness history consists mostly of walking.
How to do it: After a five-minute warm-up (pedal on stationary bike, jog in place), do 10 to 15 reps of the four moves for the given day, unless otherwise noted, without pausing between moves. Repeat the circuit two more times. This should take about 15 minutes. Follow with 30 minutes of cardio (walk, bike, do a kickboxing video) and five minutes of stretching. On the fifth day, when you’re not strength training, do 45 minutes of cardio.
Total time: 55 minutes.
If you’re already a regular exerciser …
Michaels slightly increased the difficulty of the beginner workout for Julie, who knows her way around a gym, and for anyone else who’s ready to take toning and fat burning to the next level.
How to do it: As with the beginner workout, start with a warm-up, then do 10 to 15 reps of the four moves for the given day, unless otherwise noted, without pausing between moves. Repeat the circuit two more times, then follow with 30 minutes of cardio. Don’t forget to cool down for five minutes afterward. On the fifth day, when you’re not strength training, do 45 minutes of cardio.
Total time: 55 minutes.
* On Mondays and Thursdays, work the front of your body chest, shoulders, abs, and quadriceps).
Starting position: Stand with back against the wall, arms crossed in front of your chest.
Move: Slowly lower body down until thighs are parallel with floor, knees over ankles. Hold for 10 seconds. Return to start. Repeat twice for one set.
Starting position: Instead of being supported by a wall, stand with feet hip-width apart and abs tight.
Move: With back straight, slowly lower body until thighs are parallel with floor, knees over ankles. Return to start.
2. BENCH DIP
Starting position: Sit on the edge of a chair or bench, hands gripping the sides. Walk feet forward, so hips come off the chair and your weight is supported by arms. Knees should be over ankles.
Move: Keeping feet flat on the ground, bend elbows and lower hips until upper arms are parallel with floor. Pause; use arms to push up to start.
Starting position: Sit on the edge of a chair or bench, with legs straight out in front of you. Rest your weight on your heels, instead of feet being flat on the ground as in the beginner move.
Move: Balancing on heels, bend elbows and lower hips until upper arms are parallel with floor. Pause; use arms to push up to start.
3. SUMO SQUAT
Starting position: Stand with feet wider than shoulder-width apart, toes turned out.
Move: Abs tight, lower body down until thighs are parallel with floor. (Don’t extend knees past toes.) Pause; return to start.
Starting position: This is the same move as the beginner one, but with weights.
Move: Do the beginner move with arms straight down in front of you, hands holding either end of an eight-pound dumbbell.
4. MODIFIED PUSH-UPS
Starting position: Place palms several inches wider than shoulder-width apart against a sturdy table, weight bench, or wall. Step back about two feet. Support weight on toes and palms of hands.
Move: Bending elbows, lower body toward the table, bench, or wall with neck straight, abs tight, gaze downward. Push back to start; repeat.
Move: This is the same move as in the beginner workout, but your goal is to do 15 to 20 reps.
On Wednesdays and Saturdays, work the back of your body (glutes, back, hamstrings, and calves).
Starting position: Take a giant step forward with your right foot, hands on hips.
Move: Lower body down until left knee is close to the ground and right thigh is almost parallel to ground. (Do not extend knees past toes.) Pause; return to start. Complete a full set with both legs.
Starting position: Stand with hands on hips, feet hip-width apart, abs tight.
Move: Leading with heel, take giant step forward with right leg; as foot lands, bend both knees until right thigh is parallel to the floor. Pause; return to start. Complete a full set with both legs.
2. DUMBBELL TOW
Starting position: Stand with a five-pound dumbbell in each band. With abs tight, back flat, and knees slightly bent, tilt forward at waist until torso is almost parallel with floor. Arms should hang in front of you, palms facing thighs.
Move: Keeping arms close to body, slowly raise dumbbells to chest level. Pause, then return to start.
Move: This is the same move as the beginner one, but use eight-pound weights instead.
Starting position: Lie on stomach, with forehead on the floor, arms straight out in front of you.
Move: Lift arms and legs a couple of inches off the ground. Pause, then return to start.
Move: This is the same move as the beginner one, except you should aim for 15 to 20 reps instead of 10 to 15.
4. PELVIC THRUST
Lie on your back, knees bent, feet on the ground, arms at sides.
Move: Pressing heels down, lift hips off the ground as high as you can. Keep knees over ankles and squeeze butt. Return to start.
Starting position: Follow the directions for the beginner move.
Move: Pressing heels down, lift hips off the ground as much as you can, and extend right leg straight up. Lower leg and hips. Complete a full set with both legs.
If the days listed don’t work for you, switch them. Just allow two days of rest in between training the front or back of your body. For instance, if you do the front-of-body routine on Tuesday, don’t do it again until Friday.
Adrienne Schiffer, 33, stay-at-home mom, married with two kids ages 7 and 3, Powell, OH
“The first few times I did the beginner workout, I could only do a couple of bench dips. Less than two weeks later, I was able to do 10. I love the strength I’m building.”
STARTING STATS CURRENT STATS
HEIGHT, WEIGHT: 5’3″, 244 lbs 226 lbs
BODY FAT: 34% 30%
WAIST: 47″ 43″
HIPS: 57″ 54 1/22″
BUST: 47 1/4″ 44 3/4″
THE SMALL CHANGE THAT’S ALREADY PAID OFF FOR HER: I’ve stopped questioning whether I can do this program. Dr. Dan Baker [RLHL mind/body expert] asked me to dig into my past for an instance when I used persistence to achieve a goal. A lightbulb went off when I remembered studying to become an accountant. I realized, I’ve done this before, and I can do it again.”
THE HURDLE SHE STILL FACES: Moving past the number on the scale. “I weigh myself every day, and I get frustrated when the number doesn’t move or goes up.”
HOW TO JUMP OVER IT: Use other ways to track weight loss, says RLHL expert Michael F. Roizen, M.D., coauthor of You” The Owner’s Manual. When you first strength train, you retain water, which can appear as weight gain. Step on the scale once a week, and look for other clues: Do pants fit better? Are your rings loose?
* To see more recent pictures of Adrienne, Julie, and Jennifer, and to back their progress, go to lifestyle.msn.com/redbook.
Julie Graves, 39, pharmaceutical sales rep, married with two children, ages 10 and 7, Indianapolis
“I felt invincible doing the lower-body moves, but the push-ups made my arms quiver. I thought, This means my muscles are working, and that kept me going.”
STARTING STATS CURRENT STATS
HEIGHT, WEIGHT: 5’4″, 178 lbs 175 lbs
BODY FAT: 34% 37% *
WAIST: 33″ 33 1/4″
HIPS: 44″ 42″
BUST: 38%” 38 1/2″
” Body fat can fluctuate, so measurements can vary
THE SMALL CHANGE THAT’S ALREADY PAID OFF HER: “I try to think about the positive consequences of working out.
For example, I used to tell myself that I exercise so that I won’t be fat. Now I go to the gym with the mind-set of, If I have a good workout, my arms are going to look great in sleeveless tops and I’m going to wake up feeling energetic.”
THE HURDLE SHE STILL FACES: Squashing her need to nibble. “I’m still having too many BLTs–what I call ‘bites, licks, and tastes.’ I’ll munch on food that my kids have left on their plates or from buffets I set up for clients.”
HOW TO JUMP OVER IT: First, Julie should make a rule to eat only when sitting down, says RLHL nutrition expert Lisa R. Young, R.D., author of The Portion Teller. Other tips: Before popping a “taste” in your mouth, count to five and ask yourself, “Am I hungry?” Chew gum when the temptation to graze is strongest.
Which Is for You: Home or Gym Workouts? Depending on your personality, gyms may motivate you or intimidate you; working out at home may feel convenient or boring. Here’s how to tell.
1. PiCk the personality that describes you best:
a. Frequently outgoing.
b. Social in familiar surroundings.
C. Usually shy.
2. Your exercise equipment at home moat closely resembles:
a. Sneakers and a few workout DVDs.
b. Items in “a,” plus a set of dumbbells and an exercise ball.
c. Some items in “a” and “b,” plus at least one cardio machine, such as a treadmill or an elliptical machine.
3. You’re offered a greet work-from-home Job, Would you be self-motivated enough to report to your desk every day?
a. It’s doubtful.
b. Some days yes, and other days no.
4, How far away is the gym you’d use?
a. Less than a 10-minute drive.
b. Ten to 20 minutes.
c. More than 20 minutes.
If you picked mostly a’s: Join a gym. Because you like action, you’ll probably get bored fast with solo home workouts. At a club, inspirational instructors and the social scene will get you psyched. And the variety of equipment and classes will keep you interested.
If you picked mostly b’s: You could go either way. You have the equipment to work out at home, but you may prefer the variety a gym offers. If you go the gym route, ask the manager if you can sign up for a low-investment trial membership (most offer these); if you find yourself slacking during the trial period, stay close to home!
If you picked mostly c’s: Do your leg lifts at home. You don’t need the gym atmosphere to get motivated, and you have what you need at home to get your heart pumping.