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Fitting Exercise into Your Schedule

After Work Workouts
While some of us are ready for nothing more ambitious than watching the evening news after work, there are plenty of people who get their second wind once they leave the office. If this is the best workout time for your, here are some tips:

  • If your gym is near your home, go straight there rather than heading home first. Once you open your own front door, there's a load of reasons for you to miss your workout. (Did anyone say nap?)
  • Grab a snack such as a piece of fruit, pretzels, a nutrition bar, or another healthful snack an hour or two before your workout. There's nothing worse than going to the gym hungry. You'll be distracted and less energetic.
  • Of course, like our early birds that ran, skated, or cycled to work, you can do the same from your office to your home.
The bottom line is experimenting to see what works best for your body and schedule. If you prefer working out in the morning because you have more pep but have a friend who will run with you in the evening, try both and see which you prefer.

On the Run
Nothing interrupts a workout routine faster than lots of overtime and business travel. With a little dedication and planning for the unexpected, you can continue to work out while tending to life's surprises. Whether you're stuck at work or on the road, there are ways you can help manage your fitness goals.

Work Out at Work
When overtime beckons, you have to step up to the plate. Again, please heed our rallying cry that exercising for as little as 15 minutes at a time is beneficial. You can take several 15-minute breaks by doing the following:

  • Take a brisk walk. It will burn a few calories, get your blood flowing, and clear your head. If you have to go to a meeting, consider walking instead of driving or using public transportation if you can.
  • Use the stairs. Deidre usually hustles up the stairs in lieu of the elevator when she visits her patients. By the end of the day she's often totaled 50 flights.
  • Stretch. There are lots of great stretches you can do at your desk.
On the Road Again
People who have jobs that require a lot of travel face some of the biggest fitness hurdles. We'll outline equipment – from rubber bands to jump ropes to water-filled dumbbells – that you can take on the road. (We'll also give you some workouts you can do while when you're on the road.)

Many gyms have national affiliations that allow you to use their facilities all over the country for a nominal fee. Even if you don't have a gym, we'll give you ideas of how to get a good workout on the road.

We've given you some ideas of how and when you can squeeze in a productive workout. Not convinced? We'll outline all sorts of time management ideas that will help you free up the time that you need.

Setting Goals
Before any fitness professional promises you the moon, we want you to understand that everyone has a particular body type and genetic makeup that cannot be altered. This means that no matter how much you work out, if you are five foot two and 140 pounds, even dropping 20 pounds isn't going to make you look like a professional model. In fact, dropping that much weight is going to make you look like a fitter version of you. So don't set goals that are impossible to achieve. That's a prescription for failure and disappointment.

There are, of course, three specific fitness goals that you can set for yourself: to increase your cardiovascular fitness, your physical strength, and your flexibility. Below we will outline why you want to achieve these various fitness goals.


Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Short Workouts © 2001 by Deidre Johnson-Cane, Jonathan Cane, and Joe Glickman. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit the Idiot's Guide web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


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