THE BLOG
06/06/2009 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

How To Find The Time To Exercise

Now that summer is on the horizon and the kids are soon to be out of school, you undoubtedly have plenty of time to workout - not! Just in case, here's a post about how to bring more balance into your life through exercise.

Try as I might, It takes real determination to get my tush on the treadmill every morning or out for a hike when the weather is good. Like most things in life - guilt goes along way, so off and on again I work out with a group of other women in a body boot camp lead by exercise maven Julie Coulston.

Coulston is a fourteen-year veteran health club manager and personal trainer. Julie is a very fit, slim, yet curvy person who combines the cheerful go getter-ness of Julie Andrews with the focus of Attila The Hun. Here are a few pearls of her workout wisdom I've learned from:

Q. A lot of People seem to have some resistance to exercise. Do you find that to be the case?

A. 80-90 percent of my clients are resistant to exercise. They have this idea that it has to be hard and takes too much time. Even bigger than both of those reasons - many don't enjoy it.

Q. How do you help people get over that?

A. What I usually do is sit down with my clients and go through a discovery process about the things they wish they could do. For example: One client used to ride their bike when they were 8 and wants to start again; another used to play volleyball and wants to get back to it; another wants to learn to ski.

Q. What if a client doesn't know what they would find fun?

A. The best strategy is to experiment. Go on a hike, go for a walk in the park, take a dance class, go swimming or take a water exercise class. I encourage people to do something different and look for variety in their workout routines. They often find something they didn't realize would be fun.

Q: What is the biggest barrier people face in getting out to exercise?

A: Commitment and consistency. I find that too many people start and stop their exercise programs, so they are constantly setting themselves up for failure. You have to identify the obstacles that will get in the way of your exercising regularly.

Q: What are some of those obstacles?

A: Time is the number one obstacle. We have such busy lives and our days are packed with so many things, we don't make health and fitness a priority.

Q: What is one way you help your clients get around the time obstacle?

A: By far, the easiest way to get around the time obstacle is to make your exercise the first thing you do each day. Pencil it in and schedule which mornings (i.e. Monday, Wednesday and Friday) you are going to workout. Then you need to schedule everything else around it - dropping off the kids, your hobbies etc.

Q: But what if mornings don't work?

A: If you just can't make mornings work, find a way to schedule it at other times. Plan for a trainer to come to your house, ride your bike to work, take a walk at lunchtime, sign up for a group exercise class in the afternoon or end of the day. The next time you take the kids to swim class, don't just watch them take their lessons, use this as your time to workout. The time part is more manageable if you put down exactly when you are going to exercise.

Karen Leland is author of the recently released books Email In An Instant: 60 Ways To Get Your Message Across With Style and Impact, Watercooler Wisdom: How Smart People Prosper In the Face of Conflict, Pressure and Change and Time Management In An Instant:60 Ways to Make the Most of Your Day. She is the co-creator of a new line of Productivity Pads from Time Tamer™ and the co-founder of Sterling Consulting Group. For questions, comments or to book Karen to speak at your next event, please e-mail kleland@scgtraining.com.