Hi Hayley!

I urgently need your help. I am heading to visit my family Argentina and I desperately need to get in bikini weather. I'm 29 years old, 5'6" and 135 lbs. So here's the catch, I do not want to lose weight while I tone up (I lose my shape and start to look like Marc Anthony). I lose weight very quickly and I just gained 10 lbs. in the last year to be back at a "normal" weight for my body. While I know cardio is good for my heart, mind, etc., I tend to stick to long, brisk walks with my dogs. I also practice yoga, but aside from that I'm not working out the way I used to. I'm a full-time working, single-mom, active volunteer, and board member at my daughter's school, so time is definitely an issue.

What can I do to ease my way back in to working out, as well as tone up quickly? Or is what I'm asking even possible?

Any help and guidance would be appreciated!


One of the latest crazes in the fitness industry are quick 30 minute workouts that not only work your body from top to bottom but also keep your heart rate up so you are training your cardiovascular system while at the same time building muscle and burning mega calories.

Because you are a busy mom there a few options you can look into. One would be to hire a trainer (with a few of your friends) once a week to deliver a full body workout. If there are 3 or 4 of you that split it you will only pay a few dollars more per session that you would if you were to sign up for a boot camp class (a good rate for a 30 minute workout would be $20-$30 per person). In these private sessions you are getting a better coach to client ratio and you will be less able to hide behind someone else in the class while you cheat. 

Personal trainers can meet you anywhere: in a park, at a beach, in your home or at your daughter’s school which will make these workouts easy to fit into your schedule. Lainey can attest to the fact that her workouts with me that are outside are some of the harder workouts she has to do. This is proof that you do not need an expensive gym membership or a lot of equipment to get a good workout. And with these sessions you will learn fun exercises that you can do on your own throughout the rest of the week to continue to improve your fitness.

The second option is to order an online or DVD program that you can do at home, although through my experience unless you are extremely motivated these workouts usually end up collecting dust on a shelf. If you opt for this route, set up a schedule for yourself that fits into your lifestyle and start with 1 or 2 days a week building from there. If you expect too much from yourself right out of the gate you are more likely to give up. Start small and give yourself something to progress too. Beachbody is one of the more popular brands so perhaps start there. These programs are short but they are tough so even though you are only working out for 30 minutes, you will be glad when those 30 minutes are over.

And remember, your exercise program will not do a thing for your body composition unless you are fuelling it properly so make sure you are eating clean and eliminating excess sugars and fats from your diet.  When grocery shopping try and buy the majority of your foods from the perimeter of the grocery store as that is where the nutrient rich foods are located (fruits, vegetables, grains and proteins) and limit the products you buy off the shelves that are in packages.

Good luck!

Attached -- Heather Graham goes to yoga.