Hi Hayley,

I love reading your column. I have a question. I have been trying to make exercising and strength training a regular part of my routine (in addition to healthy eating) to tone up and lose weight. I was finding that working out after work was not working unless it was pure cardio like jogging or biking (I hate strength training) as I would just make excuses after work because I was cranky, tired or hungry. I could make time for a jog because it was getting me outside.

I decided that the only way to fit/stick to my workouts was to do them in the morning before work. Not being a morning person and not having a gym membership to save money, I started doing Jillian Michael videos. I find that I can fit in the 1/2 hour and I am getting my cardio and training. I am now working out every morning and this routine works for me.

I do want to tone up (not crazy stick thin celeb tone)...so is 1/2 hour daily enough? What do you think of the Jillian Michael videos? I don’t think I can fit anything longer in the mornings but I was thinking of adding some extra cardio in the evenings like jogging a few times a week...what do you suggest? I still want to keep my morning 1/2 workout but I don’t think realistically that I want to be doing a morning AND evening workout everyday.



I am a big believer in the philosophy that something is always better than nothing so as long as you are doing something you are ahead of the game.  Of course, the more you do and the harder you work the quicker you will see your results; if you want to see any sort of improvements you MUST make sacrifices.  So yes, this means putting your excuses away when you arrive home from work and getting out and challenging yourself.  If you are happy with the results you are seeing and being healthy, stick with your current routine.  But to me it sounds like you are looking for more so you will need to do more.

Here is what I suggest.  Keep with the Jillian Michaels DVDs as you like them and they are working for you so do not change anything there.  Where I suggest you make a change is pick 2 nights a week where you get outside for another 30-45 minutes, whether it is for a power walk with a girlfriend or joining a local running club.  I don’t think that two extra nights a week is too much and even though you HATE strength training, you will not see any improvements in your strength unless you do it.  Try completing one of the circuits I have posted, perhaps the one on running strength exercises, after your weeknight workout as they will not take you any longer than 10 minutes. On the weekends make time to do 1 workout that is 90 minutes or longer.  This should be a bit lower in intensity so hiking, cycling or swimming are good options.  Find something to do that is fun and exciting and something that you look forward too. Grab a couple friends or family members to join you. 

Once you have created these new habits (2 evening workouts plus one longer workout on the weekend) then you can start altering what you do during the workouts.  I always work with my clients on creating new and healthy habits because once the time has been made to exercise (remember, you will never find time you always need to make time) I work on having my clients push themselves harder in their workouts.  Do not try to do too much at once.

I’ve said this many times before: “1 change a week equals 52 changes a year”.

Attached - Hilary Swank in New York last week.