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5 Smart Ways to Enhance Your Workout Schedule

As a personal trainer, the number one excuse I hear for not staying active is time. Granted, most of us have busy schedules and realistically there is little time or money for gym memberships, but staying active doesn't have to involve the gym or lengthy #workouts. In fact, a study recently published in The Lancet showed that just 15 minutes of physical activity per day reduces a person's risk of death by 14 percent and increases their life expectancy by three years compared with people who are inactive. Let's look at ways you can stay active and still get everything else done on your to-do-list.


Getting up in the dark on a dreamy winter morning may not be your idea of a good time but if you just went to bed earlier and woke up an extra 15 minutes earlier you could jump-start your day. Truly, you will be surprised at how much more energy and motivation you have after you complete just 15 minutes! Not sure what to do? Visit any professional website like for easy to follow exercises. Or if you're up letting the dog out to do his business grab the leash and take him on a 15-minute walk too. Looking for someone to tell you what to do? Put in your favorite video and do 15 minutes worth.


Plunking down in front of the TV - 2 hours, updating status on #Facebook, and reading what everyone else is doing - 27 minutes, playing #AngryBirds - 22 minutes. That's not you, right? For the next day or two keep track of all your media time. The results may surprise you. I'm not asking you to give up Modern Family or suggesting you deactivate your Facebook account but perhaps that ole "I don't have time" excuse is just that- an excuse. Cut back on your media to squeeze in more activity or use it to your advantage. "Just as you can put a chair in front of the Tv and use a Theraband to wrap around the chair legs and do different exercises. You can also bring your mat and do some exercises and stretching". If you're too focused on your show then wait till the commercials and do some basic exercises. For every one-hour show, you'll log in about 18 minutes! Plus, you're less likely to be mindlessly munching if you are cranking out push-ups!"


Exercise and chores. Two words. Yet both conjure up images of drudgery and boredom. Most of us can't get out of chores unless we want to end up on an episode of #Hoarders so why not make the most of your time and use it as a way to squeeze in more exercise? Bisler doesn't just go through the motions when she vacuums, she uses both her right and left to push and pull and also keeps her abdominal #muscles tight.

Pick up the pace and wash windows and scrub floors with more intensity. Don't hire the kid down the street to rake or shovel your walk, do it yourself. Wash and dry your car instead of driving through the automated one.


What usually happens when you gather with friends? Perhaps you gather around a feast. Maybe it's an afternoon sipping coffee and #chatting or meeting for a movie. Why not stay connected and be more active too? Kelley Griffin, of Traverse City, looks forward to her Sunday morning hikes with her fabulous foursome. "The hike goes for about an hour and 15 minutes. We sometimes carry bands to work for our specific muscle groups and use a downed tree or bench dips", says Griffin. "A lot has been accomplished through the year of gab #exercise; shared births, deaths, #weddings, divorces, car crashes, new jobs, and lost jobs." According to Griffin, socializing and exercising is pure joy!


Elizabeth Merriman, of Jenison, doesn't use her job as an excuse to sit on her keester all day. Recently, she's taken to sitting on a stability ball or standing while working to break up her long hours working on the computer. She also breaks up her sitting sessions with squats, leg #extensions, and #stretching. I've noticed more energy and better posture already", says Merriman. "It's the little things that make the most difference."

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