How Several High-profile
Women Stick with Their Workout Plans By Ericka Kostka
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Think you're alone dealing with unexpected
meetings, dinner dates, or sprained ankles cutting into your workout time?
We've found that life sometimes intrudes on even the most dedicated exercisers'
But take heart: Even high-profile,
time-crunched women have found ways to outwit the obstacles and stick with the
For Michelle Akers, member of the 1999 U.S.
Womens World Cup championship soccer team, injuries through the years
have prompted her to get creative in her regimen. She takes time to let her
body heal when necessary, but stresses that theres always something you
can do to keep active.
Even while sidelined, she maintains fitness
on a stationary bike, in the pool, or with weights. When shes training
hard, she gives her body and mind needed rest.
I take a full day off from soccer
each week," she says. "Instead, I walk or take a slow, relaxing jog, get a
massage, and stretch.
For Akers, staying motivated through
setbacks is a matter of choosing activities she loves. The champion athlete
loves to mountain-climb, hike, water ski, snow ski, ride horses, and swim.
Its important to look forward
to whatever activity you participate in, she explains. It
cant be something you dread, or you wont stick with it.
Model and new mom Cindy Crawford knows
something about having her schedule upended.
Since having my son, I find I have a
lot less time to work out, and its nearly impossible to do it at a
scheduled time, she says.
Crawfords plan to return to work
within months made getting fit a professional necessity. With little time
during the countdown to cameras, Crawford says, I learned to squeeze it
in whenever I had a few minutes.
Besides walking at an incline on her
treadmill at home, Crawford developed exercise routines to fit whatever blocks
of time she had.
Theres a 10-minute one, a
20-minute one, and a 35-minute one. I do them when I can. And shes
continued to walk outside, a habit she developed while pregnant. My
prenatal yoga teacher encouraged us to walk up to five miles a day. I only made
it that far once, but I did walk two to three miles a couple times a
week. And now? I do those same walks with my little guy in a
Covering NFL, NBA, and WNBA games, NBC
sportscaster Hannah Storm is a woman in the spotlight. Between breaking new
ground for women in the still-imbalanced world of professional sports and
raising two young daughters with her sportscaster husband, Storm works to make
fitness a priority.
Theres always so much to do
that theres a temptation not to exercise, she says. Luckily,
my husband is committed to exercise, and we often work out together, which
Besides partnering up, Storm finds
scheduling workouts helps keep her on track. I often exercise when my
children are napping in the afternoon. That way, its an appointment like
any other Im committed to keeping.
Many women dream of starting a business,
but when it happens, every spare moment is often the capital that keeps it
going. But for Candice Carpenter, co-founder and CEO of iVillage, even
bi-coastal travel is not an excuse to skip her exercise routine.
Its more difficult to find the
time than it is the motivation, she says. Besides hitting the stationary
bike three times a week in the early mornings, she enjoys bike riding outside
as often as possible on weekends. And when traveling, its still part of
Whenever Im out in Silicon
Valley, I drive to a great running hill behind Stanford. I change in the car,
run for 45 minutes, change back, and resume my day.
As for vacations, theyre both a
reward and a chance to live the active lifestyle thats so vital to
Carpenter. I often plan vacations where I can go heli-skiing or mountain
You might think making a living as a
fitness expert is a fail-safe defense against the slumps and pitfalls the rest
of us face. But video and television star Denise Austin admits that fitness is
something even she has to work on.
With 35 pounds to lose after each baby, the
mother of two young daughters walked everywhere with the baby
jogger. Making exercise dates with friends keeps it fun and helps Austin
make sure the workouts happen.
Every Sunday, I call my walking
friends to figure out what days work for us. Then before the week even starts,
I have a weeks worth of dates I have to keep.
There are days, she says, that full-time
work and family responsibilities make skipping exercise a temptation. And there
are days she gives her body the rest she believes everyone needs.
Im not a fanatic. I listen to my body and take days off.
So what would this professional motivator
say to those of us whove taken rest days a bit too much to heart, turning
them into rest weeks or rest months?
Take it 30 minutes at a time. Out of
your 16 waking hours, a half-hour walk is only 3 percent of your time. When you
think of it that way, it seems doable.