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"I Found Gym Time I Didn't Think I Had!"

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Thanks to a hectic schedule, Audra Lowe, host of the TV show Better, hit a workout dry spell. Here's how FITNESS helped her put exercise back on her agenda.

Setting a Fitness Goal & Workout Plan

The Goal

Since I moved from Los Angeles to New York City three years ago to host Better, a nationally syndicated lifestyle TV show, my bike, tennis racket, and basketball have been gathering dust. I spend workdays reading scripts and conducting interviews in camera-ready makeup -- I barely have time to grab a turkey sandwich, much less a midday workout. After a long commute home, I'm famished and pooped, and my husband, Randall, a TV director and stage manager, is still on the job or traveling, which leaves takeout chicken lo mein as my dinner date. No wonder, at 38, I'm 20 pounds heavier than I was in my 20s. Each night from my living room window, I see people running and cycling at the gym across the street. I resolved to be one of them again.

The Game Plan

The FITNESS editors, who work two floors above the TV studio, paired me up with pros to help me fit in my RDA of exercise. With Randall as my workout buddy, I was ready for six weeks of boot camp.

My New To-Do List

Partner Up
I scheduled his-and-hers training sessions twice a week, Fridays at the crack of dawn and Sunday afternoons. My trainer, Matt, focused on rebuilding my cardio capacity and muscle tone. Randall and I compete to see who can finish Matt's circuit first: 20 reps each of push-ups, sit-ups, squats, lunges, and side leg lifts with no resting. At the gym, I use the elliptical for 30 minutes afterward; most evenings at home, Randall and I do the circuit twice -- our quality time!

Pare Down
Time management expert Nicole asked me to keep a log of everything I did for a week. I realized running errands daily takes up too much time. Nicole suggested I combine those trips one day a week. That way I use my lunch hour to actually eat and time after work to cook dinner or go to the gym. Plus, I know that when he's not traveling, my husband can get the groceries. He's hired!

Get Pretty Fast
Because I have to show up on the set dressed for action, I often spend 30 minutes in the morning coordinating outfits rather than doing a workout. Style guru Carson put me straight: "No one cares if your shoes match your top," he said. "You really need only one stand-out wow item on camera, because that's what people remember." It could be a splash of deep pink to play up my skin tone or a trendy blazer on top of a ruffly blouse.

Status Check

I'm sore -- in a good way -- thanks to doing hundreds of squats and lunges each week. I can see the muscles in my thighs again (hello, old friends!), and I'm remembering how good it felt to be athletic. I've switched exercise from an afterthought to a priority, and it shows.

Audra, by the Numbers

  Start Now
Weight 144 lbs.   134 lbs.
Height  5´5˝ 5´5˝
Chest   33 1/2˝

32 3/4˝

Waist   33 1/2˝  32˝
Hips    39 1/2˝ 36 1/2˝
Body fat  29.9% 28.4%

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Mrs. Rondo wrote:

Find time to workout should of been easy to find tip list.

1/21/2010 08:19:02 AM Report Abuse
krsw070599 wrote:

In November I made up my mind that I was NOT buying a new closet so my son and I ran our first 5K together; he kicked my butt and waited for me at the finish line. We are now training as a team for a Triathalon. In addition to this all 3 of us me, my 14 year-old son and my 11 year-old son are parting in Living Heathly program in our state. Keep up the good work!! For all you single moms: get the kids involved to help motivate!

1/20/2010 12:08:34 PM Report Abuse
carrie.ridenour wrote:

Adding to what mstaples2 wrote, what about those of us with kids that have homework and bedtime schedules to stick with each day...especially if you're doing it alone. The plan would be perfect, but it's the little factors like that that usually make it almost impossible.

1/19/2010 12:33:12 PM Report Abuse
dcoolmail wrote:

I think it shows that most of us how time if we look for it. Get off of Facebook and lay down the phone for 30 minutes so you can do something for you.

12/15/2009 06:04:10 AM Report Abuse
mstaples2 wrote:

I agree that it is a great motivation story, but what happens when you don't have the money to pay a fitness trainer, time management expert, or style guru, much less a partner that will share in your enthusiasm to work out? Having those tools at your disposal makes the task much easier. But what about those of us who don't?

12/15/2009 05:14:01 AM Report Abuse

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