Don’t have time? Do the 15-minute workout!

One of the biggest excuses I hear about why people don’t exercise is that they don’t have time.

As a working mom of three I can identify with the pressures of trying to be successful in multiple areas of our lives. To achieve professional, relational and personal success we have to be committed to putting in the time required. No one just wakes up one morning on the top of their industry. No one is a great wife or mom simply by co-existing in the family home, and no one achieves great things by sitting on the sofa.

The same is true for fitness. To achieve a stronger, leaner body you have to be willing to put the time in. But I think there is a misconception when it comes to working out.

Who said that a workout has to be an hour long? Yes, most fitness classes run for an hour, but there is no law written in stone that says if your workout isn’t an hour it doesn’t count.


I want to encourage all of you to look at the time you have in your day. If 15 minutes is all you can spare, get in a quick body weight workout – do each of these moves for 1 minute and do three sets:

  • Body weight squats
  • Butt kicks
  • Push-ups
  • Jumping jacks
  • Crunches

Don’t have 15 minutes and only have 5 – then just do one minute of each!

My point is, you have to make up your mind that you do have time and you need to start somewhere.


Forget the notion of a workout having to be a certain length of time or that you need to make it to the gym. Make the most of the time that you have and get in a body weight workout in your living room. What matters most is that you get up and move!

And if you’re new to exercise, accept that you have to start somewhere. If your goal is to run a marathon you are going to slowly build your running endurance. No one is going to register for a race and set out and do 26.2 without training. Start small and build on your accomplishments. Each workout will make you stronger and build your endurance.

So look at your schedule for today, if you can make it to the gym or a class, write it down and commit to it. If you don’t have the time, commit to doing the workout listed above – even if it’s just 1 set it’s a start.

Stop letting time stand in your way. Stop using limited time as an excuse.

Four Things I Needed To Do…And it Can Help You Too

One of the biggest obstacles to healthy living can be overcoming negative self-talk. Whether it’s because we don’t like what we see in the mirror, or we’re disappointed in our efforts, or we live under the assumption that other people are judging us. The negativity can become bigger than we are and before we know it, we accept it as the truth.

My husband opened my eyes to this truth about myself about a year ago. He wrote a blog with some ways he tries to help me battle the negativity, or as he calls her the evil twin, in my life.

And he continues to be true to:

  • Providing unconditional love
  • Giving non-stop compliments
  • Focusing on me with intention and
  • Showing the Schindlings that I am a priority

Over the last several months it’s been a journey for me to stare the negative truth in the face and change it. You see the things he does to counteract my evil twin are the same things I need to do for myself.

These are the four ways I am battling negative self-talk.

These are the four ways I am battling negative self-talk.

Unconditional Love

I had to ask myself, why is it that you can forgive others but you have a hard time forgiving yourself? Instead of learning from the things I did ‘wrong,’ and moving on, I spent too much time rehashing my mistakes and how I could have done better.

The truth is I am human. I’m going to make bad decisions, I’m going to let my impulses take over, I’m going to fail. I have to accept that. But I then also have to own those decisions and commit to make better choices. I have to learn to check my impulses with rational thoughts and actions. And I have to accept failure as a part of growth.

Giving Non-Stop Compliments

I’m definitely not one to take a compliment well. If you compliment my top, I’ll tell you how I got it on mega-clearance, if you compliment my hair, I’ll say thanks and credit my stylist (who is awesome by the way!), if you compliment my body I’ll look at you in disbelief and say, ‘Really?’

I realized I needed to change that. I’m learning to say thank you for the compliment and stop discrediting it. I’m learning to look in the mirror and tell myself positive things, rather than focusing on what I don’t like.

Because compliments made me uncomfortable I wasn’t great about giving them either. So lately I’ve been trying to share compliments when I feel it is genuine.

Focusing on Me with Intention

This one is hard. It’s hard to find time for ourselves. I get that. I recently wrote about my own struggles with finding time. But it’s not impossible.

At the beginning of each week I set my goals and intentions for the week. Every day I remind myself of them. Sometimes I don’t succeed. Other times I do. Either way I am stronger for the effort and what I am learning about myself.

Take a few minutes and set some intentional goals for yourself. You’re worth it.

Showing the Schindlings that I am a Priority

I adore my children. I will do anything for them. But I am also committed to raising them to be independent and confident. This is kind of a two part process…

First, by taking the time to take care of me, I am modeling for them how to live a balanced life. It’s okay for me to say no to them if their desire conflicts with my need.

Second, I require them to do certain tasks for themselves. While they get paid a commission for completing these tasks, I see it more of them learning life skills. I’m not always going to be there to do everything, so the more time I have to guide them through the process while they are under my roof the more successful they will be.

I’m not saying the evil twin is gone, but I’m taking the steps to living a more positive life.

I’d like to close with this thought. I was fortunate enough to meet up with some friends for coffee this morning.


As we chatted and laughed about life I was struck by a phrase that I’ve recently had made into business cards,

‘Don’t say anything about yourself that you wouldn’t say about your best friend.’


I can’t imagine ever saying to them any of the things I sometimes tell myself. Why am I willing to hurt myself when the thought of hurting someone else with those untruths makes my heart ache.

5 Steps to Achieving Change

Not that long ago I decided it was time to go old-school again when dealing with my schedule. As a group fitness instructor and personal trainer I have pockets of ‘free-time’ throughout my day. It’s not necessarily ‘free-time’ because there’s always laundry to be done, rooms to be cleaned or vacuumed, articles and fitness related materials to sift through, etc. But I was finding that those pockets of time would pass and I would be left wondering what happened to my day.

In addition to what happens in the gym, I need to devote time to writing blog posts, learning new choreography to workouts, marketing my classes and services, studying for my nutrition certification, writing class sets…I’m sure you get the idea.

So off I went to the office store and bought myself one of those hideous planners. Mine breaks down each day of the week from 7am to 8pm and has monthly calendars to see the big picture. At the beginning of each week I sit down and write in my class schedules, along with any appointments and what I’m left with is my ‘free-time.’

Now certainly, I will have no problem filling those time slots. I’ve got more than enough ‘to-do’ items to keep me busy beyond the hours in the day. But I was recently challenged during a message at church about how to fill those time slots.

Let me take just a moment to share that message with you, and then I will give you the 5 steps that will help you to get serious about what is on your calendar and how you can make changes.

It’s not mystery that we are all too busy. In fact, ‘I don’t have time,’ is one of the biggest reasons I hear from people who don’t exercise.

But the challenge set forth in this message was, ‘Who do you want to be?’ Do you want to be a better mom? Do you want to have a closer relationship with God? Do you want to kick an addiction? Do you want to get fit?

Whatever that is, whatever person you want to be is going to take commitment, it’s going to take time, and it’s going to require changes. You can’t expect to keep doing life the same way you have been and instantly be a better mom, who has a closer relationship with God and has kicked an addiction all while getting fit.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not suggesting that you tackle that many things at once. But I do want to take you a bit through how to get real about your calendar and your commitments so that you can start to become that person you most want to be. I will be using fitness as an example, but you can use these same 5 things to assess where you are and how to get to where you want to be.

5 Ways to Change

Don’t blow off important changes because you don’t have time.

1. Who do YOU want to be?

This is a question only you can answer. What is it about your weight or your fitness level that you want to change? Throw out all the images from television and magazines, take some time and look in the mirror and decide what will make you happy.

2. What’s the first step?

Don’t get caught up in the details, every journey starts somewhere. Maybe the first step for you is finding a time everyday to take a 30 minute walk. Maybe your first step is raiding your pantry to dump the junk. Maybe your first step is to take a fitness class or hire a trainer. Identify what the first step is and give yourself a deadline this week to get it done. You might not be able to actually accomplish that first step this week, but you can certainly assign a deadline.

3. What sacrifices are you willing to make?

Change is going to require sacrifice. You can’t expect to get fit by working out 2 times a week for 30 minutes. You can’t expect to drop weight eating junk food late at night. Be realistic, but recognize that you are going to need to make changes. Whether it’s modifying behaviors to drop old habits, or carving out time in your schedule to develop new ones, something is going to have to be different from today on.

4. What stands in your way?

Truly identify what your biggest excuse is…money, time, other people? If it’s money, look at your budget. You might be able to cut costs. If you can’t, check out YouTube – there are a ton of free workouts available that you can do out of your own home. If you have cable, flip through OnDemand, again plenty of choices. I can’t guarantee the quality of them, but my point is you don’t have to have an expensive gym membership to get fit. In fact, check out how many body weight exercises you can do without ANY equipment! Maybe it’s time. Listen, the fact is you are going to have to make time for yourself if you want to become that person you defined when looking in the mirror. There is no way to get around it – you have to put in the time to see the results. And if it’s a person or group of friends that are holding you back, evaluate those relationships. Are they healthy for you? I’m not saying dump them all together, just make sure you surround yourself with people who build you up not tear you down.

5. Write it down and make it happen!

Whether it’s an old-school planner like mine or on your phone, start making appointments for how you are going to get there. Write your goals down and map out your success. And don’t just pencil them in…use permanent marker! If it’s time to help you become a better you, there is nothing in the world more important than setting that appointment and following through with it.


I want to emphasize to you that while I used fitness as an example in this blog if there is something in your life pulling at your heart, figure out how to change it and start to schedule it! One person I know just set a date night with his wife for every week, another person I know started a morning coffee one time a week with her girlfriends, and someone else decided the most important thing was to spend individual time with his children.

I write this blog because I want to encourage my readers. Not every day is going to be perfect, and for me today was a great example of that. This blog was supposed to be written about 8 hours ago according to my ‘schedule.’ It didn’t happen at the exact time it was supposed to, but I committed to myself that I would write it today. Writing this to share with you is part of what is helping me to be who I want to be, and I’m cheating myself, and maybe others, if I just blow it off because I didn’t have time.

Who do you want to be?

Something is Better Than Nothing

When I was strictly a stay-at-home mom I was able to carve out plenty of time for my workouts. I took full advantage of the time the kiddos were napping or at school. When the weather got warmer I moved my workouts outdoors while they played in the backyard.

It wasn’t until everyone went to school and I went back to work that I had a true understanding for the challenges of fitting in a workout along with everything else. Between my training sessions, office responsibilities and mom and wife duties I found myself missing workouts more and more often.

I came to the realization that I had to shift my approach to working out. I no longer had the freedom for extended sessions, but what I did have was smaller chunks of time throughout the day.

I began maximizing the smaller chunks of time by increasing the intensity of my exercises. For strength training I increased the weight and dropped my repetitions and sets. When possible I combined legs and arms to get the most from the amount of time I had to spend. When it comes to cardio I’ve started running intervals, meaning I increase and decrease my pace throughout my run.

By taking advantage of smaller chunks of time I was able to get my workouts back on track. The lesson I take from this experience that I want to share with you is this:

Something truly is better than nothing. Adapt your exercise program to make the most of the time you DO have.

On the days I’m fortunate enough to have the time for a longer workout I take full advantage of that time and put in a long run or a full body strength-training workout.

Take a look at your schedule for the next week and set appointments with yourself for workouts. Even if you only have time for 20-minute sessions make exercise a priority and you will feel the difference.

Not Enough Time

How many times have you used “not enough time” as an excuse for not working out?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m guilty of using that excuse myself. But the thing we all need to remember is that even if you just have 10 minutes, that’s better than skipping it all together.

For some reason most people have it in their head that a workout has to be 30 – 60 minutes to make any difference. The fact is ANY amount of time you can dedicate to improving your strength, cardio health and flexibility is not wasted.

Now that I am working more hours there are days I find it hard to carve out the amount of time I used to be able to dedicate to working out.

Instead of giving up on my program all together I am learning how to adapt it. Two of my busiest days during the week I go to Pilates at lunch and then eat at my desk afterwards. It makes sure I get in my workout and I’d be taking that hour off anyway.

Last night I didn’t have much time or energy but instead of totally blowing off my workout I did 20 minutes on the treadmill. Tonight I have a lot more energy and a little more time so my workout will include some circuit training.

I want you to be encouraged to use any amount of time you have to give back to yourself in exercise. If it takes moving a tv in front of a treadmill or stationary bike so that you can still watch your favorite show and get in a workout, then do it!

Don’t let time be your excuse for not working out. It could be the time you spend working out that will actually be what keeps you healthy and mobile as time goes on.

Why Personal Training?

Who decides at 33 that they are going to start their career over and become a personal trainer? ME!

Pretty crazy, huh? Believe me, it feels a little strange to be starting over, however, I have found something I am truly passionate about and I can’t help but want to share it with others.

As a mom of three busy children I have learned the hard way that staying healthy doesn’t just happen – it takes knowledge, planning, dedication and time.

Over the past several years I have picked up every book, article and workout DVD that I could get my hands on. I’m drawn to this information – it not only interests me but I love challenging my mind and body.

In all my readings and personal trials of various diets and exercises I know one thing for certain – to see results you must be proactive in establishing a plan that maps out how you will accomplish your goals. Without a plan your workouts and diets will both be haphazard and you will be less likely to achieve the results you are seeking.

But it’s not just good enough to have it written down on paper – you have to be dedicated to following the plan. Lack of commitment to your goals can completely derail the entire process. When it comes to your health the idea of “I’ll start tomorrow,” really only puts you one more day behind on reaching your full potential.

I know what you’re thinking at this point…that’s all good, and it makes sense, but I just don’t have the time for all of that. Now I don’t live in your shoes, however, I can tell you that everyone is capable of finding time for anything that is important enough. It’s time to realize that YOU are important and by taking even just 30 minutes a day to dedicate to your health you will notice a difference in your overall health, energy levels and self-esteem.

As a trainer my desire is to be next to you in this process. I want to share my knowledge with you and encourage you to look within and find the person that you want to be. Together we can take on your goals and establish a plan to get you there.

The one thing I can’t give you more time in a given day, but by helping you to achieve greater health I think you can achieve a greater quality of life so that you enjoy the hours you do have more.