We already know: Exercise is foundational to a healthy lifestyle. Yet we often face the challenge of adding it into our already busy schedule.
Today we feature Katy Widrick, an Emmy-nominated producer who capably balances working out and teaching fitness classes, with a full-time profession, being an active mother, and blogging.
Read on as we discuss how her strategies can help you can make your fitness goals a reality through prioritization and smart scheduling.
Balancing Work, Family, and Fitness
Katy's life theme is "healthy living in a hectic world" -- and "hectic" just seems to scratch the surface of Katy's day-to-day.
She works full-time as a producer for “The Growing Bolder TV Show,” a series which features inspiring men and women who defy stereotypes about growing older. Outside of work, she's a committed mother and wife, and actively manages two successful blogs.
Katy was bitten by the running bug in 2009, when she completed her first 5K, and has been adding fitness to her life in a variety of ways ever since. In spite of her workload, Katy still fits yoga, a heavy dose of triathlon training, and teaching weekly fitness classes into her busy schedule
So how does Katy do it? And how can you follow her lead to add fitness into your schedule too?
Take a look at your schedule and you may start to see pockets of time that are perfect for a workout, even if it is just a short jog or walk. Katy says,
“Before my daughter, it was difficult to train but I got creative -- waking up at 5am for a group run, bringing my sneakers to take runs on my lunch break and practicing yoga for 15 minutes a night before bed.”
Although Katy's time is more limited now that she is a parent, she still finds creative ways to stay active. Often, she combines socializing with fitness by taking a dance class or workout with friends.
Katy suggests looking for ways to combine activities that you are already doing. For example, biking or running to work can be a way to incorporate exercise, and also offers a wind down period from the day. She offers that starting small and committing to simply taking five minutes here and there can be beneficial. For example, you can get an effective sprint workout or circuit training in with only a few minutes time.
Even a short period of exercise can be beneficial for your health and your mental focus.
Schedule Your Time
Katy reveals that formalizing what she needs to do is invaluable for her routine:
“I’m a Type A so having schedules, plans and to-do lists actually keeps me calm amid the chaos! I also rely heavily on online tools like shared Google Calendars (with about 20 different color-coded labels) and CoSchedule for my blog. Every day, I make a new to-do list, and try very hard to knock every task off. I’m never quite at inbox zero, but I try to end each Friday with as few messages in the queue as possible!”
As a parent, Katy relies on a family plan to help coordinate and keep everyone on the same page:
“I am now actually more formal about scheduling workouts. I put them on the calendar and coordinate with my husband so we share daycare drop-off/pick-up duties or weekend workout time. It helps me stay accountable, and also make sure that my fitness stays a priority.”
So what can you do to stay on top of your schedule?
We like Evernote so we always have a list of simple exercises on hand; a shared Google Calendar helps keep our team on the same page for work activities; ScheduleOnce makes coordinating meetings or working out a breeze, and simple pen and paper for outlining our to do list each day (in descending order of priority) has been vital.
Surround Yourself With Supportive, Inspiring People
Succeeding with a busy schedule is much easier when you have people to help you. Katy explains how she stays motivated:
“I’ve built a great community -- both online and in real life -- of people who are very supportive of my goals, and inspire me with their enthusiasm. I now have more fun working out or taking a dance class with my friends on a Friday night than I ever did going to happy hour or some other social event!”
There are many ways to form a community that supports you: Your friends, colleagues, parents, and spouse or partner all have an effect on your attitude and can either help, or hinder, how you manage your schedule. Surround yourself with people who inspire you, and you may find that your schedule seems much more manageable.
What’s next for Katy?
“I want to keep inspiring people to believe that they CAN get healthy and fit, and it CAN be fun. So I’ll keep posting on my blog and social media, and teaching as many classes as possible.”
Now it is your turn: Do you have a favorite strategy for managing your schedule or for adding fitness to your busy day? Let us know in the comments!