ask the nutritionist: fitting in exercise

I know what you are thinking. This is A Nutritionist Eats, not Exercises!


But I certainly know that exercise is a huge part of any healthy lifestyle. I have been active my whole life, spending my childhood hiking, biking, swimming on the swim team, playing sports and even having a plyometric routine at age 12.  I was going to play basketball for the Wisconsin Badgers and my Dad is an Exercise Physiologist after all.

But after all these years (and no collegiate sports) I’ve dabbled in many different forms of exercise: running, spinning, aerobics, kickboxing, yoga, dvd’s and just plain treadmills and elliptical machines. What’s best for me currently is a combination of yoga and various forms of cardio like walking and using the elliptical machine.

Why exercise:

  • Helps to combat chronic diseases.
  • It keeps you full of energy and helps you sleep better.
  • It makes you feel good – those endorphins!
  • I think it is easier to make better food choices throughout the day when you start out your day in a healthy way.
  • Helps to lose or maintain your weight.
  • It’s good to sweat! :)

How to fit in exercise:

  • Most of us have great intentions when it comes to working out but it seems like something else always comes up. I have to exercise in the morning before work because I find that I lose any of the energy/motivation that I have by the time work is over. But it is all about finding a time that works in your schedule.
  • Break it up if you need to – can only find 20 minute segments throughout your day? That’s fine, make it work for you!
  • Move somehow – even if you can’t fit in a sweat session, go for a walk at lunch or after dinner.
  • Add some movement to TV time – there are many exercises that we can do during commercials – this one is something I need to work on!
  • Find something you enjoy doing – since I’m not really a fan of running right now, I don’t! I walk or use the elliptical so that I don’t dread doing exercise.

Do you regularly exercise? How do you make it a priority?


  1. says

    I try to exercise as much as I can but since I got hurt (hip bursitis, hand tendonitis), I have had to rely on different forms of exercise. Walking/elliptical and yoga have become my new saving graces. Yoga is helping me reach a calm I never knew I could!

  2. says

    daily fitness keeps my spirits up and makes me feel less guilty when I go in for another handful of peanutbutter m&ms. but let’s be honest, its a full time job. The best thing I did (while it may be pricey) was get a personal trainer. I had to do it in order to rehab an injury, but in the end it MADE me go to the gym. Lets face it, I had someone waiting for me, I couldnt just get dressed in my gym clothes and then sit on my couch and watch Saved By the Bell lol

    After I quit with the PT, I am FOR SURE getting a workout buddy. Without a doubt.

  3. says

    This is a great post for me right now because I am really struggling to incorporate regular exercise into my weeks. Something about the summer just means that so many other things are going on and I’ll be the first to admit that I find it all too easy to throw my exercise plans out the window when something more appealing comes along!

    I find that writing things into my calendar at the beginning of the week helps me to feel accountable and therefore more likely to achieve!

    • Emily says

      So with you on the walking. I would probably do mostly walking but I am up early and don’t really know how safe it is to walk outside that early unfortunately! (Not to mention it is pitch black then in the winter!)

  4. says

    I do exercise regularly and always have. The key for me is to do things I really enjoy. I look forward to exercising. If I had to spin as my exercise, I never would.

  5. says

    I am not a gym person, nor can I afford it, so I spend most of my active time outside — walking, hiking, biking, etc. I definitely do more yoga in the fall/winter/spring when it’s not as easy to be outside, but I still fit in the occasional cross-country ski or snowshoe trip, too! :)

    Most of my daily activity is worked into my routine — I walk about 3 miles per day as part of my commute, otherwise I’m biking 10 miles one way! And yes . . . I biked this morning, in the sweltering heat. Waa!

  6. says

    Exercise is mostly forced, but not because I hate it. I love it, actually. It’s forced because I really don’t have the time with my 4 gremlin children lurking ‘n stuff. So I force it into my life. I make exercise fit in.

  7. says

    I had just been thinking that I’m going to add a weekly exercise component to my blog even though it is food-focused.

    I love looking back to see how my exercise patterns have changed over time. Aside from a few dry spells during grad school and travel, I think I’ve worked out regularly since I was about 13. Still struggled with my weight though, exercise was just my thing and unfortunately (in regards to weight) eating was too. I was a gym rat because I worked in them for years. Then we moved away and I didn’t like the gyms in Brazil so I tried to get outside more. Now we are back and I’m missing some of the aspects of a US gym, but now that I’m running I find I can stay fit and not have to pay for it, but that may change soon.

    My next endeavor is to master yoga at some point. I seriously want to do one of those arm or head stands that take so much inner and outer strength!

    PS. I love that new profile pic of you!

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