“Exercise is a
lifetime commitment,” says Sally Garcia, owner of
Slim and Tone, a female-only gym based in Ontario,
Slim and Tone is one of the newest waves of fitness
gyms hitting the nation. They brand a quick
30-minute workout for those busy women who are
trying to have it all — including a slimmer
According to Garcia, many Latinas begin a fitness
routine; sticking to it is a different story. “They
don’t set realistic goals,” she says.
If the weight doesn’t come off within the first two
weeks, they lose their motivation. They get bored.”
William May, a personal trainer in Los Angeles,
agrees. “Everybody wants to lose body fat, but you
cannot lose it overnight.”
But, while getting fit is certainly not a piece of
cake — it’s a lifestyle commitment, after all —
experts note that it doesn’t have to be a
restrictive or life-consuming experience, either.
Your 30-minute plan can be flexible; whether you
work out once a day for 30 minutes or three times a
day for 10 minutes, the key to success is just to
The experts are full of advice on how to remain fit
for life. If carving out 30 minutes a day is a
challenge, then you can alternate your workout
regimen to fewer days — just keep in mind that you
will need to exercise longer. “Find one hour twice
per week. This time is wasted throughout the day
anyway,” May says.
When asked what the best method of exercise is, May
responds that he likes the “back-to-the-basics”
approach. No fancy moves, no expensive equipment,
just a good, old-fashioned sweat session.
For example, May recommends starting with stretching
movements, then graduating to a cardiovascular
routine, followed by specific exercises to target
problem areas, such as sit-ups and push-ups. Next,
he recommends a cool-down period of more stretching.
shares May’s back-to-the-basics philosophy.
As the inventor of FitDeck, a unique deck of
playing cards containing illustrations and
instructions describing 50 different upper-,
middle-, lower- and full-body exercises,
Black feels it’s important for people to
follow a regimen of basic body movements
that require no equipment or machines of any
“I was sick and tired of hearing excuses
about why people don’t exercise,” he says.
“I was on a mission to find a way to make
exercise simple, convenient, and fun.”
Turn On Your Inner Light: Fitness for Body,
Mind and Soul by Debbie Mandel.
Each card allows you to choose from among three
fitness levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced.
The cards are easy to follow, and the exercises
require very little space in which to perform them.
“I believe that consistency in a fitness program is
the single most important factor in living a long
and healthy life,” Black says.
“Consistency is achieved with an exercise program
that understands the many challenges we face every
day — and gives us a solution.”
Garcia agrees that regularity is the key to fitness
success. So when her clients can’t make it into the
Slim and Tone gym to workout, she advises them to
keep moving in other ways. “Take some walks. Do
exercises at home. There are a lot of [fitness] TV
shows,” she suggests.
An easy way for couch potatoes to benefit from the
tube is to pop in an exercise video. A number of
great fitness videos are on the market — some public
libraries even keep them on their shelves to loan
out for free. From yoga to Pilates, from aerobics to
hiphop dancing, there is a video for every woman’s
For the busiest of us, some experts contend that
staying fit doesn’t have to take any extra time at
all. Author and radio host Debbie Mandel says an
easy and effective way to exercise is to incorporate
fitness into your existing activities. “The good
news is that you don’t need a solid block of time,”
says the fitness and stress management expert. “Ten
minutes, three times a day, and you are good to go.
Who doesn’t have 10 minutes?”
According to Mandel, it’s as easy as taking the
stairs instead of an elevator; for that extra burn,
take them two steps at a time. Once you’re at the
office, pause quickly at a cabinet or shelf on your
way to your desk and do some side leg lifts and wall
push-ups. Then, as you’re waiting for your computer
to boot up, spend those first few minutes at your
desk doing chair squats.
If you’re office-bound and in need of small breaks
throughout the day, combine the time off with
another round of exercise. Instead of heading for
the nearest ashtray or coffee outlet, take a brisk
walk around the block. It’s a perfect picker-upper:
The increased blood flow will give you a surge in
creativity and reduce accumulated stress from the
Are you a new mom? This is the perfect time to
spring back into shape — pushing a baby stroller is
great exercise. “Combine that with a few rear leg
extensions while you push,” Mandel suggests.
Even standing in line at the grocery store can
provide an opportunity for exercise. Incorporate
some resistance training into your wait: Do calf
raises, or tighten and release your abdominals. “You
can do that while you read a magazine next to your
shopping cart,” says Mandel.
According to Mandel, these “compound movements” make
it easier for women to incorporate fitness into
their everyday lives; by adding bits and pieces of
physical activity, you will also organize your day
around good health.
“You don’t have to sweat at all,” Mandel says. “All
you have to do is exercise smart. More can become
The Everyday Workout
exercises from author and radio
host Debbie Mandel can be done
anywhere. When you do them, make
sure to exhale upon exertion.
Don’t forget to tighten your
abdominals throughout — not only
to work the stomach muscles, but
also to strengthen your back.
Try to do three sets of eight to
information, log on to:
Squats are a total
lower-body workout, toning the
glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps
and calves. As you lower your
body, pretend that you are
sitting on an imaginary bucket,
keep your back straight, and
don’t hunch over. You can also
do squats by pushing off with
your heels from a chair in a
seated position and then sitting
back down again. This helps keep
you in good alignment.
Swan” promotes good
balance and works your legs.
With your arms extended across,
lift one knee at a time. Close
your eyes to really work on your
leg lifts while you
push a stroller will target your
legs and glutes.
• Wall pushups are the perfect
companion to squats, providing a
total upper-body workout. Place
your hands on a wall shoulder
width apart and do pushups
standing up. Change the distance
between your hands to target
different upper body muscles.
raises improve blood
flow into your legs, improve
walking and running, and give
your legs that beautiful
sculpted look. You can do calf
raises while waiting in line at
the supermarket. — up on your
toes and then down on your
triceps dips, face
away from and hold onto a bench
or coffee table, your hands
palms-down and directly outside
your hips. Keep your butt close
to the furniture piece you have
selected and bend your knees and
elbows as you slowly lower your
body to the floor. Pause at the
bottom, then slowly raise your
body up to where you began.
Women need extra work to firm up
under the arm.
leg lifts give your
legs and hips extra strength and
that long lean look. You can do
these while waiting in an office
or watching TV. Just lean on a
piece of furniture and lift your
straight leg a few inches off
the floor; then return to touch
the other leg.
• Don’t forget your
abdominals. They are
your core — your power block.
Tighten your abdominals, pulling
them in and releasing, while you
wait in line or sit in the car.
Also, concentrate on tightening
your abs throughout all of your
• If you have trouble sleeping,
stretches in the
evening to help you relax —
you’ll sleep better and improve
your flexibility. For example,
stretch your tight hamstrings.
Bend forward and grab your toes,
keeping your legs straight
without locking your knees. Push
your heel to the floor and sit
back slightly. Or, for that
total-body relaxation, sit in a
chair and bend over, letting
your body hang loosely down like
a rag doll.
Fit for Life
Six life-altering health
tips from the experts
1. Stop watching TV. The
images do not reflect
reality. Pop in an
exercise video instead,
and use the tube for
2. Have a healthy
breakfast. The first
meal is the most
important one of the
3. Avoid fast food
restaurants. When ever
possible, cook your own
meals. Also, try to eat
as many raw fruits and
vegetables as possible.
4. Take vitamins and
minerals to strengthen
your immune system and
give you the energy you
need to be active.
5. Consistency is key.
Don’t expect results
from one workout. Being
healthy and fit is a
6. Visualize a healthy
you. Close your eyes and
see yourself physically
fit. Practice this
mental exercise every
morning, throughout the
day, and before you go