25 super-successful women share their secrets for staying slim, strong, and sane
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Today Show Co-Anchor and NBC News Chief Legal Correspondent
"I'm a morning person, of course! My workday typically starts at 3 a.m. and ends in the afternoon. Working out is incredibly important to keep my energy up, especially with these early morning hours, but I confess, sometimes it's hard during the week to exercise regularly.
If I get home early enough in the afternoon, sometimes I do a quick, 20-minute power nap, and then go on an afternoon jog. I try to go jogging a few times a week, saving my longest runs for the weekend. I also started doing yoga and Pilates this year. I find it to be a great complement to the running and incredibly challenging. When I started, I couldn't even touch my toes! And now—well, I can almost touch my toes!"
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CEO and Co-Founder of Rent the Runway
"I love that every day is different when it comes to my work life, so I try to keep that same mentality around my workout routine. I like to mix it up by going to Barry's Bootcamp one day, Physique 57 another, running outside the next, and trying to fit in hip-hop dance lessons. The more variety, the more fun! I try to put aside a few nights a week and a couple of mornings to work out. Keeping a consistent schedule helps me prioritize my health."
Photo courtesy of Rent the Runway
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Vice President and Head of Yahoo! Video and Originals
"My workout schedule has to be flexible and adapt to my workweek. I am more likely to exercise in a group setting, so I find classes I love and that helps motivate me. I am a regular at The Bar Method. It can be challenging, but I try to fit in at least three workouts a week. Whenever possible, I exercise in the morning, because no matter what else happens that day, you have at least accomplished that! My other trick is to always fit some activity in on the weekend, even if it means incorporating it into other plans. For example, I'll meet a friend for a walk or hike instead of brunch, or I'll try to park in one spot and walk to many of my errands. Another fun thing is to turn work travel into an opportunity to try new local fitness classes. I try to carve out time to get to Bar Method or to a local yoga or dance class whenever possible. And if all else fails, I have the Bar Method DVDs to have a mini-class in my hotel room. I try to live by the mantra that when it comes to working out, something is always better than nothing!"
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Founder and CEO of Lover.ly
"I like to stay active by running anywhere from 12 to 15 miles per week—usually two big runs on the weekend, four miles each, and two or three miles before work. Yoga and Pilates are also favorites of mine! I attend one or two yoga classes to elongate, stretch, and tone. It is crucial to build exercise and fitness into your schedule! I have a recurring calendar reminder about yoga classes at the gym. Living a healthy lifestyle is baked into the Lover.ly company culture. I encourage team members to attend mid-day spin classes, leave work early to exercise, and a few team members even participate in club sports teams. Having a healthy body makes for a healthy mind and happy work family."
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Emmy-Award Winning Journalist and Co-Host of Entertainment Tonight, Producer/Host of HGTV's Celebrity Homes, and Published Author
"I try to exercise at least three days during the week and then both days on the weekend if I can. My favorite exercise is running. It just clears my mind. I love running in my neighborhood the most, as I am obsessed with homes, architecture, and landscape so I love looking at that when I run. It distracts me enough that I run longer! Most days I have my trainer come. I so appreciate him, as he is willing to come at 5 a.m. or 5:30 a.m. if that's the only time I have! I do weights with my trainer, alternating each set with five minutes on the treadmill."
"I must say it's hard to find the time to work out some days. When I get home, I just want to spend the time with my family. You have to make it a point to get in regular exercise. And here's a tip for busy moms: It is so easy to get exercise while spending amazing quality time with your kids. My five-year-old daughter loves to play tag. So many days when I come home, we play a game of tag with the whole family. We have a blast and I burn crazy calories in the process! She has also recently taken up tennis, which is a sport I love."
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Founder and CEO of FCancer
"I stay in shape by choosing workouts that I actually enjoy. Running is like torture to me. I love really intense workouts that totally consume me both mentally and physically like CrossFit and MMA. Since I also travel a lot, I have to find workouts that I can do everywhere—even in a small hotel room. When I'm on the go, I opt for bodyweight exercises and Tabata intervals. I put it in my calendar like I would any other meeting and schedule workouts for first thing in the morning (then there's no excuses!). It's also early enough that no one is calling or sending me emails yet so I am not distracted."
Photo courtesy of Sam Walker
RELATED: 10 Fat-Blasting Tabata Workouts
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Assistant Managing Editor, Fortune Magazine
"My two core practices are running and yoga, but every now and then I'll mix something else in. A few years ago I did a triathlon, and it was super fun to bounce around so much during training. I'm also a fan of Physique 57 classes. I always see a difference in my strength after just five classes—and that carries over to running, yoga, leaning under my desk to pick up a pencil—everything. I'm a morning workout person. When I was in my 20s, I never thought I would ever say that, but it's the best time of day for me now. Every now and then I leave my apartment so early that the club kids in my neighborhood are still out from the night before, which always makes for an amusing contrast. I usually leave yoga for the weekends when I have more time, but every now and then I'll take a night class—Shavasana just before bedtime is a wonderful thing."
"I recently finished a book and I'm sad to say the exercise was sacrificed during the very last stage of the process. Letting that happen was a mistake, and one I don't plan to repeat. I'm back on the train now, and more mindful than ever that exercise doesn't take time, it adds time, even during the busiest weeks, because it gives you so much more energy for everything else. And for me, running and yoga are as good for the mind as they are for the body—I find running in particular to be almost meditative."
Photo courtesy of Joseph Moran
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Lifestyle Design Expert, Real Estate Guru, and HGTV Personality
"If we start [shooting] early, before heading to work, I usually take Harper (my Labradoodle) on a three-mile run in Central Park. On production days that start a little later (9 a.m.), I'll head to a barre or Pilates class at my gym. If I don't get a workout done in the morning, it's not going to happen. By the time I get home from work, I'm pooped! My goal is to work out five days a week. I also try to limit my consumption of sugar and eat tons of veggies throughout the day to keep my energy up. I schedule a workout into my day as if it's a work appointment. I had to train myself to do that, otherwise it would never happen! I'll only skip a workout if I don't get at least seven hours of sleep the night before. Sleep is way more important to me!"
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New York Times Best-Selling Author of May Cause Miracles and Founder, HerFuture.com
"Whether I'm home or traveling, I always manage to get some kind of physical activity into my routine. I am now a Kundalini yoga and meditation teacher so I have a personal practice that I incorporate into my day-to-day life. I am always yoga ready. Because I work for myself, I wear my yoga clothes in the office. I will often begin my day with 108 yoga frogs to get my energy flowing. Another typical exercise is jumping on the mini-trampoline. I have a trampoline in my office right next to my yoga mat! In the summer, I love to rollerblade around New York City, and I walk everywhere. I am a very active person. I believe that the body needs to move every day. Physical activities are a huge part of my spiritual practice and keep me healthy, happy, and very productive."
Photo courtesy of Sam Bassett
Katia Beauchamp and Hayley Barna
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Co-Founders of Birchbox
KATIA: "I bought a Nike Fuel Band about a year ago because I really didn't have time to get to the gym with any sort of regularity. It motivates me to be more active—I call it my taxi blocker. I walk so much more and even find myself doing jumping jacks at night to hit my goal! I just started getting back into things. I was inspired by Deena (our head of marketing) and her approach. Basically, she preaches that you don't need an hour—you just need to work out intensely for 20 or 30 minutes. So I run down to the exercise room in my apartment building and try to really exhaust myself for half an hour. I also love classes—I am trying SoulCycle, Barry's Bootcamp, and I'll even go to Alvin Ailey Dance Studio for a hip-hop class. But because my schedule isn't the easiest, I would say that I just try to walk everywhere and be aware of how much activity I get in a day... the fuel band really helps!"
HAYLEY: "I try to make small changes to increase the amount of activity I get on a typical day, like walking instead of taking a cab or going a little further to pick up lunch than necessary. On the weekends, I like to run by the river and am always up for trying a new type of exercise class. I just got a Classtivitypassport to help my explorations! On the weekends I have no excuse not to carve out time for serious exercise. My boyfriend and I like to go for runs along the Hudson River. Another trick is making dates with friends that include exercise like a barre class, indoor rock climbing, or a long walk."
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Founder/CEO of Kickboard
"[My schedule] makes it difficult to stick to a workout routine, but I make sure to carve out time at least once a week for a long yoga session, supplemented with daily bursts of activity like taking the stairs or biking to work. To stay healthy and keep up this pace without crashing, I'm also mindful to get the right kind of fuel (protein and plenty of veggies!) and a full night's sleep. I think the key is to be realistic. Set a realistic goal and then stick to it, because no matter how busy you are, you need to carve out time to take care of yourself. You just have to decide what you need and make it a priority. Could I "find" more time to exercise? Sure, but at the expense of time with my family, which is a tradeoff I'm not willing to make, or by sacrificing sleep, which I personally need to be sharp and at my best each day. For busy professionals, making everything work is all about balance, and integrating exercise is no different."
Photo courtesy Daymon Gardner
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Tissue Engineer, MBA, and Senior TED Fellow
"I try to go running three times a week—two short two-mile runs and a longer one on the weekend (this weekend I'm doing a half marathon!). I try to squeeze yoga into my schedule twice a week and meditations every day (just five minutes sitting, but daily). I also try to walk while having meetings or phone calls, or I walk the subway platform while I'm waiting for the train and take stairs instead of elevators whenever possible. For me, getting enough sleep, practicing meditation, and just making small choices about getting exercise in everyday life are essential, since I don't have a ton of time for long workouts."
Photo courtesy of Elisa Cimetta
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Jewelry Designer, CEO and Co-Founder of Satya Jewelry
"I have my yoga mat close at hand to roll out every morning. I get on my stationary bike at night and try to get to the gym at least four mornings after I drop my kids at school. It's really hard to find time to exercise, but you need to make it accessible. I can get in sit-ups and pushups all on my yoga mat, as well as a few sun salutations and I am good to go!"
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Fashion Blogger, PeaceLoveShea.com
"I'm traveling constantly and always on the go, so an everyday workout routine can be hard. I'm very strict about my diet though green juices, lean meats, and lots of veggies! When I'm home in L.A., I love kickboxing and I have a little ab-and-butt hotel room routine! Even if I don't have time to exercise every day, every morning I go on a jog to my favorite smoothie stand. It only takes me about 20 minutes, and I feel like it's a great start to my day. There's always alternative ways to add in exercise even if you're a work-a-holic."
Photo courtesy of peaceloveshea.com
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Co-Host of The Talk, Host of CBS's summer reality series Big Brother
"I work out six days a week. Three days a week, I work with my trainer doing CrossFit, two days a week doing yoga, and one day a week Pilates. Sundays are my days off most of the time. Otherwise, it's treadmill and maybe some weights. I do it first thing in the morning. I get up an hour earlier to get it done. I love it."
Sukhinder Singh Cassidy
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Founder/CEO of Joyus
"The best way for me to stay in shape is to actually take the time to eat breakfast and have healthy snacks stocked close by. If I stop and make a great protein shake for breakfast, I set the tone for the rest of the day's healthy eating. I also stick to my workout of choice—the Dailey Method—which is an incredible workout that I discovered after my son Kieran was born almost four years ago. It all comes down to the weekends. During the week, time is just too tight to get in a full hour-long workout. So Saturdays and Sundays, I play tennis and do the Dailey Method and have to schedule both religiously or they will not happen."
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Co-Founder and President of Event Brite
"We have a playroom in our house that includes a Nintendo Xbox Kinect, which is absolutely brilliant with exercise programs and the kids can join in too. We also have an elliptical machine in this room that is very convenient to get a quick workout in when the kids are in bed or not awake yet… I also like "Yoga Studio" on the iPad, which is a customizable yoga video program where you can change the routine every time."
"I've learned that the week always gets more intense as it progresses so I always take advantage of any early opportunities in the week to fit in exercise. Sunday night or Monday morning are my favorite times to jump-start the routine and set a good pattern for the week. By Thursday night, I'm full of excuses as to why I shouldn't have to wake up early on Friday to fit in a workout. My husband and I try to support each other in finding opportunities to work out and while it's rare that we can do that together, we both root each other on."
Photo courtesy of Jeremiah Steen
Alexa Von Tobel
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Founder/CEO of Learnvest.com
"All my moving around for work makes it hard to find time to hit the gym, but currently my favorite workout is Physique 57 (there are a few studios around the city). I'm also a fan of the spinning studios and lucky for me, there are two near my office that I like a lot—SoulCycle and Revolve. When the classes aren't too packed, it's nice to be able to pop in for an impromptu class. I also love taking early morning walks with friends. It's the perfect time to catch up and get my day off to a great start! [Finding time to workout] is difficult, but if I've learned one thing as a startup entrepreneur, it's how essential time management is. I schedule my life down to the minute, and I make sure to plan ahead in order to make time for workouts."
Photo courtesy of Chance Yeh
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Vice President of Programming and Development at CBS Television Distribution
"One way [I stay in shape]: Andrea Orbeck. She's amazing. She's a fitness expert and friend who has the uncanny ability of making a workout fun—something I have never enjoyed. We may work out together once or twice a week, and she has also taught me how to work out on my own. It really comes down to cardio and muscle confusion. You've got to change it up… It's all about habit and not being precious about your work out. Get it in whenever and wherever you can. The trick is staying in a somewhat consistent pattern. If I stop for a few days, it's way too easy to get out of the habit. So no matter where I am, I try to at least get on a treadmill or go for a run. I may not always have an hour, so if I have 20 or 30 minutes, I'll do something quickly to keep the pattern."
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Co-Founder and VP of Marketing, Poshmark.com
"In my ideal world, I would be in a yoga class every day of the week. In reality, my busy schedule requires me to multitask. I try to exercise three to five times a week and rather than being in a studio class, I now opt to take my exercise outside and around people I'd love to see more. You'll often find me hiking, running, and hopping on my bike in my spare time. I've found that, if you let it, life will always get in the way of exercise. So I make it a priority to get up and exercise first thing in the morning. Sometimes this means that I get a tad bit less sleep. Other times it means that I start my workday a bit later. I really do love those days when I time it just right, but those days are rare."
Photo courtesy of Kurt Manley
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Co-Anchor of omg! Insider
"I used to be in amazing shape, before I had kids and had time to work out six days a week. But I think the most important thing now is staying in good (okay, let's say "decent") shape, and accepting that even if I can't be super fit like I was before, I still do what I can. I try to find time to exercise four times a week. Instead of an hour of cardio, I do 30 to 40 minutes. Instead of a half hour of weights, it's 10 minutes, max! The good news is that even though I do less now, I had a foundation of 20 years of consistent exercise behind me, so that helps a little now that I've scaled back.
"I struggle with [finding time to work out], no question. Before I started at omg! Insider, I would always make time, even if I had to wake up extra early to get it done before work. But with my new 4:45 a.m. wake-up call, that's a little tough. I'm trying to discipline myself to go as soon as I finish taping—there is even a gym here at CBS, so I really have no excuse. It's an ongoing struggle... but I'm not giving up!"
Photo courtesy of CBS
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Founder and Director of Marketing at Getaround, a car sharing company
"Even though my work life is very intense, I make a conscious effort to be healthy. I try to get seven hours of sleep every night, I always walk or bike to work, I make a point to eat well and take my vitamins, I drink tons of water, and I always spend a portion of my day at a standing desk. Most of the Getaround team goes to yoga together once a week, and I've gotten into a good groove with a regular class on Sunday nights. My other main source of exercise is walking my two puppies. Even if it's just a quick trip around the neighborhood, it forces me to get outside and clear my head… Exercise plays a huge role in keeping me sane, and that's my primary motivation to 'find time'. My best tip: Create re-occurring calendar events for your exercise times. When a conflict arises, it forces you to consciously choose work over exercise, and often you'll find you have time for both."
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Co-Founder and CEO of Polyvore
"I walk to work every day, and my food philosophy is 'eat whatever you want, just eat small quantities of it' (portion control!). I also do occasional yoga to calm the mind. Polyvore offers the staff a weekly yoga class right at the office, which makes it much easier for me to participate when I have time, as I don't even have to leave the building."
Photo courtesy of Robin Twomeny
Amy Jo Martin
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Social Media Guru, New York Times Best-Selling Author, and Founder of Digital Royalty
"Whether I'm on the road or at home, I get a great deal done on elliptical machines. I use my iPad to conquer my email inbox, listen to audio books, use my Voxer Walkie Talkie app, and read through documents. I've been known to do lunges down hotel hallways. I also like to use the ice bucket in the hotel room as a medicine ball. When I travel, I like to jog outside to see the city. A nice quick workout is the stairs; it takes me five minutes to do 24 floors. I do it a few times—it's very quick but kicks my butt. What gets scheduled, gets done! I carve out the time and literally add it to my calendar. My assistant knows how important it is to me so we make sure it remains a priority. I'm happier and a better person when I work out, especially if I work out outdoors."
Photo courtesy of Jill Richards
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Founder and CEO, Brit + Co.
"I'm a big runner so that's always a part of my weekly routine. I tend to work out about five days per week, of which running is two to three of them. As for the other two or three days, I love to mix it up with new and interesting routines. I love a hot and sweaty Bikram yoga class (it's so good for my skin!), and I've also been trying out an integrated workout studio here in San Francisco called Burn SF. It's the best of Pilates, strength training, and cardio in one. I also enjoy an occasional spin class. There's no other way for me to get my workout in if I don't do it early in the morning. I can't will myself to work out mid-day or at night. It's especially difficult given that I'm often tied up in lunch meetings or working startup hours into the night. My typical wake-up time is 5:30 a.m.—brutal, I know. But after 10 to 15 minutes, I'm up and moving and feel great."