Jillian Michaels Tells Us Why 30-Minute Workouts Are All You Need

Trainer Jillian Michaels dishes on how to fit fitness into an insanely packed schedule — without losing your mind.

Jillian Michaels | Photo courtesy Taylor Strategy

Jillian Michaels | Photo courtesy NBC Universal

If you’ve watched trainer Jillian Michaels’ reality show Just Jillian, then you know: She is one busy lady. (If you haven’t seen the show, you can watch the whole first season during Xfinity’s Watchathon Week, which starts today. Bye, responsibilities. Hello, TV marathon.) So, when I got the chance to chat with the former The Biggest Loser trainer for a few minutes, I knew exactly what I was going to ask the very fit Queen of Busy: How would she should suggest someone whose Google Calendar is so packed it looks like a freakin’ novel fit fitness into their life on a regular basis? Her answer: Find four 30-minute chunks each week, and just get it done.

As she told me, “I think the key with juggling is establishing a different mind frame, which I have yet to do. Jettison the concept that you can get everything done and get it done well. You can’t. When it comes to fitness, you’re not going to be able to take the 60-minute Flywheel class you used to love. That’s just not a reality. We have to say, What is good enough?”

In Michaels’ opinion, good enough is 30 minutes of exercise four times a week — and she says that’s manageable, too. “Work out four times a week for 30 minutes, and when you work out, work out hard,” Michaels says. “I believe anyone can find those four 30 minutes in a week. FitFusion is a great resource. Your kids aren’t going to die if you put them in the corner and let them play for 30 minutes. You’ve got to find those half hours, and you have to schedule them in ink and make them non-negotiable.” And get Google Calendar to remind you they’re non-negotiable, while you’re at it.

When it comes to burning calories efficiently, Michaels is also a fan of standing up whenever you can. “Stand up. Oh my god, stand up. No matter where you are,” she says. As she explains, it burns more than one and half the calories of sitting, and it’s way more realistic than working out at your desk — because, really, does anyone do that? We don’t think so.

In the end though, when it comes to fitting fitness into a crazy schedule, Michaels says, “You do your best. We attempt to do everything and do it well — and you’re not going to.” Amen to that.

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