staying fit with a busy schedule

A busy life organized neatly

Life moves fast in the digital lane, especially for Kristina Simmons, our Manager of Social Media. Don't be fooled. She stands five feet (OK, 5'o.5") tall but she has giant goals. (Like her BHAG to attend the ever amazing annual celebration of music, film and all things interactive - SXSW. She's going, alright - as a presenter, no less. ) No matter how busy life gets, she fits in her workouts. Who says miracles don't happen?

tips for fitness with a busy schedule

It's all about prioritizing when you work crazy hours. Being on the Digital team at lululemon means my days are jam-packed but I always get in a good sweat. (Well, at least most days!) Preparing to speak in Austin has things a little more chaotic than usual for me and I'm relying on the following to make sure I stay fit and sane. Here are my tips.

Sweat in the morning.
My productivity increases big time if I work out first thing in the morning. I'm more likely to do it before the rush begins, plus I don’t have to think about it the rest of the day. I put my gear out the night before. My alarm goes off at 5:30am and I am on the treadmill by 6am.

Schedule workouts into your calendar. Set reminders. Have integrity.
I schedule a circuit class every Wednesday at 4:30pm. I tell my co-workers in the morning so they are fully aware of my plans and they hold me accountable even if the day gets crazy.  

Seek out your workouts before travelling.
Before I travel for work or pleasure, I check out where the cool studios or running spots are and choose hotels with gyms whenever possible. I'm already looking into options for Austin, TX. (PS. If you're travelling near a store, drop in to find out where all the locals go.)

Where's Kristina?

Kristina getting her om on in NYC at Barefoot in the Park

Get some new gear.
New workout clothes make my day. (Yes, I work at lululemon. Call me biased.) It's the perfect reward when I've been working hard. I swear that getting up early is easier when I get to break in a new pair of pants or shoes.

Plan a meeting/workout mashup.
If I don't need my computer, it's fun to meet while going for a run or a walk. The endorphin rush makes for great brainstorming and bonding. (Editor's note: If you want to keep your friends at the office, we suggest you do this only if you have access to a shower at work or if it is at the end of the day.)

Work out at work.
I'm fortunate to work at company that has yoga and fitness classes throughout the day. Why not propose it at yours? If it isn't feasible, start a run club before or after work 1-2 days a week. Our No Excuses Run Club is a big hit here at the office.

Make workout plans with a co-worker or a friend.
I'm less likely to back out if I make plans with someone ahead of time. I typically schedule my weekly plan on Sundays and share it with friends and co-workers to see if they want to join. Sometimes, I even tweet to see who's interested in going.

 Kristina's workout menu

Commit to a challenge.
If I pay the money to do a 30-day challenge, I’m more likely to actually go. Plus, a little friendly competition always helps.

When I change up my workouts, it doesn't feel like work. I attend complimentary classes at our stores, try new studios, go for runs, hikes, swims - you name it. I’m always searching for new fun classes, running routes and DVDs.

Get new tunes.
When I am feeling unmotivated, I add some new music to the mix. It keeps things fresh, fun and interesting.

Pick up a fitness magazine.
Getting new workout ideas and healthy tips motivates me to work out. I love Women's Health, Fitness, SELF and Shape when it comes to magazines. I also love reading Fitsugar when I'm on the go.

Get into a routine.
It's all about establishing good habits. Whatever activities you choose, commit and make them a routine. When you get into the habit you are less likely to back out. Your body craves it.

My final note? Don’t let lack of time become an obstacle to taking care of yourself. If your goals are to work out more, make it a priority. You’ll feel better, get more done, and be happier!

Kristina's magic carpet

Have mat. Will sweat - no matter what. 

want more?

  • Get your local store's class schedule. Every location has amazing weekly events.
  • Discover new music. We have lots of playlists to browse.
  • Freshen up your wardrobe. Breaking in new gear is the perfect catalyst to sweat more.
  • Download a fitness app. Lesia has great tips on apps to keep you motivated.
  • Mix health with travel. Go on a yoga retreat for the most enjoyable workout to date.

Kristina totally inspires us! We know she'll knock SXSW out of the park without skipping a workout beat. What are you going to do to reach your health goals in the midst of your busy life?

read more related posts:


It’s very simple.. once you stop making excuses it’s amazing the things you are capable of.

Also, keep extra shoes and workout clothes in your car or at your desk so if the opportunity arises, you are prepared!

Comment by The Get In Shape Girl — March 4, 2011 @ 6:24 pm

Nice, Kristina! A tiny, fierce inspiration to us all.

Comment by Liz J — March 4, 2011 @ 7:15 pm

What a great post! I have trouble finding time and this gives me a little boost of motivation.

Comment by Alyssa — March 4, 2011 @ 7:23 pm

Awesome tips! Thanks Kristina! :)

Comment by Abbie — March 4, 2011 @ 8:46 pm

Great post! thanks for sharing :)

Comment by SIMI — March 4, 2011 @ 8:57 pm

Great tips! I keep an extra set of workout clothes at work and it has definitely come in handy!!

Comment by Gym Belle — March 5, 2011 @ 6:48 am

So fantastic to hear about a company where you can really integrate working out into the workday :)

Comment by Run Fast Travel Slow — March 5, 2011 @ 5:34 pm

I am just about to get a treadmill as I am moving to Mexico City. Any tips on making a treadmill workout more motivating? (I am used to running along the Rideau Canal in Ottawa). Thanks!

Comment by Arwen — March 7, 2011 @ 2:01 pm

Great tips, but I have to say that women’s health magazines really bug me. I find they are often more about lip gloss and fat loss than workout tips and healthy eating. I read Men’s Health magazine instead as the recipes are better, the message is better, the workouts are better and there are wicked tips about mixing cocktails and fixing things around the house.

Comment by thinkate — March 8, 2011 @ 10:02 am

SXSW is alway so much fun! As an Austinite I can tell you you’ll have no trouble finding places to fit in your workout. The Austin Hike and Bike Trail on Town Lake is the perfect running spot and has several loop/distance options. There are also some great donation-based yoga studios so you can pop in for a class (I personally recommend Black Swan Yoga).

Thanks for the great workout tips!

Comment by Rowmy — March 8, 2011 @ 12:32 pm

Hey Arwen,
I’m all about having a killer playlist to keep me motivated on the treadmill. We have created a whole bunch to get you pumped, so feel free to browse and pick and choose your favourites
I also like to make a game of it. Set mini goals, like I’m going to run at ‘this’ speed for 5 minutes are reach ‘this’ many miles. Hope that helps!
GEC Online Community

Comment by lululemon athletica GEC — March 8, 2011 @ 1:42 pm

What a great post! I absolutely agree with a lot of these suggestions. New fitness magazines and playlists keep me going when I hit a funk.

The takeaway I want to try? Scheduling workouts with friends. I normally workout on my own but lately I’ve been training the girls at work and have been trying to get them to come on fitness dates with me. Will expand to include my friends once the winter lets up. *sigh* Is it spring yet?? :)

Thanks for the great insight Kristina!

Comment by Aleksandra S — March 8, 2011 @ 2:06 pm

Hi everyone,

Thank you so much for all your comments. I really enjoyed writing this blog post!

@Arwen: I just finished a long run on the treadmill! My secret? Have a rockin’ playlist. Also– I love making a time/distance goal before I run. I try to run a few minutes longer or a bit faster to beat my goal (adds a little extra happiness/feeling of satisfaction).

@Thinkate- I love Men’s Health too especially their tweets(guilty pleasure).

@Rowmy- Thank you so much for your Austin tips! I will be sure to check out your recommendations when I am in town. I cannot wait to visit the city– I’ve heard it is great!


Comment by Kristina — March 8, 2011 @ 9:33 pm

I am in the veterinary medical field with the schedule that has more twists turns and ups and downs than most roller coasters. Any tips to a person who can be up for 18 hours or more for work, to find motivation to work out. When I do-power yoga especially, i have so much energy! Any ideas to help a person who can be sleep so sleep deprived to get up at 530? I’d love to, but the motivation is what is keeping me down! :(

Comment by kiki — March 28, 2011 @ 8:31 pm

Hi kiki,
I think power yoga itself is your motivation. If you remind yourself how good you feel after, it will be easier to get up and go. I like sticking post-it notes on mirrors to remind myself of why I’m doing something. Stick a note reminding yourself why getting up at 530am is a good idea on the bathroom mirror so you see it first thing in the morning!
~ Laura, GEC Online Community

Comment by lululemon athletica GEC — April 6, 2011 @ 10:37 am

Ah, i wish i had time for that… but i feel too sleepy and tired in the morning to do exercises or run… Yes- I feel tired even when i just wake up. So i do this every weekend, after a good night sleep. It feels sooo good… Some training always makes you feel life infiltrating through your body… Maybe i should try and do it every day like you, go guys! :)

Comment by convert flv to avi — December 9, 2011 @ 6:57 am

If you find that your workplace isn’t very active or maybe you’re not currently working, seek out a community that will support your endeavors to be healthier. For me that meant joining a local running group training for a 10k and participating in an energy exchange at a yoga studio :)

Comment by Diana — April 3, 2012 @ 7:26 am

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