Efficiency Experts

To fit exercise into your busy day, try multitasking


Finding time to work out can be difficult for moms-to-be. Most acknowledge the benefits of fitness, but many simply can’t pack physical activity into an overloaded schedule. In fact, 36 percent of those who don’t get aerobic exercise blame time constraints. But researcher Linda May, Ph.D., says that those who do exercise use strategies to make activity possible, even if the tactic is as simple as parking a distance from stores and walking farther to shop.

May, an anatomy professor at Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Missouri, questioned pregnant women between ages 23 and 39 to find out why some don’t meet exercise goals. She learned that nonexercisers spent slightly more time sitting at the computer or watching TV, and exercisers spent slightly more time sleeping and reading. But most significant was the way they organized their time. “Exercisers tended to double up on things, such as talking on the phone while they used a treadmill,” she says. “They were more efficient at squeezing everything into their 24 hours.”

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