Finding Time For Fitness

Auditions. Rehearsals. Long nights at home learning lines. Who has time for a workout--right? Wrong!

Staying in shape and staying healthy are a vital part of any actor's regime. After all, you want to look and feel your best, right? Here are some tips for squeezing in a little fitness in during a busy, busy day.

First Things First
Start your day with a bike ride. Or a yoga tape, or even just ten minutes of stretching. Don't have time? Get up fifteen minutes earlier and you can add it in easily. If the thought of working out in the morning scares you, try to...

Sneak It In
If you are having a problem with finding the time to exercise, sneak it in wherever you can. Trust me, every little bit counts! Take the stairs instead of using the elevator. If you have a five-minute break, take a lap around the block instead of grabbing a cup of coffee or a quick cigarette. Do some jumping jacks as a mental rest when learning your lines. Why not consider doing some calf-raises when you are waiting at an audition. Buy an inexpensive pair of weights and do some arm exercises while watching television. Try to also fit in a few crunches during commercials. There are plenty of ways to squeeze a little bit of fitness right into the routine without taking time away from the things you are working on.

Add It After
Take a walk at the end of the day. Go to the health club after rehearsal--if it is a chore--tell yourself you only have to do 10 minutes before you can go home. Chances are, once you get moving you'll do more.

Partner Up
Chances are you know someone else who might want to work out--why not partner up? Exercising with someone else helps keep you motivated and can be fun as well. You can learn lines while walking, or take a break and go for a jog together. If you belong to the same health club, you can have a set time that you meet on certain days--and you can have more than one person you work out with if you like.

Take A Class
Hate the drudgery of running? How about enrolling in some sort of an exercise class? Some even have a potential benefit to your career, such as fencing or folk dance. Sometimes it can help to have a set time and class to go to. Try to schedule it when you know you probably won't have to miss class for things that might pop up.

Make It A Priority
If you decide that you will include some sort exercise in your daily activities (or add more), chances are that you will. Just the act of telling yourself that it is important and making the time to do it helps. Scheduling it in, just like it was a part of your workday can help you to make sure you don't skip it. Why not give it a try--start today!*

*(It is always a good idea to check with a doctor before starting any exercise program if you have been inactive, have a family history of certain illnesses or have any other health concerns.)
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Catherine L. Tully is a performing arts professional and educator with over 30 years of experience. She is currently serving as the Outside Europe Representative for the National Dance Teachers Association in the UK, and has performed, modeled, choreographed and managed productions both in the United States and in Japan. You can reach her at Copyright © Catherine L. Tully. Used with permission of the author. All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced or distributed.