Meet your new trainer

You may recognize he as the fitness expect on the Today show. Now Kathy Kaehler is your personal trainer.

The Today show producers always ask me to show exercises that don’t require gym equipment. I come up with easy moves people can do at home with a can of soup or even an old dishcloth. These exercises have always been my specialty because most of my clients, who often work 15-hour days on movie sets or travel constantly, don’t have access, much less time, for the gym and need drills they can do on their own anytime, anywhere.


Before actress Alfre Woodard went off to film Down in the Delta in Toronto, she asked me to write down the descriptions of the upper-body exercises we had been doing together. One, the triceps dip, which targets the back of the arms (what Katie Couric likes to call “flesh flags”), worked especially well on the set because all she needed to do them with was a chair. (See picture, right, for a how-to description.)

The I-don’t-have-time problem is also huge for my clients. I tell them if they can’t take a whole hour out to exercise, that’s okay, but they shouldn’t avoid working out completely. Instead, I encourage them to fit in three 10-minute spurts of activity throughout the day. Studies show that bouts of exercise performed intermittently are effective in maintaining strength and contributing to better overall health. A split-up workout may not feel as rigorous or rewarding as a 45-minute Spinning class, but it’s still exercise, and a little is better than none. For Lisa Kudrow, who’s busier than ever taking care of her new baby and working on her snow Friends, sprinkling activity throughout her day is the best, if not the only, way she can take care of her body.

Since I know other people besides Hollywood celebrities have hectic lives, I wrote a book filled with living room-friendly exercises, plus helpful tips for fitting fitness into your schedule. Entitled Real-World Fitness, its whole idea is to make exercise a part of your life. You’ll find out it’s much easier than you think.

Resolution scheme solution

My first rule about New Year’s resolutions: Don’t make them. Why? Chances are you’ll set your goals too high, end up not achieving them, and feel worse about yourself than you did to begin with. Instead, I suggest setting realistic objectives. If you want to start exercising more, for instance, look at your calendar and figure out when you can actually fit it in. Then write it down as if it were an appointment and honor the commitment. If you’ve just joined a new gym, spend no more than 30 minutes the first couple of times that’s long enough to get acquainted with some equipment and short enough not to get overwhelmed. Remember, getting fit can start at any time of the year; the most important thing is just to start.

Project cutting board

A healthier Wednesday starts on Sunday

How many times during the work week do you find yourself looking for something to snack on? Desperate to ward off a nasty sugar low, you might polish off a whole bag of barbecued potato chips Despite the fat and calories, you still end up feeling utterly unsatisfied.

I know the feeling well, which is why I came up with the Sunday Setup: a weekly routine designed to ensure healthy eating. Actress Penelope Ann Miller finds it to be the perfect way to prevent pigging out. Every Sunday morning, I head to the supermarket to stock up on fruits and vegetables red and green peppers, carrots, celery, cucumbers, kiwi, strawberries and grapes plus chicken breasts and eggs. Then I go back to my place and chop, chop, chop. While hard-boiling the eggs, I boil the chicken in water flavored with two boullion cubes. When everything’s done, I divide it all up into snack-sized portions and stuff each inside a Baggie. By Monday, I am prepared with on-the-run healthy munchies for the week ahead.

Kathy Kaehler “What’s the latest fitness trend?” people repeatedly ask Kathy Kaehler, personal trainer for the likes of Jennifer Aniston and Michelle Pfeiffer. Her answer? “The trend is to get off your ass and work out.” Down-to-earth advice will be a hallmark of Kaehler’s column for this magazine, the first of which appears on page 40 (Kathy’s Page). Kaehler, the mother of two-year-old twins, says she relies on her 45-minute workout more than ever. “I made a pact with myself,” she says. “I will not lie down at night without having run on my treadmill.”

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