I prefer to run outside whenever I can, rather than limit myself to the gym, and that allows me to exercise almost anywhere. My friends, colleagues, and business associates know that I often return phone calls while I'm out running. I can get a lot done on that four-mile daily run, although I sometimes use it just as a “time out” — a chance to clear my head.

At home, I often add ten minutes of arm work with ten-pound weights to my routine, and three times a week I jump on the elliptical trainer for twenty-five minutes more. The whole regimen is pretty simple, and it's one that I can work into my hectic schedule, which is the key to doing it regularly.

My penchant for grabbing a little piece of my workout at every opportunity draws some chuckles among my crowd, but they have gotten used to it. They know that if we pass a steep hill when we take the show across the country, I might just whip off my heels and run up and down it a few times. It turns out that even celebrity trainer Joshua Holland, whose clients include Madonna, agrees that's a sound approach to staying fit. Although he is the director of training at the exclusive CORE club in New York City, Josh doesn't think exercise should begin and end at the gym. “Fitness includes everything from walking to work to taking the stairs instead of the elevator,” he says. His advice: “Move well and move often, and do as much of it as you can.”

Fitness includes everything from walking to work to taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Move well and move often, and do as much of it as you can.

Joshua Holland

In a society where so many people work in sedentary jobs and power tools do most of our heavy work for us, we have to incorporate activity into our daily lives very consciously. I remember as a kid, we used to rake leaves for hours on fall weekends. It was just a routine, and we never thought of it as exercise. Now a leaf blower does the job in fifteen minutes with nearly no effort at all, and we don't get any health benefits. Maybe we should go back to raking leaves again. Or consider the trick that worked for Dr. Nancy Snyderman's daughter: she traded in her power lawnmower for a push mower and lost weight as a result.

Nearly every weight-loss plan includes exercise, but just how much do we need? Federal guidelines recommend two and a half hours a week of moderate aerobic activity, combined with muscle-strengthening activities at least twice a week.

 Healthy adults who follow those guidelines cut their risk of dying prematurely by nearly one-third.

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