Many people find it incredibly difficult to stay motivated – and stay in shape – when they live busy, constantly-on-the-go lifestyles. Sure, it’s not so bad when you’re in town and have 90 minutes to visit the gym, where a variety of classes and active bodies around you keep you on pace, but long hours in the office, days out of town, and nasty winter weather can add up to unwanted sedentary stretches.

My favorite way to combat this has always been with a run – nothing feels better in the middle of the day than a quick 3 miles and a return to work. But during the winter, this can be incredibly uncomfortable or dangerous – especially in Boston, where shoveling and salting sidewalks doesn’t appear to be the highest priority. Also, trying to run during, say, a flight delay may land you an evening with airport security. Running is the best, but sometimes, it’s just not practical.

Instead, I’ve taken to buying a few cheap resistance bands. I take one with me on trips for easy, quick in-room workouts. I keep one at the office for 20-minute stress relieving stints. They’re inexpensive, easy to pack, and incredibly lightweight. It certainly beats throwing dumbbells in a shoulder bag, something I tried once (never again!).

I generally prefer doing shoulder exercises, curls, “butt-blasters” and squats, and I find that 20-25 minutes with crunches in between the upper body exercises gives me a great, appropriately tiring workout without making me too sweaty to present myself later on. It’s really the perfect quick-and-easy strategy for times when you find yourself too swamped to get to the gym.


Danielle Riendeau