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Coach 'N Tell: Can Someone in Perpetual Motion Stop Long Enough to Exercise?

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Well, we're about to find out.

Shauna Ahern runs Gluten-Free girl (an extraordinarily popular blog), mothers a toddler, just published a best-selling book with her husband (and is already at work on another), responds to 150 emails daily (on a slow day), cooks five meals a day from scratch for her family, develops and photographs 10 original recipes a week for her upcoming books, blog, and partner web sites.

Can you imagine the pile of dishes she has?

Shauna has made her passion her profession. She eats about as well as a person can, and by well I mean delicious home cooked meals with fresh ingredients. Last spring, her doctor advised her to start exercising more. She followed orders and even did a "Couch to 5K" program. She lost 25 pounds over the summer just by moving more.



Then came the fall, the book tour, and lots of work-related travel. Don't mistake this list for complaints; Shauna's about as happy, gracious and thankful as they come. But once you add mother-ing and wife-ing to that list, there isn't lot of time left for exercise. Plus, now that it's winter, there are those cold, short, rainy Vashon Island days that give her good reason to stay inside (and bake).

And yet, per this month's Healthy Habits, Shauna wants me to help her figure out a way to exercise 3 times a week, for 20 minutes per time. 

We're talking about an hour. Once a week. Split into three chunks. We're not talking 5-days a week, or one hour a time. And we're not talking about driving to any fussy gyms. Just 20 minutes of whatever Shauna wants to do to get her heart rate up three times per week.

We brainstorm some activities that will have Shauna smiling while she sweats, and here's what we came up with:

1. Yoga: Shauna does a few minutes of yoga every morning when she wakes up. She could do more, but it's been forever since she's taken a yoga class. I told her about one of my favorite web sites: www.yogatoday.com. They offer a free class every week (and it's usually under 1 hour), and the lovely instructors teach their classes outside in Wyoming and other beautiful warm, dry places (in the comfort of your own home). 

2. Dance with the Wii: Shauna and her husband Danny have gone to a place that many of us wonder about: they have exercised with the Wii. They dance and they laugh and they sweat. It's goofy, silly and effective.

3. Take a walk: There's got to be a break in the clouds some time this week. Shauna plans to haul on her muck boots and enjoy it.

So that's the plan: 20 minutes, three times this week, Shauna is going to take a break. For yoga, to walk, and to Wii. And what was Shauna's response to this assignment?

"Honestly, 3 times per week for 20 minutes feels like it’s too little." Of course it does, my little Perpetual Motion machine. Once you've tackled this and made it part of your routine, we can add more. 

Go get 'em, Shauna.