Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Fitness & Exercise

Font Size

Shellie's Story: Finding Time for Physical Activity - Shellie's story

fitness_19527486.jpg

"It wasn't that I was sick or anything. But I didn't have the energy I used to, and I was starting to worry about my future health."

That worry is what led Shellie, 39, to take a good, long look at her daily habits. "Staying in shape takes time," she said, "and time is what I just don't have as a single mom with a full-time job."

An office manager with an 8-year-old daughter and a 5-year-old son, Shellie was at an unhealthy weight. And her blood pressure and cholesterol numbers were starting to creep up. That concerned her, because her mother has type 2 diabetes and her father died of a heart attack when he was just 48.

"I realized that I had put myself on the back burner for too long and it was time for me to make time for myself, even if it was just a few minutes a day," she said. "I wrote myself a note and taped it to my bathroom mirror. It said, 'I will take a 10-minute walk during my morning coffee break every day this week.'"

The next week, another note went up on the mirror. This one said, "I will take a 10-minute walk during my morning break AND my afternoon break every day this week." Those two walks added up to 20 minutes a day, 5 days a week, and she was delighted to find that they did NOT take any extra time out of her day.

One of her coworkers, Tara, started walking with Shellie during their breaks. "Tara wore a pedometer that kept track of how many steps she took. She had this contest with herself to see how many steps she could record during a regular work day. I wanted one of those gadgets!" Shellie said.

She got herself a pedometer and clipped it on every morning. At work she looked for every opportunity to get up and walk around. "I'd walk over to someone's desk instead of e-mailing or phoning them. Once in a while I'd walk up the stairs to the second floor just for no reason. It was actually fun to check my pedometer and see the numbers."

Tara, who walked to work every day, came up with an idea: Shellie could drive to Tara's house, park her car, and join Tara in the 10-minute walk to work. At the end of the day, they could return together—or on their own if their schedules didn't work out.

"It meant leaving my house 15 minutes early and getting home 15 minutes later," said Shellie, "but that seemed like something I could fit in, so I tried it for a week and it was great. I got more exercise, I built up steps on my pedometer, and I had company."

She's kept up that schedule for 2 years now, despite the fact that 6 months ago Tara left the company for another job across town. "I still park my car at Tara's house," Shellie said. "It's become such a habit. I honestly don't even think about it. In fact, when something comes up and I miss any of my walks, I get a little cranky."

Today Shellie's blood pressure and cholesterol numbers are back down to normal. "Plus, I'm 25 pounds lighter and have so much more energy now. I have no more problems keeping up with my kids!"

This story is based on information gathered from many people facing this health issue.

For more information, see the topic Fitness: Getting and Staying Active.

1

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: October 25, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Shellie's Story: Finding Time for Physical Activity Topics

Healthy Living Tools

Ditch Those Inches

Set goals, tally calorie intake, track workouts and more, all via WebMD’s free Food & Fitness Planner.

Get Started

Today on WebMD

Wet feet on shower floor tile
Slideshow
Flat Abs
Slideshow
 
Build a Better Butt Slideshow
Slideshow
woman using ice pack
Quiz
 

man exercising
Article
7 most effective exercises
Interactive
 
Man looking at watch before workout
Slideshow
Overweight man sitting on park bench
Video
 
6-Week Challenges
Want to know more?
Chill Out and Charge Up Challenge – How to help your tribe de-stress and energize.
Spark Change Challenge - Ready for a healthy change? Get some major motivation.
I have read and agreed to WebMD's Privacy Policy.
Enter cell phone number
- -
Entering your cell phone number and pressing submit indicates you agree to receive text messages from WebMD related to this challenge. WebMD is utilizing a 3rd party vendor, CellTrust, to provide the messages. You can opt out at any time.
Standard text rates apply

pilates instructor
Slideshow
jogger running among flowering plants
Video
 
woman walking
Article
Taylor Lautner
Article