Freytag: My Fitness Secrets

I don’t have to tell you that if you want to be successful at something, study the habits of experts. That’s what you already do…that’s one of the reasons you tap into SUCCESS magazine…to get firsthand professional counsel. You turn to the skilled and trained for advice in finance, management, leadership and more.

Yet, there are an estimated 1 billion adults struggling with weight loss, many of whom seek free weight loss tips from less than qualified experts or resources. Americans are influenced by random websites, advertisements and TV commercials about their fitness plans.  Lots of celebrities have “weight loss secrets” they are willing to share if you buy their product.

Logic would tell you that if you want to get in shape, pay attention to what fitness trainers do for their own routine.  A frequent question I get on my website and on Facebook is, “Chris, what do you do for your own workouts?” Like other trainers, I have the added bonus of being paid for physical activity, so staying in shape comes along with a paycheck. But if you read my content regularly, you know that I can get overwhelmed with work, family, and numerous other obligations and I sometimes have to make an effort to stay on track with my own fitness routine.

Tip: “Wear a heart-rate monitor and follow the two-day rule.” This is exactly what I do. My Heart Rate Monitor is my motivator—I love tracking my heart rate each workout and feeling good about my calorie burn.  I also try not to ever go more than two days in a row without making the time for exercise. Since I travel almost every week, it’s easy to let a few days slide, but I hate the way I feel so I only allow a maximum of 48 hours between workouts even on my busiest weeks.

Tip: “Schedule the time for your workouts and try to include your friends.” I put my workout schedule right into my Outlook program on my laptop like I do all my business meetings. I workout with a variety of people throughout the week. I teach group classes three to four days a week and lineup outdoor runs with friends on the weekends. I arrange “walking” business meetings whenever I can. My husband and I also like to use an evening walk as a chance to catch up….it usually takes us to Starbucks for a quick coffee.

Tip: “Enter competitions to create some specific training goals.” I love to do 5k and 10K races. They are doable training distances for a novice and comfortable distances for a fitness enthusiast. I am always up for signing up for the next charity event that involves friends, fun and a good cause.  It also creates the need for a “training schedule” which keeps me on track!

Tip: “Cross-training, include many different formats of exercise throughout the week.” I am a creature of change so I love to cross train. During any given week I’ll teach kickboxing, spinning, yoga, Pilates, strength and I may even take an outdoor run or walk. I love the excitement of something different and it’s a great way to train your muscles to work in many directions. It keeps my mind in the game and forces me to be less rigid and planned like I am with my job.

Tip:  “Increase the intensity of cardiovascular workouts.” When I am short on time, my motto is “Go Big or Go Home.”  I will pick up my pace when I only have time for a one mile run or 15 minutes on the elliptical. I often throw in some intervals where I push myself for one minute and recover for one minute ….do that seven times with a little warm-up first,  and you have a 15 minute workout!


Chris Freytag has dedicated her adult life to motivating people to lead healthier lives. A contributing editor to Prevention magazine, she's also written two books, Shortcuts to Big Weight Loss, and her latest, 2-Week Total Body Turnaround. She also has appeared on NBC's Today show and MSNBC's Weekend Update.

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