Jaime Battaglia
24, River North, sales

Jaime Battaglia
To tone up before her summer wedding

MONDAY One-mile walk to and from Ogilvie and later another mile to the el to meet friends for dinner. At night: 20 minutes of Pilates while watching TV


WEDNESDAY Brisk hour walk

THURSDAY Ten squats while brushing teeth

FRIDAY Ten squats while drying hair

SATURDAY Pilates tape for 45 min.; walk one mile shopping. Climb four flights of steep stairs to a party.

SUNDAY Another mile walked shopping

PER WEEK Three hours, 19 minutes

THE EXPERT Jaime’s workout is too light, says Thomas. To torch more calories while she walks, she should practice intervals: Alternate 30 seconds each at regular, fast, and slow paces. After Pilates, she could finish with a few minutes of bicep curls.



Michael Campione
34, Edgewater, marketing manager

Michael Campione
To lose 50 pounds

MONDAY Ten-minute walk to el; evening gym workout consists of a 2.5-mile jog on the treadmill, plus weight training on chest, arms, and abs.

TUESDAY 50-minute walk at lunch


THURSDAY Ten-minute walk to el; repeat Monday’s gym routine.

FRIDAY Repeat gym routine.

SATURDAY Five-mile jog on the treadmill—too tired from the week for more

SUNDAY Repeat gym routine.

PER WEEK Six hours, 10 minutes

THE EXPERT Michael should change up his gym routine to avoid a plateau, Thomas says. Try a metabolism-boosting cardio circuit: Run a half mile; then switch to weight-bearing exercises concentrating on two areas of his body, like a set of chest presses and fast squats. After the next half mile, do ab work and lunges. Repeat.


Photography: Joe C. Moreno


Ann Flake
29, Carpentersville, health insurance agent

Ann Flake
To design a consistent routine. A single mom with a two-year-old, Ann has trouble exercising without interruption.

MONDAY 20-minute jog on the treadmill; 30 crunches on the BOSU ball; 15-minute Wii Fit step routine

TUESDAY Jog 1.5 miles on the treadmill before her son, Ajay, wakes up. Later: Move boxes from garage.

WEDNESDAY Jog 1.25 miles in the a.m. 

THURSDAY 2.5-mile jog

FRIDAY 50 crunches and a few bicep curls with light weights

SATURDAY 15-minute jog while Ajay watches TV; 10-minute step Wii routine

SUNDAY Ten minutes on the Wii

PER WEEK Three hours, 18 minutes

THE EXPERT Incorporating Ajay into Ann’s workouts will make exercising easier, says Thomas. To maximize her time, she should run on the treadmill for 30 seconds and then do strength for 30 seconds—back and forth for 15 minutes. She can substitute Ajay for weights instead of dumbbells, or hold him while doing curls or a set of lunges.



Merry Green
50s, Evanston, event planner

Merry Green
To find time for exercise

MONDAY Walk three blocks to public transit.

TUESDAY Carry ten heavy boxes into the office.

WEDNESDAY Organize a major event, which means continuous lifting and walking all day.

THURSDAY At the gym: 30 minutes on the elliptical, 45 minutes strength using machines, free weights, and Pilates


SATURDAY One-mile walk

SUNDAY Off. Go to office instead

PER WEEK Four hours, 22 minutes

THE EXPERT Thomas gives credit to Merry for her gym workout—but she needs to find time to fit in a ten-minute strength and cardio routine on the other days. A fast, at-home circuit: Alternate two minutes each of brisk in-place marching with forward punches (to get her heart rate up) and 40 slow crunches, repeating two to three times.


Photography: Joe C. Moreno