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Coach’s Corner

‘It’s a must!’ Strategies from three busy women who make fitness a priority  

By Renee Corwine 

Photography by Matt Odom 


“I don’t have time to exercise.” That’s something even the most dedicated fitness buffs say every now and then. But for some, a packed scheduled full of meetings, home responsibilities, volunteerism and social obligations is enough of a hindrance that their own path to wellness never quite gets going 


As inspiration for those of you who “don’t have time,” I talked with three busy women who, somehow, make time. A common thread seems to be scheduling time to exercise – literally making an appointment for it in their busy calendars. 


Each of them says maintaining an exercise routine is integral to not only their happiness at home, but at work as well. They cite higher energy levels, more mental clarity and better moods as work benefits of exercise. Here’s how they do it. 


Lynn Murphey

Macon director for the Knight Foundation

Lynn’s average day includes talking with current or potential grantees, researching grant ideas, engaging in learning opportunities, meeting with community members and representing Knight in Macon.


What’s your current exercise routine?
“My goal is to be active every single day. I really enjoy a challenging workout four or five days a week. Other days, I’ll take a walk through my neighborhood or do an at-home yoga workout. I really enjoy yoga in Tattnall Square Park when it’s in season, and the pop up Pure Barre classes are always a treat.”


What’s the trick to finding time to exercise, and why is it important?
“I sit down on Sunday nights and plan my workouts. I put them on my calendar and do my very best to protect them as much as any other work appointment I make. … If I’m not intentional about scheduling, my workouts will not happen – there are simply too many ‘other’ things to do which distract me.”


What’s the best exercise advice you ever got?
“Get your workout appointments on your calendar.”


What’s the one piece of exercise equipment you can’t live without?
“My Garmin watch. I’m a data freak; I like to know calorie burn, average heart rate, etc., for each workout so I can track my progress.”


If you have 10 minutes in the middle of your work day but want to squeeze in a workout, what do you do?
“Jumping jacks and push-ups – as long as no one is looking!”


Lynn will exercise anywhere, any time. Check out this wall squat using the “I Heart Macon” art installation for support. A wall squat is great for strengthening the tops of the thighs – just be sure your “wall” is as stable as hers is!

Lynn shows us how a decline pushup is performed to perfection. An advanced version of a regular pushup, the decline angle – feet higher than hands – shifts more weight into the arms, back and chest. Start with a regular pushup, and if you can maintain a strong core, try the decline version! Give it 10 good tries!

A lover of yoga, Lynn demonstrates a version of Upward Facing Dog. From lying on your stomach, place your hands under your shoulders, and curl your toes under. Press into your hands and lift your chest. Feel the shoulder blades slide down the back, and lift the knees off the ground as well. It’s a great stretch for your abs.


Erin Keller

Vice President for Development for NewTown Macon

Erin says her job affords her the privilege of playing a small part in the revitalization of downtown Macon. Some days, she’s glued to her desk with administrative tasks. Other days, she’s out and about in meetings or prepping for an event.


What’s your current exercise routine?
“I work out at Orangetheory Fitness two or three times a week, go on daily walks with my dogchild, Chloe, and/or run hill sprints at Coleman Hill. … Each one offers me something different. OTF pushes and challenges me. Walks with Chloe slow me down, allow me to think and to enjoy the sights and beauty that you tend to miss driving in a car.”


What’s the trick to finding time to exercise, and why is it important?
“Making it a priority; it’s part of my lifestyle! I treat it like eating and sleeping – it’s a must. … It’s important because exercising is essential when speaking of leading a healthy lifestyle and longevity.”


What’s the best exercise advice you ever got?
“Doing something – exercise wise – is better than nothing; make it a priority.”


What’s the one piece of exercise equipment you can’t live without?
“My running shoes.”


If you have 10 minutes in the middle of your work day but want to squeeze in a workout, what do you do?
“Go for a walk downtown.”


Erin makes great use of public art to demonstrate a straight-arm plank. A modified version of the classic exercise, elevating your hands (like on a park bench, the couch, or a Peace statue) will make the exercise a little less challenging.

Erin works on her lunges to help strengthen her legs and glutes. From standing, take a big step back with your right leg, bending the knees to 90 degrees. Keep the hips squared forward and come high on your back tippie-toe. Either hold here for an isometric workout, or lunge down and up. Go for a minute, then switch legs.

After the lunges, a stretch feels good, and Erin is demonstrating a classic runner’s stretch. From a hands-and-knees, tabletop position. Step your left foot forward, then shift your hips back, allowing a stretch in the hamstrings on the left leg. Be sure to stretch both sides.


Stephanie Folsom

Partner/Owner at Coldwell Banker Commercial Eberhardt & Barry Inc.

As a commercial real estate agent, Stephanie’s days are on-the-go all day with business calls, emails and property showings. She says it’s rare that she stops for lunch, but tries to finish her day around 5:30 p.m. so that she can exercise.


What’s your current exercise routine?
“The perfect exercise week is taking three classes at Pure Barre and having two work-out secessions with my personal trainer, Renee Corwine. … Pure Barre is challenging, offering exercises that tone my overall body, and working out with Renee adds a mix of cardio and strength exercises tailored specifically to me.”


What’s the trick to finding time to exercise, and why is it important?
“I treat it as a meeting. It is so easy not to make time for yourself. However, I found if I treat my exercise time as a meeting and put it on my calendar, I don’t make excuses. It’s important because I feel so much better physically and mentally when I work out.”


What’s the best exercise advice you ever got?
“Life is full of curve balls that might hinder your workout, but you must always stick with it the best you can based on the circumstances at hand.”


What’s the one piece of exercise equipment you can’t live without?
“A good pair of tennis shoes – my feet need the love as they get older.”


If you have 10 minutes in the middle of your work day but want to squeeze in a workout, what do you do?
“Plank, leg lifts using leg weights, and sit-ups.”


Proving that you can get in a little waistline work even in the middle of your work day, the beautifully dressed Stephanie holds a side plank. For beginners, a side plank standing up is a great way to work up enough strength to do it on the ground. Be sure to push those hips up like a rainbow.

Stephanie went straight past the usual side plank, and upped the ante with a top leg lift. For the traditional side plank, begin on your side, and press up either to your hand or elbow. Stack the feet and lift the hips up as high as you can. Hold here for 30 seconds to 1 minute. For more, lift that top leg.

Here Stephanie demonstrates an inner thigh lift to balance out the work she did in side plank. Lying on your side, prop up onto an elbow. Step your top foot forward and place it down flat. Lift your bottom leg up, and either hold it for an isometric workout, or make little lifts, not letting it touch back down. Go for 1 minute on each side.


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