Are You an Anne?


Small business owner with 2 school-age children

Walking 10,000 steps each day is non-negotiable for Anne.  Previous to running her own business, Anne was a corporate exec who travelled frequently and managed a large team.

A busy job + 2 young kids, and yet Anne only missed her daily 10,000 steps on 2 occasions.  What’s her secret?

‘Teamwork with my husband is critical. We share the load and negotiate terms each week!’

Anne’s Top Tips for Fitting It In

Find the time in the day that works the best for you.  I do it first thing in the morning before anything else – even if I have to get up at 5.20am (I have been known to get up at 4am to walk the dog for 30 minutes before I had to get a flight to Melbourne for a business trip).

If I haven’t done all my steps by 7pm, I might take my dog out for another quick walk until they are done.  For example, if I have 2000 steps to go, I walk for 1000 steps then turn around and go back so that I am bang on target as I am usually short of time.

I listen to podcasts and audible books when I walk, which makes walking a pleasure and easy.

What are some of the things you’ve done to fit in exercise with the demands of your family?

Teamwork with my husband is critical here.  If my husband is home from work and I haven’t done my steps, I’ll do a quick walk with the dog, and leave the children with him.

If both children are in after school activities, I schedule a Pilates class or pick an exercise class that finishes in time to pick them up.

My husband and I share the load and negotiate terms each week!  If I do morning drop offs, he’ll often do evening pick-ups which gives me time to go to a class or walk.

If I have to do grocery shopping and haven’t done all my steps, I sometimes just walk around for 20 minutes once I’m finished my errand to get an extra 2000 steps in.  My family doesn’t notice if I’m gone an extra 20 mins – they just think I’m grocery shopping.

LIVE STREAM Pilates classes helped loads as I could fit it around cooking dinner etc because I didn’t have to travel anywhere.

What tools helped you get the time you want for exercise?

I track all my steps on a Fitbit as well as my Samsung Health app (in case one breaks).

The Fitbit app sends reminders if I’m behind target, which keeps my accountable.

Audible and Stitcher app so that I have something enjoyable, educational or enriching to listen to while I walk, which motivates me to walk every day!

What’s your view on work-life balance?  Do you need work-life balance to find time for exercise, or would you make the time for exercise to get work-life balance?

Exercise comes first and work-life balance follows.

By putting exercise first, I am healthy enough, and have energy to work and play incredibly hard the rest of the time.

In over 4 years of doing 10,000 steps a day, I’ve only missed 2 days of hitting 10000 steps (and in both cases I still did at least 8000).  So for me it is such a deeply embedded non-negotiable part of my routine that it is critical for the rest of my work-life balance to be possible.

Since doing this, I have never been bed-ridden. I have a spasm-y back which used to leave me flat on my back, unable to move, for days at a time.  That hasn’t happened to me in over 4 years since walking.  So no matter how sick I feel, or how hungover I am, I walk 10000 steps a day.

When you were in corporate, as a leader in your organisation, how would you respond if one of your team members said that they needed to leave work at 5pm to exercise?

I would support it.  At my last job they had classes on site at 5pm so in fact it was embedded in the culture to make time.

I guess as long as people got their work in and met the deadlines, I didn’t mind how they did it.  If we had a deadline, we’d always know to get that done as long it was a real deadline (e.g. ASX listing information), not an internally driven one.

I also support it, because I know exercise keeps team members healthy – and thus more productive.  It helps to have a corporate culture where this value is embedded and supported.

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