It’s simple, but this easy strategy can totally change your attitude for the day.

By Lauren Phillips
Updated April 11, 2018
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Jessica Biel at Emmys
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Anyone with a full schedule knows how difficult it can be to fit in a daily workout—but there are plenty of tricks for fitting in a workout (and its numerous health benefits, physical and mental) into even the most hectic day. (Just 15 minutes can be enough!)

Real Simple caught up with actress, activist, and mother Jessica Biel at American Express’s The American Express Experience in New York City to find out exactly how she manages to fit in time for a workout, plus time for herself, between balancing time with her son, Silas (3), and husband, Justin Timberlake; filming hits such as The Sinner; and leading national campaigns, such as that for sex-positive resource Tryst Network.

“What I’ve found, specifically having a kid, if I can get up before he gets up, I have 45 minutes to an hour to do my own thing in the morning,” Biel said. “He gets up around 7—if I can manage to dedicate myself to get up at 6, if I have that hour, that’s a great way to start my day.”

Biel added that, even if it’s a mild workout, any kind of movement helps her start her day off on the right track. “I feel like it wakes me up in the morning,” she said.

And if that can’t happen?

“I do it when he gets to sleep,” Biel said. She makes a workout space out of whatever is available to her—a chair, stretch bands, a raised surface—and does bodyweight exercises.

Biel puts so much effort into fitting a little physical activity into her day because she knows how important it is for her own well-being. “I know how much exercise de-stresses me, and how much it’s good for my brain,” she said. “The second I can move and I get my body into it and I get my mind out of it, I can relax.”