`30-minute' fitness guru says she's not stretching the truth

Here's how I figured things worked in Denise Austin's world: She leads us through a 30-minute workout, the director yells, "That's a wrap!" the cameras shut down - and Austin begins her actual workout.

Surely she doesn't exercise for just 30 minutes. Surely that's just a warm-up for her daily 5-mile jog followed by a 90-minute cardio kickboxing/Pilates/weight-training regimen.

Not so, Austin swears.

"I do 30 minutes most days," she said. "I'll sometimes go a little longer if I have more time, but I carve out 30 minutes daily and really try my best - 110 percent."

By "daily," though, she means daily, as in every day.

Seven days a week.

And she hardly spends the rest of the day idle.

"You can build in extra 1/8exercise3/8 time during your day," she said. "Walk around while you're talking on the phone. Do isometrics while you're sitting in the car-pool lane. Squeeze your buttocks in line at the grocery store. Do leg lifts while you're cooking. Brush your teeth and balance on one leg.

"Keep your muscles firm," she continued. "They don't know if you're in a fancy gym or in your kitchen."

Although gym membership has its privileges, Austin said, working out at home can be just as effective, provided you schedule it in regularly and stick to it.

Her one at-home pointer?

"Invest in a good pair of shoes," she said. "Especially if you're walking or doing any kind of aerobics, you're pounding on your knees. You don't need $100 ones, but make sure they have good absorption and good support for your foot."