FITNESS GOAL: “Anti aging,” she says. “I'm fighting this the whole way.”
STRATEGY: Markham makes sure she is always close to a gym so she can work out whenever she has time in her busy schedule. “I have a gym bag in my car,” she says. She belongs to the Omni gym in Fort Myers, the Commons Club at The Brooks residential development and she has her own well-equipped home gym. “I fit it in all times of the day,” she says. “I'll do it any time if I can get 45 minutes to an hour.”
HOW SHE STAYS MOTIVATED: Having three gyms strategically located between Fort Myers and Naples means it's harder to make excuses. “The whole idea is to make it as easy as possible,” Markham says. “The hardest part is walking into the facility. There are 100 other things I need to do.” She mixes up the routine, from weight machines to resistance training, aerobics and free weights.
HOW SHE PICKED A TRAINER: After her son was born, Markham paid a personal trainer $50 an hour to help her. “This lady I worked out with, Bridget, there's no fat on her body. She knows how to work out,” Markham marvels. “I picked her because I asked her a question and she answered it. Three others didn't answer me or give me the time.”
HOW SHE ASSEMBLED A HOME GYM: Over the five years that she has assembled equipment for her home gym, Markham estimates she's spent about $6,000 to equip it. “It's serious stuff,” she says. She bought commercial-grade equipment ranging from a treadmill to a weight bench from a gym that went out of business. Markham estimates she's probably saved $3,000 instead of buying new equipment. Just like a real gym, Markham's gym has mirrors all around.
WHAT SHE WEARS: Markham's rule for workout clothes is loose and stretchy. She keeps it simple. She bought the pants at Dick's Sporting Goods and the tops at Target. She sometimes wears her workout tops under her work suit, making it easier to make the transition from work to gym.
WHAT'S ON HER IPOD: Markham used to work out to oldies, but her 13-year-old son uploaded more contemporary tunes from artists she doesn't know. “There's a lot of foul language,” she says. “It's not stuff I even like, but it's got a beat, OK?” If she doesn't like the song, she clicks a button to skip to the next tune.
HOW SHE EATS: “I don't diet,” Markham says flatly. She has a range of five pounds and when she exceeds that she focuses on high-protein and low-carbohydrate dishes such as spinach salads with seafood and chicken. “The problem is I have a sweet tooth,” she admits. Chocolate is a weakness. “The Butterfingers I ate yesterday were pretty darn good,” she chuckles. To keep temptation at bay, her firm provides a salad bar and fresh fruit to employees every day. “We started serving food during tax season and it's become kind of a way of life,” she says.
HOW SHE BALANCES WORK AND EXERCISE: “I never have the time,” Markham says. “I just make it.” She says exercise helps her stamina at work and makes her less hungry despite the fact that she burns more calories. “I just had blood work done and it all came out very good,” she says. She doesn't think about work when she's exercising, but clients and acquaintances at the gym sometimes distract her. “I've got to work out, stay focused and give them the wave,” she tells herself. “I usually lose that battle.”