Jillian Michaels Secret to Mom Sanity

Staying sane isn’t easy for any mother, but fitness expert Jillian Michaels says she’s found a technique that allows her at least some semblance of balance: dedicating 12 hours a week to herself.

“With two young children, I had to figure out a way to balance my days,” Michaels, 41, tells PEOPLE after she participated in the annual March of Dimes March for Babies walk in Los Angeles on Saturday, to help promote full-term pregnancies and healthy babies. The Kmart ambassador strolled alongside company reps, as the retailer was a top sponsor of the fundraising walk.

The US Biggest Loser coach and mom to daughter Lukensia, 5, and son Phoenix, who turns 3 on May 3, says she uses her solo time to handle her own personal demands, like keeping doctors appointments and maintaining a regular fitness routine.

“This way I can spend five to six hours with the kids and work for the other eight hours. If I have any extra time, it goes to the kids,” she says. “Things seem to work out, and it keeps me sane!”

Staying sane will be key for Michaels when she begins filming her new show, Sweat Inc., in June. She will serve as host and judge on the Spike TV reality-competition series, which premieres in October.But before the shooting starts, Michaels, partner Heidi Rhoades and their children will head for a vacation in Central America.

“I love to travel and hope to see more of the world when the kids are older,” Michaels tells PEOPLE.

“But for now, we will celebrate my partner’s birthday at the end of May with a family trip to Costa Rica. We can’t wait!”


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