Top 15 Tips

NikkiNewsletter 8/2/08 – Posted with the authors permission

Top 15 Tips
Follow these and you’ll be fit before you know it.

Set goals that are realistic and specific, and having a set time period as your goal will help you stick to a new fitness regime. Write down your plan of action for every day, week, etc. Make sure it is something you can measure and not just the end goal, but the milestones along the way. Start with a plan that you think you can accomplish or exceed. (Walking for 30 minutes at a time. Then running for 20 minutes and see how many times you have to stop and walk each time. Eventually work up to running for 30 minutes and so on.

Figure out what your barriers to exercise and eating well are, and make a plan to conquer and avoid those specific barriers. Take each barrier or excuse and write down ways you can solve the problem.

Put one sneaker in front of the other. Many of us waste too much time saying we need to work out but dread the process. Trick yourself by just getting dressed for it and not really thinking about the next step. If you take it one step at a time, before you know it you will finish the cool-down and feel amazing.

Make yourself an upbeat iPod play-list or CD and dance around as you straighten up at home; find a hip-hop or African dance class at the gym; learn to bellydance at an adult education class or at the Y; plan a girls’ night out dancing.

Make active dates to see friends and family and do something that doesn’t involve eating and drinking. Walk through the park, go biking in summer, ice skate or cross country ski in winter, walk the mall, take a yoga or cardio class, or run on a treadmill right next to my friend.

Think of food as a fuel, not as a gift, which means passing on food that is high in fat and sugar, and taking HALF the portion everyone else heaps onto their plate at a party and packing up half your food in a restaurant in a doggy bag.

If you have to be at a restaurant, will identify the 3 healthiest things on the menu and pick between those.

Follow the food pyramid daily, by focusing on whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean protein and calcium, not sweets and fats. Also, take a daily multi-vitamin

Don’t eat any bad food that is lying around the office. Bring healthy snacks to your desk that are sweet and/or salty, like whole wheat crackers, almonds, grapes, or chocolate soy milk. Buy a slow cooker so that you can prepare a healthy meal in the mornings, and its ready for you when you get home (its like having a personal chef at home all day, and gives you that extra hour for exercise!)

Drink no more than 2 alcoholic beverages at parties and events (if necessary, cut extra drinks with spritzers) and have a snack before these events so you don’t attack the buffet line.

Drive less and walk more. I will take the stairs when possible and never go a day without some exercise

Invest in a gym membership, if I don’t have one already, and I will use it. If I don’t have the money right now, I will buy an inexpensive workout DVD.

Weigh yourself everyday to remember your goals and feel good about the choices you made yesterday.

Keep reading health and fitness columns online, subscribe to weekly e-mailed fitness tips like mine for regular inspiration, and subscribe to fitness magazines. Whether it’s a new and healthy dish you can make, news about a recent medical study, interesting moves to try at home, or another person’s story about how they reached their goals, any inspiration will help.

Pass this advice along. I saw a quote once that said “You are the average of the 5 people you hang out with the most.” So get your friend on the NikkiFitness Newsletter so you can have a partner to do the DVDs, eat healthy with you at a restaurant, cook good-for-you meals at parties, and do active social outings.


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