DOABLE NEW YEARS HEALTH AND FITNESS GOALS

(All photos taken by kerimh.com)

Since it’s January and all I wanted to take a quick break from my artistic life to talk about healthy choices. I am actually a part time fitness instructor of three years and have found that making healthy choices makes me a better mother, human, and person. I am better able to take care of myself and others. And when I do this I am more inspired and able to make time for creativity. So though this post isn’t about my normal adventures, it is very important to my professional life.
 So today I’ve asked a few friends who know their stuff to share some professional health tips to get you through the rest of the year.If you’re like my husband, you may have already given up on starting the year healthy. So hopefully their words will inspire you to keep going and make some good lifestyle choices. So here they are, Rachel and Jill. 

REALISTIC HEALTH CHOICES

I want you to think of your body
as an incredibly powerful, yet delicate, machine. When you give it the right
fuel, systems operate smoothly (most of the time). You think more clearly, feel
more energetic, sleep more deeply, and have a stronger immune system. When you
don’t fuel properly, systems get sluggish and start to break down. Your body
will do its best with what it’s given, but it won’t operate at full capacity.
If you want your body to run
optimally, start with simple, whole foods from Mother Nature. Stock your kitchen
with fresh, seasonal veggies and fruits; whole grains; legumes; nuts and seeds;
healthy fats; and quality meats and animal products (e.g., eggs and dairy).
Foods with just one or two ingredients should form the foundation of your daily
diet. Limit processed, packaged foods that contain added sugar, refined grains,
trans fats, and chemical additives. Enjoy desserts and comfort foods in
moderation—without guilt or regret. You won’t stick to a nutrition plan that
makes you miserable, and feelings of deprivation can lead to burnout and
self-sabotage. So find a happy balance.
A healthy diet—packed with whole foods
and sprinkled with occasional treats—is an excellent start! But if you want
dietary changes to stick, you need to master the mental game. Breaking old
habits is hard work. Our brains are wired to repeat familiar behaviors: it
saves precious energy. So if you want to change how you eat, you also have to
change how you think. Here are three keys to conquering the mental game and
turning a healthy diet into a sustainable lifestyle.
Visualization. Before
you jump headlong into a new diet, take time to evaluate your current habits.
What’s working for you? What needs to change? Write a detailed description of
your end game. (Yes, write it down.) Think beyond weight loss. How do you want
to feel and behave one year from now? Focus on what you want for yourself, not what you think the world wants for you.
For example: “I want to eliminate weekday treats but indulge guilt-free on
Saturdays and special holidays,” or “I want to develop new stress-management
techniques to help me overcome emotional eating,” or “I want to cook at home
twice a week.” Close your eyes, and visualize how your new eating habits look,
feel, and taste. Replay this video frequently; believe in your own
success. Once you know where you want to go, work backwards to set small,
actionable goals to help you move in the right direction. For example: “Schedule
treat meals on a calendar,” or “Pick up a book instead of a snack,” or “Test
one healthy recipe each week.” These are just examples. Your goals should match
your priorities and values.
Mindfulness. Sticking
to a healthy diet isn’t just about self-discipline and will power, although
these qualities are important. Learning to be thoughtful and deliberate about
your food choices can help you make more decisions that align with your goals;
it can also help you identify barriers to success. What emotional triggers,
food cravings, and habits of daily life make it harder to eat well? How will
you handle these situations? Mindful eating isn’t the same as never splurging.
It’s an attitude of nonjudgmental self-awareness, personal responsibility, and
self-compassion. Mindfulness is the key to finding balance between healthy
habits and intentional indulgences.
Persistence. Don’t
get caught in the all-or-nothing trap. If you’re human, there will be days when
you fall short of your own expectations and goals. Life will get in the
way. Old habits will resurface. If your goal is “100% perfection with no
mistakes forever,” you may throw in the towel before new habits can take hold
and lead to physical changes. Instead, focus on persistence. Each meal,
each bite is a new decision. Leave the past in the past. You can’t change
it, so don’t waste time regretting it. If you falter, jump up! Just keep going,
taking steady steps toward your ultimate goal.
Need more ideas? For 117 tips and
40+ recipes to help you eat clean in 2016, check out the eBook I co-authored: Clean
Eating. Simplified.

It’s a step-by-step guide to whole foods for the whole family, including a
7-day meal plan, printable shopping lists, time saving products, grab-and-go
snacks, tips for kids and teens, and much more. On sale now!

AT HOME FITNESS GOALS

Hi! My name is
Jill Kaufusi, known online as Jill K Fitness; NASM certified personal trainer,
fitness nutrition specialist, host of monthly
fitness challenges called Fit Blasts
,
and most importantly, a mother to 4 young children ranging in ages from 8 years
to 8 months. I dedicate my time on Instagram and my blog sharing health and fitness tips along
with positive, motivational messages.
STICKING WITH
HEALTH GOALS BY WORKING OUT AT HOME
The gym
environment isn’t for everyone for whatever reason, especially around the New
Year. Let’s be real about this, because the gym is SO BUSY for the first month
or two of each year. For someone who is just getting up the nerve to start a
healthy lifestyle change, a crowded gym can be intimidating! If you feel
intimidated, you will likely feel discouraged, then you might not stick with
the health and fitness goals you set for yourself. I can’t have that happening!
I want everyone to set and successfully reach all their fitness goals.
My
recommendation if you aren’t a gym regular but want to get in shape? Work out from home.
You don’t have
to join a gym to exercise. Sure, all that equipment they have there is nice to
have, but it’s not necessary to get you in the habit of exercising regularly.
Make working out
from home work for you by:
1.       Setting
up a scheduled time to work out.

This is an important appointment you set for yourself, and shouldn’t be missed.
You may need to find a way to carve out the extra time by waking up earlier,
cutting out some TV-watching time, etc.
2.       Make
a weekly workout plan.

Find a video online, search pinterest, Instagram, or fitness websites for quick
workouts to follow. Have this all planned out at the beginning of each week,
and you won’t have an excuse to not do it.
3.       Use
what you have around the house to act as fitness equipment.
Fill a backpack with heavy books and use
it in place of dumbbells (video demo here). Put small children on your back,
shoulders, or chest/stomach to do some heavy leg work. Use a kitchen chair as a
step. Get creative and have fun with it!
Here are some of my at-home workout ideas
that take less than 30 minutes, but will get your heart rate up:
For more tips, follow me @jillkfitness
on Instagram! 

JOINING A GYM 

I’m going to share a few tips if joining a gym is part of your fitness goals this new year. At a fitness instructor I am a big fan of attending fitness classes. It’s because it holds me accountable. I have found that as I attend a fitness class I form a relationship with the instructor and those in the class. I am also someone who is social and attending a class with friends is very motivating for me as well. I also feel that at a class it isn’t as easy to stop in the middle so I end up working harder.
Another benefit of attending a fitness class is most of the time this includes child care. And if you have kids this is huge! All three of us attended Cahoots Fitness where they have fantastic classes and childrens fitness classes at the same time! My children are balls of energy so this idea is amazing to me! 
Another thing to expect is not having to bring or buy much equipment if you are choosing to work out at a gym. Sometimes for classes you may bring your own mat, but most of the time they provide all the equipment. I do say invest in some good workout clothing. When you feel comfortable and have the right equipment which includes quality fitness apparel you will work harder and it will enable you to get the best workout possible. For most workouts I would suggest some outfits, like these bottoms from Senita Athletics. Make sure whatever items you purchase allows you to move freely and comfortably. 
There are many types of classes at gyms, so ask when you sign up and they can help you find what classes are right for you. You can read about why I love yoga here. Or check out some cardio options here. If you haven’t tried out fitness classes thankfully a lot of gyms have trial memberships and you can try different classes to find whats right for you.
 
I would say that whatever your New Years goals are, like what Rachel said, make goals that are realistic and attainable. And don’t give up! Making healthy choices empowers me and makes me a happier person. Check out these amazing girls info, they have some great sites. And feel free to share below questions or comments. XOXO!