Niki G’s Fitness | Are You Honoring Your Priorities?

niki g fitness priorities

niki g fitness prioritiesMOMENT OF TRUTH:  What are you priorities in life? I am willing to bet that the majority of you rate your health and fitness pretty high up there. Yet, what action have you taken today to honor your priority to get into better shape? If you worked out, ate healthy and are drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated already today, give yourself a pat on the back. It may have been a struggle to fit in, but keep it up until it becomes habit!

Now, if you haven’t done much today for your personal health and fitness, and even if family and career or something else rate at the top and you think there is not much space for anything else, think again. ANYTHING you do in life requires your energy, strength and overall health.  That’s why no matter what priorities in life you want to focus on, just about every one of your goals can be attained faster and better by staying in shape and being healthier.

You will honor almost ALL your priorities by making the time for YOU and fitting in something that brings you closer to better health!  So, here are 5 things you can do in 5 minutes or less to better your health in fitness. Remember it’s the little things we do repeatedly that add up to big results.  So don’t skip them just because you don’t think they don’t matter.

  1. Drink a big glass of water
  2. Research a new healthy recipe and list the ingredients you need to make it
  3. Schedule your next workout. Our members at Niki G’s Boot Camp use an online scheduler (www.nikig.info) to schedule their small group fitness classes. But you could also call a friend and make a date to meet up for a workout, write out in your planner the days and times you plan to workout etc
  4. Go for a walk. Yes, even a 5 minute walk around the block is worth it and great for your health, especially if you unplug and find some clarity!
  5. Read a health and fitness blog for inspiration and motivation. There are so many great blogs these days to choose from. Just google what you are interested in!

What else can you do in 5 minutes or less right now to honor your priorities?

 

By

Niki Gauthier

Niki has been a Certified Personal Trainer since 1996, is a Mother of two and has been married to her best friend, Sam, since 1998. She appeared for over two years live on the Home Shopping Network and its sister station, America’s Store, as a regular guest and fitness expert for ProForm Fitness, the world’s largest manufacturer of home fitness equipment, before moving back to her hometown of Nashville, TN and starting Niki G’s Boot Camp. Niki is committed to helping women find realistic ways of getting in staying in shape through consistent and effective exercise and healthy eating.

www.nikigsbootcamp.com

 

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Motivation Monday – March Fitness Challenge

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squatsYour March Challenge is to complete 100 SQUATS A DAY until April 1st!

When the weight of the world is on your shoulders… DO SQUATS! Squats will keep your leg looking HOT and feeling STRONG this Spring!!

Take pics and post on Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter. Hashtag @nikigs100

The best, most original post (think squats in fun places) will receive 1 month FREE boot camp! We’ll also be giving out random prizes so squat away and be sure to post to share with our community and for accountability!

#nikigs100 #nikigspringbreak #nikigsbootcamp #squatchallenge

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Get Fit Action Plan

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 Are you ready to get in better shape but don’t know where to start? Or are you constantly having to start all over?

My advice?

Keep it simple! Get back to or start with the basics!

Instead of giving you the latest fad diet or weight loss “secret,” my mission is to help you establish new habits in order to reach your goals, get fit and stay fit. Use these simple steps that are free of fads, gimmicks and other get-skinny-quick schemes and will lead to lifelong changes!

1.       Define your goals. Assess your current fitness level and take measurements. It’s great to know where you are, where you are going and your progress along the way. Don’t miss this important first step.

 

2.       Establish an exercise schedule based on your current fitness level and COMMIT to it. No excuses. Schedule an appointment with yourself and NEVER talk yourself out of it. Need a plan? Sign up for my online Boot Camp or if you are in the Nashville area, sign up for our classes!

 

3.       Start a diet and exercise journal and begin recording everything you eat and the exercise that you are doing. There are many online programs and phone apps the can help you stay on track with their calculators and tools. Even pen and paper are better than nothing! Click here for my meal plans.

4.       Eliminate the Junk– Slowly get rid of processed, unnatural foods and stock up on lean meats, low fat dairy, whole grains, fruits and veggies and a couple of good water containers. Eating healthy does not mean cutting out entire food groups or any clean, natural foods. Nothing is off limits as long as it’s not processed!

        Next, focus on the foods you NEED for energy, muscle repair and digestive health and don’t waste your calories on the other stuff. Also, eliminate activities that are not geared towards your new healthy lifestyle (hours in front of the TV, computer, eating out more than once or twice a week, etc.) and replace with scheduled activities that will help you reach your goals including thorough grocery shopping, cooking workouts, meet ups with friends for activities, long walks, and even quiet time for true rest.

Remember, this a lifestyle change for lifelong health and happiness. There are no “diet secrets” or magic pills that can ever give you what healthy food and exercise can! Don’t expect changes overnight. Love yourself the way you are in the process and allow your habits to change slowly and naturally.

By Niki Gauthier

 

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NO Excuses! Have the Right Attitude to be Successful in Your Fitness Goals!

No Excuses Niki G's Fitness Boot Camp Brentwood Nashville Franklin TN

No Excuses Niki G's Fitness Boot Camp Brentwood Nashville Franklin TNEver wonder why some women are able to get results from their exercise plan and some don’t? One of the most common traits I see in women who succeed and those who don’t is their ATTITUDE. Along with keeping a positive attitude, they adopt the NO EXCUSES mentally and have the attitude that nothing will get in their way of their goals!

If you find yourself making excuses for not exercising or eating healthy it’s usually because we have failed to plan ahead. Doing this puts us in a position of being the effect of our environment instead of a in charge of it, which definitely won’t help you reach your goals!!
So, here are some common and excuses and how to plan ahead to avoid them and remain in charge of your fitness….

1. Letting the weather affect your good intentions. Even though it’s “too cold” in the winter and “too hot” in the summber, getting outside in the fresh air at least once a day, especially while exercising is great for your body and your mood! If you are worried about getting sick, remember, sickness is caused by viruses and bacteria. Not the cold! Boost your immune system with exercise, quality foods, enough rest and vitamins to keep yourself healthy!

If you are exercising outside, plan ahead and get  the right gear and layer your clothing when it’s cold and protect wear appropriate clothing and gear for the heat! Lay out your clothes (of pack away for after work) the night before to make it easier to get up, get dressed and get out the door!
2. Oversleeping and missing your workout. Make exercise a priority and set THREE alarms if you exercise in the morning! Set out your clothes the night before and go to bed on time or early. NO Excuses!
3. Working late and skipping workout. Explain to your boss ahead of time that you have commitment that you cannot break; a commitment which actually improves your productivity! If it’s truly a work emergency reschedule your workout for another time.. But otherwise, you have to make time for yourself. If you are the boss, you may need to organize your day better and again….. prioritize! NO Excuses!
4. Eating unhealthy food on the go. This one is simple. PACK YOUR MEALS! This of course involves planning ahead and preparing your own healthy food. When you do cook, make “intentional leftovers.” Invest into a good cooler so you always have a healthy meal and snacks. NO Excuses.
Remember, starting your workout program was only the first step of your commitment to improving your fitness level! Your commitment to yourself will be tested almost daily….rain, cold, battles with your snooze button, bad days at work, etc. but you must stay committed and consistent with your exercise to see results!

How do you say NO to excuses? Comment Below….

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Take Advantage of Momentum to Reach Your Fitness Goals

Elite Athlete

Let’s put that body IN MOTION and keep it in motion! Find your motivation, your goal(s) and your “why”(go ahead and write them down!) and then let’s keep some momentum going!

Sometimes is not getting started that’s so difficult, it’s keeping the momentum going long enough to see results.  Here are some tips to get you started AND avoid the start/stop cycle over and over again…

  • Discover your “WHY.” It’s not enough to have a goal, it’s the why (your purpose for reaching that goal) that keeps you moving forward
  • Stay in the HABIT. Never go two days without working out OR if you take weekends off from exercise, do other activities that keep you focused on your goals like grocery shopping and meal planning or a long relaxing walk with friends and family.
  • No Excuses! If you find yourself making excuses for skipping your workouts or not eating healthy, go back to your “why”
  • Buddy up and stay accountable! At Niki G’s you have as much or little support as you want. Stay in contact with your trainer, make friends at class, or even announce your goals and intentions through social media. If you are not a part of a fitness program, find  friends with similar goals to help keep each other accountable.
  • Filter out the negative thoughts. You ARE making progress just by showing up. Remember two steps forward and one step back is still forward progress and much further along if you didn’t take those steps at all or if you quit!

What are some of your “why’s” and where do you get your momentum from? Leave your comments below!

By Niki Gauthier

Sign up today for Online Boot Camp with Niki! Click here for details

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Life Happens, But Don’t Quit Your Healthy Lifestyle!

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Life happens. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s tragic or sometimes it’s exciting and all consuming. But, how you react, or should I say “respond” when life happens is extremely important if you want to move forward and be successful in your personal goals. Not only does life happen, but it doesn’t have a “pause” button. That’s why sticking to your  healthy habits and routines, no matter what, is so important

At our boot camp, you will probably hear us talk about habits and routines very often. That’s because they are essential for seeing improvement in your physique and fitness level. One of the founding principles of our program is setting an exercise schedule and sticking to it, not just dropping in whenever you feel like it (which is probably not often enough!) Think of your good habits and routines as the ultimate “auto-pilot” where you don’t have to talk yourself into a workout. You just show up at your fitness facility, hit the pavement or the play button on your favorite exercise video because that’s what you always do. Good habits will also keep you on “auto-pilot” when faced with food decisions. At a restaurant you dutifully step up to the challenge of finding a balance meal (fuel for you body) without the overabundance of calories usually served up those over-sized restaurant plates. The other “bad” food simply is not an option.

So when life happens and you fall out of the habit of exercise and quit being strong about your nutrition choices, you are creating  a situation for yourself that will make it even harder to get to your workouts and eat healthy down the road. You’ve quit and when you decide to start back up, you will find you have lost your “auto-pilot.” Not only that, you may find you can’t keep up with your old workout routine and your are now craving sugar (since you have been eating more of it lately) and you keep taking a detour off your nutrition plan. This can  lead to disappointment and discouragement and we know where that leads to… sitting in your “fat clothes” eating a pint of ice cream.

Not only have I seen it before, I’ve BEEN there before. So, I want to encourage you to charge forward when life hits you. Keep up your workouts and your healthy lifestyle. Again, it’s a lifestyle and it does have it’s rewards during good times and bad.

The only time you should take an extended break from exercise is if your doctor recommends it and even then you will need to be just as aware, if not more, of the food you are eating to stay healthy. Here are some common reasons for giving up or “taking a break” from fitness and why you shouldn’t go there:

I am going through a rough time, I am too depressed to workout. If you have recently lost someone or something important to you, take all the time you need to grieve, but also take some timeout for yourself. Have you ever finished an intense workout and feel so ALIVE and refreshed? Exercise is not only good for the body AND the mind. It helps us feel better all around and keeps us strong. The harder life feels to you, the MORE you need to prioritize some exercise for yourself. It could be just what pulls you out of your slump!

I’m too tired Exercise will help you feel better and sleep better! Even on days you don’t get enough sleep, exercise ENERGIZES you and pushes away exhaustion. But, if you are making a habit out of not getting enough sleep, you may need to evaluate your schedule  and plan for a more efficient day so you can  get in bed a little early to make time for exercise! Next time you feel “exhausted” at work, with your kids, or slumped over on the couch, go out for even just walk and you will see what I mean. Get in your exercise regularly get the proper nutrients into your body and you WILL sleep better.

I’m too stressed out. I have other things to worry about then myself. I know you have heard this before, but I really want you to think about it. How can you take care of ANYTHING else if you are not taking care of yourself? To be less stressed and take on each and every day with confidence, you will need to make yourself a priority by scheduling time for just yourself daily and plan ahead to be sure you have the necessary foods on hand to fuel your days. If you really want to help others or improve any situation in life, take care of yourself first!

I can’t afford my exercise program. Unless your program is with a private personal trainer (which admittedly is quite a luxury for most) chances are you CAN afford your program, you just don’t value it. It may be time to reevaluate what you get or don’t get out of it. Also, for most good exercise program, you get out of it what you put into it, so don’t be afraid to speak-up and talk to your instructor about your needs.   Your exercise program should provide you with a few things that are worth every penny

  1. Accountability– less expensive memberships and programs may not provide the structure to notice when you are not there and follow up with you when you should be.
  2.  Motivation/Support– Most programs are led by trainers who work to encourage you and include other participants like yourself for support. What  a perfectly simple way to surround yourself with healthy and fit people!
  3. Safety/Personalization– working with a knowledgeable professional in an exercise program ensures you will have a watchful eye on your form to keep you exercising safely and effectively and will provide you with the personalization you need for each exercise to get the most out of your workout.

If you really can’t afford to spend anything on your fitness,you still can’t give up! Cable services offer on-demand video so you could probably get a different workout every day for a year with all the options. Also, walking/running outside and body weighted exercises are free. There are easily millions of videos and articles on workouts online to give you ideas as well. Either way, don’t fall out of the habit!

When life hits you, good or bad, use these tips above to STAY in the habit of exercise.  You will get through it, especially with the foundation of your healthy lifestyle and will come out the other side an even stronger person.
By Niki Gauthier

 

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Trimming or Stuffing Your Figure this Holiday Season? Healthy Holiday Eating Tips

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Healthy Holiday Eating Tips to Help You Continue to Lose Weight

Considering that a traditional Thanksgiving Meal has more calories than some women should eat in an entire day, there are some tips I want you to follow to be sure that the only thing stuffed on Thanksgiving Day is the turkey and not YOU!  So, how do you avoid weight gain or at least maintain your figure during the Holidays? It really is simple math, but you have to be willing to look at the numbers……

The Unpalatable Reality

Let’s put things in perspective. Let’s say you are going to your family’s house for Thanksgiving Dinner and when you arrive you start with one glass of wine and a few tortilla chips and dip while you are visiting. Then you sit down to a modest portion (6oz) of white and dark turkey, half a cup each of stuffing, mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole and on the side, a dinner roll. After dinner you top it off with a slice of apple pie. Sounds reasonable, not overdoing it, right? Well that one dinner alone comes to… wait for it….. 1760 calories! You would need to walk 17.6 miles at a good pace to burn off that meal! And that doesn’t even include everything else you ate that day. Since it only takes an extra 3500 calories than what your body burns to create a pound of body fat, you are already half way there in one day!

Chances are that if you stop there, eat well and exercise the week before and after, you won’t see much movement on the scale. However, if you slack off your workouts, indulge for days, eat lots of leftovers and comfort food, you could easily gain 3-5lbs of stored body fat, in just a week or two. This is fat that could prevent you from zipping up your jeans, fitting in your holiday dress and from looking and feeling your best this holiday season. Now when you finally get back to your workouts, you will be working on the new fat you gained not, the original goals you started with.

The Yummy Solutions

Follow my top six tips for keeping your shape and maybe even trimming up your figure from Thanksgiving Meal to New Years Eve parties…… and beyond!

1. Don’t go hungry. Never put yourself in a situation where you are 1) Starving and 2) have access to tons of high calorie foods. Take the edge off with some high fiber and/or moderate protein foods 30-60 minutes BEFORE the party or meal.

2. Exercise, and then do some more. Did you workout this morning? Great, now tonight, go for a walk, get active. On the weekend rake some leaves, clean out the garage and don’t be bum! The more calories your body burns the less likely you are to gain weight. I know, duh right? Well sometimes it’s good to be reminded that catching up on with your DVR is not helping to avoid the tummy bulge or saddlebags, unless of course you are doing it on the treadmill!

3. Save it. Is your Mom’s casserole to die for and the stuffing just ok? Why waste calories on the stuff (no pun intended) you don’t LOVE or things you can eat every other day of the week? Try a taste of everything you want, but save your calories for the good stuff without overindulging in them.

4. During big meals keep it balanced and stay in control. Serve your own plate and look at it in fourths. One fourth will include one serving of protein (lean meats), another fourth should be one serving of carbohydrates (a roll, potatoes, stuffing) and the last half of your plate can be 2-3 small servings veggies (green beans, salad, peas). Balancing carbs with protein and fiber will help regulate your blood sugar (which is key for weight management), keep you more satisfied and help avoid the bulge. Any extra servings are just calories begging to be stored as fat.

5. Drink lots of water. Sometimes that feeling of hunger is actually thirst. Stay hydrated throughout the day, every day, to avoid eating extra calories and to satisfy your body’s need for water.

6. Engage and interact with your friends and family at get-togethers more than you do with your glass, plate and fork. Focus on the REAL meaning of your holidays and traditions.

Remember you can’t undo months or even just weeks of hard work in only one meal. But, by adopting healthier habits that include healthy holiday meals you can earn your ticket to a great figure now and for the rest of your years. Cheers!

By Niki Gauthier

niki@nikig.net

 

 

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Why Do you Gain Weight When You Start a New Exercise Program?

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mad at scaleDid you start a new exercise program recently to lose weight, but the scale has gone UP instead of DOWN? Don’t be alarmed! Unless you are hitting the donut shop after all your workouts, this is nothing to worry about, in fact it’s normal! See, whenever you begin or completely change your workout program, your body will retain water. This weight gain is NOT fat and it’s not even muscle, at least not yet…

 The reason for the water retention is because your muscles begin to temporarily store more glycogen when you “shock” the body with exercise that your body is not used to. This extra glycogen will pull more water into your muscles. Glycogen is simply stored carbohydrates and carbohydrates are what your bodies needs to fuel your workouts. Like super fast weight loss (like from fasting or no-carb diets), this is only a temporary condition. As your body adapts to your increased need for carbohydrates, the water retention will decrease. 

Now if you have been at it for a while and you are still not losing weight (fat) it’s time to look at your overall program and what you are eating. If you have been keeping a diet and exercise journal, this will be easy. If not, ask yourself:

 “Have I been eating to lose or just maintain?”

and

 “Have I been getting enough exercise (usually 60-90 minutes 5-6 days a week) to lose weight and change my body?”

and another question and one of the biggest issues I find with people who workout but don’t see results…

“Am I working out intensely and burning the maximum amount of calories during my workout, instead of just going through the motions?.”

If you answered no, to any question, it’s time to focus on how you can start taking steps in the right direction: more consistency, longer and/or more intense calorie burning workouts, better eating habits, balanced nutrition etc.  Just contact me if you need that little nudge….

Niki G

nicole@nikigfitness.com

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Target Heart Rate Zone is a Joke if You are Serious about Losing Weight

Target Heart Rate Zone

Have you ever heard that to lose weight you should stay in the “Target Heart Rate Zone?” This term may sound important and technical, but it’s actually a joke, especially if you are serious about losing weight.

Let me just start out by saying that while it may be safer for those just starting a workout program to start at a low intensity level, most people who are looking to change their body need a more intense exercise program. While some exercise is better than none, our bodies are amazing and you are probably capable of more than you think!

The idea behind the “Target Heart Rate Zone” is that since you use fat for energy at low intensities and primarily carbohydrates at higher intensities that you should not exercise at an intense level. Now think about this, do you really think intense exercise is bad for you and that  it won’t get you into incredible shape?  This is where the “Target Heart Rate Zone” becomes very deceptive because it’s actually the high intensity exercise that burns the MOST CALORIES! Isn’t that really the name of game? If you burn more calories, you burn more fat, period. It doesn’t matter the percentage. It’s the overall total calories burned that counts.

Carbohydrates are the preferred source of energy in the body. Why work against it? You might think, don’t I need to use fat as energy to burn fat? Nope. When you take into account the fact that high intensity exercise increases your overall metabolic rate much higher than low intensity training AFTER your workout and throughout the day, you would best make use of your exercise time doing high intensity training and burning more calories. That means that if you and your co-worker both worked out this morning and she walked for 30 minutes at a low intensity level and you ran for 30 minutes and kept the intensity level high, you would be more likely to burn more fat while you are both sitting at your desks that day. Guess who’s going to look better at the company Holiday Party this year?

So, remember this: the more calories you burn, the more fat your burn. Forget about percentages and fancy terms. Workout as hard as you can and as long as you can, eat to lose (don’t diet!!!) and you will see changes faster than you can find your calculator to figure out your “Target Heart Rate Zone.”

Additional Reading for You…..

What is the fat burning zone? Should I run more slowly to lose fat?http://www.runningforfitness.org/faq/weightloss.php

Busting the Great Myths of Fat Burning: http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/busting-the-great-myths-of-fat-burning.html

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Team Niki G Fitness Completes First 5K, The Race for the Cure in Brentwood, TN

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Team Niki G Fitness

Congratulations to Team Niki G Fitness! On Oct. 10th, after a 60 minute Boot Camp class, several of our Boot Campers loaded into one of my in-home client’s SUV and made our way  from Granny White Park to Maryland Farms to meet up with the rest of our team and run what for many of them would be their first 5k; The Race for the Cure!  The excitement they all shared at the finish line was incredible. After completing her first 5k in a little over 35 minutes, one Boot Camper came up to me and gave me a big hug saying “I ran the whole way, and it’s all because of you!” Actually, it’s because she started Boot Camp a couple of months ago, didn’t give up and stayed committed to her program. This is also the same Boot Camper who told me while running our warm up mile on her first day, “I don’t think I can do this.” Obviously, I showed her she could. Now here she is running her first 5k!

The entire team did wonderful! We all finished in about 35 minutes and which gave us plenty of time and chat and plan our next race… the Blvd Bolt on Thanskgiving Day. All I can say is stay tuned for the pictures next month because you are NOT going to want to miss them!!!

And remember, you can do ANYTHING, one step at a time!

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