1. 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. What better goal than to fit into your dress on the wedding day? 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.)
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. Multitask your workouts! Cut your one hour workout into 30-minutes of multitasking toning moves (doing upper and lower body at the same time while involving the core) with cardio intervals to boost your metabolism and fat burn.
5. Invest in a gym membership, DVD or trainer if you don't have one already, and use it. If you don't have the money right now, buy an inexpensive workout DVD like my Beach Bride Destination Wedding Workout at nikkifitness.com or amazon.com.
6. 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. You can find a great list on my website.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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. If you have to be at a restaurant, identify the 3 healthiest things on the menu and pick between those.
10. Weigh yourself every week to remember your goals and feel good about the choices you made yesterday.
Nikki Glor is a certified group exercise instructor and personal trainer at Crunch Fitness in New York, NY. She has her own collection of fitness DVDs available for purchase on amazon.com.
Her workouts have been featured on Fox and Friends, WABC TV 7, The New York Daily News, The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch on CNBC, and in other media such as Fitness Magazine, Woman's Day, Women’s Health, Woman’s World, and Health.com.
Visit nikkifitness.com for more information, including additional tips from this inspirational expert!