Success through Accountability!

Accountability Partners

Accountability Partners: Dianne Bailey and Holly Kouvo

We all like to think we can accomplish things on our own, but sometimes we need others to hold us accountable.

I am a very motivated person. I get a lot accomplished.  I also realize that since I am working on my own, I need someone to be accountable to.  I have belonged to a few different Mastermind groups that kept me accountable to the other members. Through one of these groups, the Be Better Project, I met Dianne Bailey. Dianne is a fellow personal trainer who lives in Denver, Colorado.  We have been accountability partners for almost 10 years.  We have a phone call every 3 weeks and discuss our goals that we want to achieve, review what we have accomplished, discuss ideas together, and hold each other accountable if we didn’t accomplish what we said we were going to.  We coach each other.  We do get together in person every few years and see each other at industry events.  My husband Steve and I are going to Denver this month to visit with Dianne and her husband Jim, and they came to visit us two years ago.

When I work with my clients, I am not just their coach, I am their accountability partner.  If they are an online client, I keep track of their food logs, the workouts they have checked in, any issues that may have come up and I call them on it.  If I don’t see any activity from a client in a few days, I will email and ask if something is going on that is preventing them from exercising.  They know I am keeping track of them.  If they are a one-on-one client, I am seeing them every week and keeping them accountable.

One of the reasons I choose to have a team in the Whole Life Challenge is because people need to be accountable to the team by writing a reflection every day.  I can tell you, that is why my husband and myself got the results we did in the last Challenge.  There is something to be said for having to rate how you are doing every day and then having to tell the whole team how you did.

By the way, you can still join the Fitting Fitness In® Team for this Whole Life Challenge through October 9, 2019.  Click Here if you want to join my team!

If you don’t have an accountability partner, this article details six reasons why you may want to get one.  They are:

  1. You will get an extra push that you need in your business.
  2. You will have someone to bounce around ideas with.
  3. You will have someone to stay accountable to.
  4. You will have someone to share accomplishments with.
  5. You will have someone who can be totally honest with you.
  6. You will drastically increase your productivity.

If you would like to work with me online and have me as your coach and accountability partner, just email me and we’ll get started.

Holly Kouvo is a certified Personal Trainer, Nutrition Specialist, Functional Aging Specialist, Brain Health Trainer, speaker and writer.

 

Get Your Best Body Ever (A step-by-step plan)

Is your body in the shape you want it to be? Do you feel free to wear whatever you’d like without needing to cover up any trouble spots?

If not, then I’ve got a step-by-step plan to get you into your best body ever…

 

Best Body Ever Step #1: Program Your Mind

Your mind is your number one ally when it comes to achieving your goals. However, until your mind has been programmed for success, it will do more to derail your efforts than to help you.

  • Take a few moments each day to visualize yourself at your ideal weight. Imagine how it feels to look the way you’ve always wanted.
  • Protect your mind from any negative self-talk. If a negative thought comes to mind, immediately reject it.
  • You want to be thin and fit, and yet you think of yourself as out-of-shape and fat. Re-program your mind to think of yourself as fit and attractive, and you will be well on your way toward achieving your goal.
  • Give up the belief that you can’t achieve the body you’ve always dreamed of. See it first in your mind, and then in the mirror.

Best Body Ever Step #2: Conquer Your Fear

Change makes most of us nervous – even if it is a change in the right direction. You may not be consciously aware of the fear you have of getting into shape. Until you conquer this fear, your best body efforts will be blocked by self-sabotage.

Professional speaker and author, Anthony Robbins, has outlined three specific beliefs that you must have in order to conquer your fear and instantly create a lasting change.

  • Believe that something MUST change. You can’t be wishy-washy about it. You can’t be considering it. You can’t even be pretty sure about it. You’ve got to be rock solid.
  • Believe that YOU must change it. You can’t pass the buck of responsibility and expect to lose weight. It’s on your shoulders. Other people will prove to be great assets in your journey, but in the end you are the one who is going to make it happen. You have to want this weight loss enough to make it your personal mission.
  • Believe you CAN change it. You may have failed in the past, but that doesn’t matter. When you put your mind to it, you’re able to do amazing things. Do you believe that you are capable of losing weight? Once you own the belief that you can, you’ll be unstoppable.

Best Body Ever Step #3: Lose Your Excuses

Your excuses for being out-of-shape are getting old. An excuse takes less immediate effort than an action, but in the long run the action taker always has the advantage. Don’t allow excuses to ruin your life any longer.

  • Don’t skip out on your responsibilities with excuses, instead expect more from yourself.
  • Focus on the big reason why you are losing the weight. Make a list of the benefits you’ll enjoy once you achieve your goal and read them first thing each morning.
  • Remember that you can only have two things in life: excuses or results. Which do you want?

Best Body Ever Step #4: Strengthen Your Commitment

How many times have you tried to lose weight, only to give up a week or two later? We live in a commitment-phobic world, so it’s no wonder that you routinely abandon your goals. If you truly want to lose weight, then your commitment to the process is a must.

  • The margin between success and failure is bridged by your commitment. Don’t give up until your goal has been achieved.
  • Treat exercise with the same importance as a work meeting, and you’ll never skip it at the last minute. Find three available 30-minute time slots in your schedule and mark them on your calendar. Now stick to your schedule.
  • If you don’t give up, then you’ll never fail.

Best Body Ever Step #5: Control Your Diet

If you consistently eat the wrong food, then your weight loss efforts will all be in vain. To put it bluntly, you need to stop eating junk. Processed foods, refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup do not belong in your diet if you want to be in great shape. Cut these items out of your diet and replace them with real whole foods like lean meats, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and fruits.

  • Don’t eat processed foods. Even though processed foods are accepted by our society, they contain tons of chemicals and empty calories that will make you sick and fat.
  • Fat contains twice the caloric density of protein and carbohydrates, so make sure to limit the amount that you consume. Eat lots of lean proteins and wholesome carbohydrates from plants and whole grains.
  • Vegetables, whole grains, fruits, nuts and seeds are filled with fiber and antioxidants which are vital for healthy weight loss. Snack on these instead of packaged treats.

Best Body Ever Step #6: Utilize Your Patience 

It takes time to transform your body from fat to fit, even though you want it to happen overnight. Remind yourself that it took time to put the weight on, so it will take time to take the weight off. When you find your patience wavering, or when you encounter a frustrating plateau, do the following:

  • Review your goal. Is it specific and measurable? Is it small and attainable, rather than monumental? Focus on your goal when the going gets tough.
  • Make each workout a new experience. Challenge your body with different resistance, new exercises and a varied pace.
  • Remember that anyone can have one great workout, but that won’t get you the body you want. The only way to achieve your goal is by consistently exercising and eating right, plain and simple.

Best Body Ever Step #7: Build Your Support

People who exercise alone are less challenged, less accountable and are more likely to fail. It makes sense. Who would rush to the gym if no one is was waiting for them? Who would push themselves if no one was paying attention? Exercising solo is a recipe for disaster.

  • Find a workout partner who is in better shape than you, or better yet, work with me, your local fitness expert, to guarantee your results.
  • I am passionate about seeing you achieve results—don’t waste your time, energy and effort on mistakes.
  • When you start a program with me, you suddenly have the upper hand on weight loss. I’ll be in your corner, coaching you each step of the way, keeping you accountable to workouts and giving you that dose of encouragement when you need it most.
  • Not local? Work with me through my online programs and Fitting Fitness In App.

Get serious about your results and begin the last weight loss program that you’ll ever do.

Call or email today to schedule your first workout.

Holly Kouvo is a certified Personal Trainer, Nutrition Specialist, Functional Aging Specialist, speaker and writer.

Join me in the Whole Life Challenge

 

The Fall is a great time to get back into a routine of eating healthy and exercising.

Why not make a goal and be accountable to reach that goal.

Here is a way to make healthy changes in your life and have fun doing it. The Whole Life Challenge (WLC) is a way to achieve your goals along with others, and maybe add a little competitive fun along the way.  Join with a friend or two and keep each other accountable.

What is the Whole Life Challenge?

Join the Fitting Fitness In Team!

It is an online challenge that focuses on 7 Daily Habits:

  • Nutrition
  • Exercise (10 minutes a day)
  • Mobility
  • Hydration
  • Sleep (more sleep is my goal!)
  • Well-Being
  • Reflection

YOU get to choose your goals for each daily habit.  YOU choose a level of Nutrition and are provided with the food list for that level.

This video gives a great explanation of the challenge and the 7 Daily Habits you will focus on.

What better way to stay on track for 6 weeks before the holidays?  As you move through the challenge, you will earn points for yourself and the team.  All of this will be tracked for you online.

I want to be there for YOU and will keep you motivated daily with motivational messages.

Doing some traveling this Fall?  No problem, you can do the WLC from any location with internet access.  You can be local or you can be hundreds (or thousands) of miles away and still feel like you are part of a team.  You are not alone in this challenge.

Anyone can participate, whether you are just starting out on your health and fitness journey or you are a regular in my fitness classes and want more accountability to keep on track.

The WLC starts on September 28th, but don’t wait to register.

Join my team now!  Click here to register.

Holly Kouvo is a certified Personal Trainer, Nutrition Specialist, Functional Aging Specialist, speaker and writer.

Alzheimer’s Disease: Are There Ways to Prevent it?

Everyone knows that growing older comes with its challenges. Aches, pains, and occasional forgetfulness can be inconvenient and alarming. However, as we age, the possibility of more serious issues can come into play.

As some of you may know, my family has experienced the hardships of Alzheimer’s. Seeing the impact of this form of dementia first-hand serves as a call to take steps towards the possibility of preventing the onset of this disease. In support of Alzheimer’s Brain Awareness month, I want to focus on what Alzheimer’s is, as well as several ways that we can help to prevent Alzheimer’s by “strengthening” our brains.

“Alzheimer’s is not just a disease of old age,” as the Alzheimer’s Association explains. Though, the majority of those affected are seniors, early-onset Alzheimer’s does affect thousands of Americans. This disease is a form of dementia which worsens over time and causes loss of memory and other cognitive functioning. As “abnormal structures called plaques and tangles” develop in the brain, nerve cells become depleted and die. This nerve cell death in the body’s control center accounts for the loss of memory and functioning. Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s. Multiple treatments do exist, yet they do not stop the progression of the disease.

Heart connection

There seem to be some correlation between the conditions that increase your risk of cardiovascular disease (high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol) being the same conditions that increase your risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

Taking some of the same precautions to reduce your risk of developing heart disease will also reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Diet and Exercise

Because regular exercise increases blood and oxygen flow to the brain, exercise lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia.

It is always good to consult with your doctor before starting an exercise program.  Taking a walk every day is a good way to get started.

Eating a heart-healthy diet may also protect the brain.  Limiting your intake of sugar and saturated fats helps to achieve this, as well as eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Social Connectedness and Mental Challenges

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, a number of studies show that “maintaining strong social connections and keeping mentally active as we age might lower the risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s. Experts are not certain about the reason for this association. It may be due to direct mechanisms through which social and mental stimulation strengthen connections between nerve cells in the brain.”

Staying active in your community and doing activities to keep your brain engaged and challenged are a great way to do your part in preventing the disease.  Reading, solving crossword puzzles, doing jigsaw puzzles, painting, doing word searches, and other brain games will keep your brain challenged.  It is important to try new things as well.  If your brain is used to doing crossword puzzles, change it up and do a jigsaw puzzle or Sudoku.  There are many programs online and on your phone that will keep your brain challenged.  Try new things!

Living a healthy lifestyle consisting of exercise, eating healthy and keeping your brain active will go a long way in preventing Alzheimer’s disease.

To learn more about Alzheimer’s go to https://alz.org/

Holly Kouvo is a certified Personal Trainer, Nutrition Specialist, Functional Aging Specialist, speaker and writer.

7 Tips to Manage your Weight

You’ve heard that managing your weight is all about the lifestyle, and not the quick fix, so today I’d like to give you 7 habits that fit people have. These following 7 habits are held by successfully fit people…wonder if you could apply a few to your own life.

1. Approach Each Day with Perspective

Fail to meet your fitness goals today? Move on. Tomorrow is another day to make smarter decisions. When you wake up, rededicate yourself to your fitness goals without beating yourself about whatever mistakes you made in the past. After all, you can’t change what you did yesterday. All you can control is right now. So get to it!

2. Know Your Body

When you finish a workout, you should feel good. If you don’t, then something needs to change. Either your diet or routine is throwing you off. Fit people know how everything they do affects their body and they take steps to avoid those things that make them not feel and perform their best. Learn how your body responds and care for it accordingly.

3. Find Ways Around Excuses

If you’ve ever wondered why you can’t quite get fit, it may be your proclivity for caving to pressure. And that pressure may be self-induced. Fit people do not give into excuses for why they shouldn’t exercise. Quite the contrary. They are continually finding reasons why they should hit the gym and find pockets of time to do it-even if the trip to the gym is shorter than usual.

4. Eat and Sleep Well

Study after study has shown the benefit of eating whole, unprocessed foods. It provides energy and strength, helps you feel full throughout the day, and makes your time in the gym as fruitful as possible. Getting good sleep is equally as important, as it keeps all your bodily systems in rhythm. Put these two fit activities together and you’re well on your way to optimal fitness.

5. Track Your Progress

For some, keeping tabs on health progress is about as exciting as watching paint dry. Once you get into the routine, however, you will become a believer in the power of tracking your progress. Tracking serves to both reward and motivate you, as you see that the countless hours in the gym and smart food choices lead to a healthier weight and greater strength-a.k.a. better overall fitness and health.

6. Think While You Exercise

It can be easy to mindlessly run on a treadmill at the gym if you’re not careful. Just remember that fit people don’t do such a thing. They are very intentional about everything they do at the gym. This means if you want to be fit, you should put some brainpower into what you include in your workout and how you perform each repetition. This allows you to get maximum benefit from your gym time and reduces the risk of injury.

7. Lean On Your Trainer

The final thing fit people do is rely on someone with lots of know how in the realm of fitness. This is why my clients have such a high success rate in achieving their goals – because I make sure that they stick with it! I have a sincere interest in your overall health and well-being and know how to help you reach the goals that can seem so far away when you’re trying to achieve it on your own.

Holly Kouvo is a certified Personal Trainer, Nutrition Specialist, Functional Aging Specialist, speaker and writer.

What is a Tabata workout?

What is a Tabata workout?  Tabata training is a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout, featuring exercises that can last up to four minutes.

Tabata training was discovered at the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo by Dr. Izumi Tabata and his team of researchers.

They conducted research on two groups of athletes.  The first group of athletes trained at a moderate intensity for one hour, five days a week for six weeks.  The second group of athletes trained at a high-intensity for 4 minutes 20 seconds with 10 seconds rest between exercises, four days a week for six weeks.

The results showed that the high-intensity workout had more impact on the athlete’s aerobic system (cardiovascular) and the anaerobic system (muscle) than the moderate intensity workout.

When I design a program for clients, I look at how much time they have to workout and what their goals are.  I often design a 15-minute workout that starts with a warm up, then a 2-cycle Tabata workout, next some abdominal work, and ends with stretching.  Since most of my clients are not athletes, I modify the Tabata workout slightly to make it achievable.

When a client starts out, they do not have to go as fast or as intense as the traditional Tabata workout.  As they become more fit, they make the workout more intense.

This is how I structure most of my 15-minute workouts:

1 minute – warm-up

20-30 seconds – Exercise (4-6 exercises) – depending on the client’s fitness level

10 seconds – Rest

1 minute – Recovery

Repeat cycle

3 minutes of Abdominal work

3 minutes of Stretching

I have found that using an App on your smartphone for the timing keeps you moving along quickly without unnecessary breaks.  There are several Apps available; some have music that adjusts the beats per minute based on the interval phase.

It is always good to change up your exercise program.  Adding in a Tabata workout is a great way to get variety and give you a more intense program.

Holly Kouvo is a certified Personal Trainer, Nutrition Specialist, Functional Aging Specialist, speaker and writer.

Turn your Pool into a Gym!

Turn your pool into a gym by doing your workout in the water! Living in New England, I like to embrace the different seasons by changing up my workouts seasonally.  In the summer, make use of your (or your local) pool and get your workout in while getting some sun at the same time. Pool workouts are great for many reasons: they are effective at working the muscles, they are easy on the joints, and, they are sweat-less!

I have the luxury of sitting by my pool while writing this post.  Luckily it is not too hot yet!

Here are some of the benefits of water fitness:

  • Water adds 12-14% more resistance than the resistance felt when you exercise on land.
  • Water provides multidirectional resistance. Since your muscles generally work in pairs, the water allows your opposing muscles to work at the same time. It provides a more functional workout.
  • The water adds buoyancy, which allows many people to do movements that they may not be able to do on land.
  • Water regulates your temperature so you do not overheat.
  • Water can be used for rehabilitation when injured, as well as to prevent injuries.

The Aquatic Exercise Association states that your body, when immersed up to the chest, bears 25-30% of your total body weight.  Immersed up to your waist, it bears 50% of your body weight. The more immersed in the water you are, the less impact it has on your joints, however, the more immersed in the water, the less control you may have on your movements.

You do not need a lot of equipment.  You can get a good cardio workout just swimming with a noodle or kick board.  If you want to get a full body workout, you may want to purchase some water weights, maybe a water running belt, or even water gloves.

The structure of your water workout should be:

  • Warm up (3-5 minutes)
  • Warm up stretch (3-5 minutes)
  • Aerobic workout
    • Warm up (3-5 minutes)
    • Increased intensity (5-10 minutes)
    • Cool down (3-5 minutes)
  • Strength workout (10-20 minutes)
  • Cool down stretch (3-5 minutes)

Most water equipment comes with instructions on exercises you can do with the equipment.  If you want to see a sample water workout, stay tuned for my next episode of “Get Healthy with Holly” for the video of a full water workout.

Holly Kouvo is a certified Personal Trainer, Nutrition Specialist, Functional Aging Specialist, speaker and writer.

Can you be Fit and Fat?

Let’s face it, most of us start an exercise program to lose weight!  Yes, there are the few health-conscious people who start exercising for their health and I applaud you.  For the rest of you, exercise is a way to attain your weight loss goal.  Some have more weight to lose than others.  Once you get started on your exercise program, you start to feel better, stronger, and more energetic.  You may not have lost weight, but you are already seeing the health benefits.

York University in Toronto conducted a study (BMC Obesity 2017; doi:10.1186/s40608-018-0183-7) which evaluated the cardiovascular health benefits of fitness for people with mild to severe obesity.  The results showed that “you can get fit without losing weight and have health benefits.”  In the study, patients attended a weight management clinic and researchers evaluated their fasting blood measures and maximal treadmill stress test results.  Their data showed that individuals who were more fit were less likely to have high glucose, triglycerides, and blood pressure regardless of their weight when compared to people that were less fit.  The study shows that having a high fitness level is still beneficial even if your BMI (Body Mass Index) is 40 or higher.

So, get out there and move and keep moving.  Yes, you can be fit and fat!

Holly Kouvo is a certified Personal Trainer, Nutrition Specialist, Functional Aging Specialist, speaker and writer.

Do you sabotage your efforts with food?

Why is it we could do such a great job of getting to the gym (or at home) and work out, then sabotage our effort by eating poorly?

You spend an hour working out doing strength training and cardio and you feel great afterwards.  Do you then say to yourself, “I did my workout, now I deserve a treat?”  How do you feel after eating that treat?  Does it make you feel better?  Does it move you closer to your goal weight?  Are you mad at yourself for eating it?  Why do we eat it?

One of the things I noticed when I started to take my workouts seriously was my attitude towards food.  I no longer looked at it as a treat or thought about how good my dinner was going to taste.  I looked at food more as fuel for my body.  I had muscles and I felt good about my body, I did not want to feel crappy by eating fat laden food or a lot of sugar.  My food still tastes good.  It is healthy and good tasting!

I teach my clients to eat supportively.  Eating supportively means eating every 3-3.5 hours, eating smaller meals that consist of a lean protein, a starchy carbohydrate, and a fibrous carbohydrate.  This is a meal that is highly thermic.  A thermic meal is one that causes your body to burn a lot of calories when digesting it.  Ideally you want to make every meal as thermic as possible.  By eating every 3-3.5 hours, you keep your metabolism burning at an even rate all day long.

Really, the key food to eat which will benefit you the most is lean protein.  If you only have time for a quick snack, make it a lean protein snack (preferably one without a lot of sugar).

When I know I will be in my car all day going from one class or client to another, I plan for my snacks and pack an insulated bag with my water bottles and my snacks.  Sometimes my snack is a small portion of almonds or a Greek yogurt.  Sometimes I make more of an effort and pack up some whole wheat crackers, cucumber slices, and rolled up “all natural turkey” slices.  I will put my little snack together and eat it in my car.

I think the key is to change how you look at food.  Change your attitude towards it.  Think of it as fuel for your awesome body.  Your body needs healthy fuel to be able to do the workouts you want to do (or need to do if I have assigned them to you 😊).

Also, if you do get off track, restart immediately.  Don’t think that because you already messed up you can continue eating that way for the rest of the day.  Before putting food in your mouth stop and think, will this be good fuel for my body?

I think you will find yourself eating healthy more.  Once your body is used to healthy food, when you eat something that is not so healthy, your body will let you know.

Stop sabotaging your efforts, change the way you think about food!

Holly Kouvo is a certified Personal Trainer, Nutrition Specialist, Functional Aging Specialist, speaker and writer.

Bucket List

Have you made a bucket list?

A bucket list is a list of all the goals you want to achieve, dreams you want to fulfill and life experiences you want to experience before you die.

If you haven’t made a bucket list I highly recommend you make one.  It won’t cost you anything, but it will give you clarity on what you want out of life.  It is important that you don’t limit yourself by cost, logistics or lack of someone to join you for these adventures.  Just write them all down and get them on paper.

Consider some of these popular items on people’s bucket list:

  • Travel around the world
  • Learn a new language
  • Try a new profession in a different field
  • Achieve your ideal weight
  • Run a marathon or do a triathlon
  • Go scuba diving or snorkeling
  • Go skiing (water or snow)
  • Try a new sport (maybe an extreme sport)
  • Go horseback riding
  • Climb a mountain
  • Be a mentor to someone
  • Fly in a hot air balloon
  • Start a business
  • See the northern lights
  • Further your education

The list could go on.  You could have over 100 items on your bucket list.

What if you want to climb a mountain or go scuba diving?  Would you be at a fitness level to do these items on your bucket list?  Don’t wait until you are de-conditioned so much that you can’t walk around a city all day while traveling in Europe.

Make sure you are exercising now and doing strength training so that you can walk on those unstable surfaces on the mountain trail or be able to get on and off a boat to go out to the coral reefs to see the best marine life.

Don’t wait to start exercising and build up your stamina and strength to do the things you want to do.  Join an exercise class near you.  If you are a senior, there are plenty of senior fitness classes in your area.  Take advantage of them and improve your fitness level so you are able to do what is on your bucket list.

Travel is big on my bucket list.  I want to go to Ireland, cruise through Alaska and see the Redwood Forest.  Where do you want to travel?

Holly Kouvo is a certified Personal Trainer, Nutrition Specialist, Functional Aging Specialist, speaker and writer.