9 Fitness Trainer Tricks You Can Do Too

1
Follow the 80/20 Rule

Personal trainer doing yoga
Kayla Snell/Stocksy United

As a fitness trainer and health coach with a journalism degree, I love information. Knowledge is power. We can take what we learn and use it to live better and healthier lives. The challenge is the amount of information that’s out there and how to sort through it all. From the latest fad to the newly released facts, how do you know what to follow?

What I want you to know is that living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be complicated. It is not something you are “on or off” like that “diet” word I don’t advocate. To help you meet your fitness goals, I’ve rounded up nine simple tricks I do as a fitness trainer and you can do too. Get ready to live your healthiest life possible.

1. Follow the 80/20 rule. Eat healthy 80 percent, or most of the time. This rule is easy to follow because you can assess your day or week and know if most of the choices you are making are healthy.

Choose to eat clean (real food!) most of the time and use that 20 percent as your wiggle room. I’m probably more like 90/10 but if you can aim for 80/20, that’s great. If you eat fresh produce and lean proteins most of the time and have a dish of ice cream on the weekend, you are following the rule. Plan for indulgences. 

2
Stick to the Two-Day Rule

Fitness trainer and health coach Chris Freytag shares her personal health habits and fitness trainer tricks.

I never go more than two days in a row without exercise, even if I am traveling. If I ever miss two days in a row, I will do whatever it takes to get a workout in on that third day, even if it’s running stairs inside of a building.

Using this rule will help you build routine and rhythm around your workouts. You can skip any guilt-trip you give yourself and just get right back into exercise on day three. Now you have a realistic game plan to keep you exercising for the long haul. Rules that fit the reality of “life happens” are rules you can work into your lifestyle.

3
Strength Train

Fitness trainer and health coach Chris Freytag shares her personal health habits and fitness trainer tricks.

Strength training builds muscle, improves posture, strengthens bone density, and increases confidence and quality of life. Having muscles is key to performing daily activities (gardening, home repair, picking up the kiddos) and there are a ton of benefits to feeling stronger and more confident as a person.

Strength training can reduce the risk of degenerative diseases and the overall quality of life. As we age, our strength levels and metabolism both decrease. That’s why it’s so important to stress your body through exercise so it can grow stronger. Plus, the more muscle you gain, the more calories you burn at rest!

4
Never Skip Breakfast

Fitness trainer and health coach Chris Freytag shares her personal health habits and fitness trainer tricks.

Breakfast sets the tone for your day. When you skip breakfast or don’t eat until several hours after you are awake, you are more likely to overeat at lunch or make less than healthy choices because your hunger is driving the bus. Eat a satisfying protein-based breakfast to start your day off fueled and strong. It doesn't have to be complicated—some of the best breakfasts are no-cook! 

5
Find an Exercise You Love

Trail runner in mid air stride, on mountain ridge
Ascent Xmedia/Getty Images

Some people love exercise and can’t live without it and some people claim to hate it... and there’s a whole range of opinions in the middle.

Search for a form of exercise you love. When you love an activity, no one has to convince you to do it. You won’t have to work on your commitment to go to spin class or lift weights at the gym if those are both activities you love to do. Maybe you pick a group sport. Join a new gym. Find adult dance classes. Do aerial yoga at a studio, or resistance band training at home. You could surprise yourself with your love of running, or kettlebells.

I’m a professed group fitness junkie and can’t get enough of spinning, conditioning classes, and bootcamps. So what’s your calling? Perhaps it’s nature, hiking the trails. You’ve just got to keep trying exercise on until you’ve found the right fit for you.

6
Keep a Positive Attitude

Fitness trainer and health coach Chris Freytag shares her personal health habits and fitness trainer tricks.

Living with a positive attitude is something I preach and live because nothing productive happens out of negativity. I’ve got science on my side because research shows that when you are happy first, you are more likely to succeed in life. Having that positive attitude and being optimistic gives you the ability to set goals, believe in yourself and look for solutions to challenges.

With the right mindset, you have faith in your abilities and you are more likely to take action steps to reach your goals. Like attracts like, so if you are positive, it’s like opening your arms up for all the positive things coming right back at you. 

7
Drink Lemon Water

Fitness trainer and health coach Chris Freytag shares her personal health habits and fitness trainer tricks.

Every single morning, before I eat or drinking anything—and that includes my coffee—I reach for a big glass of lemon water. I squeeze about half a lemon into 12 to 16 ounces of room temperature water and sip. So simple, yet so good for your body! This has always been of my favorite tips to share with people who ask for an easy, start today tip, for better health. Lemon water flushes out toxins, balances your pH levels, and boosts your immunity. 

8
Do HIIT

Fitness trainer and health coach Chris Freytag shares her personal health habits and fitness trainer tricks.

Okay, I’m partial to HIIT (high intensity interval training) because I love intense workouts, but I also love HIIT because you will see results.

HIIT is a type of workout where you give maximum effort through quick intense bursts of exercise followed by short recovery periods. HIIT workouts train and condition both your aerobic and anaerobic energy systems. You get your heart rate up and improve your cardiovascular fitness level while burning more fat and calories in less time.

I love doing and teaching these high-intensity workouts because they are stinkin’ fun. Build muscle, burn calories, and boost metabolism all in one workout! Better body in less time? Sign me up! Right? 

9
Never Go to a Party or Cookout Starving

Fitness trainer and health coach Chris Freytag shares her personal health habits and fitness trainer tricks.

If you are watching calories, you might think skipping meals leading up to a party can help you save up your calories for the party, but that’s asking for trouble. When you go to a party or cookout starving, you are more likely to overeat and eat all the wrong things.

It’s okay to be hungry when you head out the door, but don’t go famished or you will eat too much and regret it later. Have a handful of nuts or something healthy that takes the edge off your hunger before you head out.

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