Trade Secrets from the SparkPeople Coaches

Wouldn’t it be great to be inside the mind of a health and fitness expert, even just for a little while? You could learn the tricks of the trade, straight from the experiences in their own lives. Do what they do, make the healthy choices they make, learn how they fit nutrition and exercise into their unique lifestyles.

Now you can! Below, your favorite SparkPeople experts share the secrets of their healthy lifestyles. Maybe there’s something they do that you can apply to your own life.

Dean Anderson: Behavioral Psychology & Stress Management Expert
Chris Downie: Goal and Achievement Expert
Joe Downie: Certified Physical Fitness Instructor
Sara Hambidge: Physical Therapist
Becky Hand: Registered Dietitian / Licensed Nutritionist / M.Ed.
Jen Mueller: Certified Personal Trainer / Fitness Coach
Nicole Nichols: Personal Trainer / Group Fitness Instructor

In my fridge, you’ll always find ________. 
DEAN: Non-fat yogurt and fresh/frozen berries
CHRIS: Yogurt
JOE: Fruits and veggies
SARA: Milk
BECKY: Milk, juice, fruit, & veggies from my garden
JEN: Yogurt
NICOLE: Fresh salsa and peanut butter

My favorite “go-to” exercise: 
DEAN: Power walk (with incline) on treadmill
CHRIS: Mini-trampoline and chair pushups
JOE: Biking
SARA: Walking (with my dog preferably)
BECKY: Walking
JEN: Running
NICOLE: Walking outside or a fitness DVD

When I usually workout: 
DEAN: Midday (11-2:00)
CHRIS: Morning and small breaks throughout the day
JOE: Evenings during the week, and to start my day on the weekends
SARA: Morning
BECKY: 3-mile walk with the dog at 6 a.m., or 5-mile bike ride with kids at 6 p.m.
JEN: 5:30 a.m.
NICOLE: Directly after work (between 5 and 7 p.m.)

My biggest temptation/obstacle: 
DEAN: Chocolate & peanut butter
CHRIS: Having too much work to do and not stepping back for a minute to re-energize
JOE: Eating late at night
SARA: Sleep/fatigue
BECKY: Night-time overeating
JEN: I LOVE sweets!
NICOLE: Sleeping too much...and pancakes!

My favorite trick for staying motivated: 
DEAN: Old (fat) photo on fridge
CHRIS: Looking at my little boy and remembering how much it’ll help him for me to have energy and be in shape
JOE: If my actions don't align with my words, I have no idea who I am.
SARA: Planning a workout with a friend
BECKY: Setting my alarm 30 minutes early, for “me” time (to exercise, do yoga, meditate, or read)
JEN: Setting small goals for myself (even during one workout) to test my limits and challenge myself
NICOLE: When I really don’t feel like working out, I commit to doing at least 10 or 15 minutes, and for the most part, once I get going I’ll keep going. This helps me remember how good it feels to be healthy; and if I decide not to continue, at least I put in a minimum amount of time. It's a win-win situation!

In my home gym, you’ll find _________. 
DEAN: Balance ball, balance boards, dumbbells
CHRIS: Recumbent bike
JOE: Swiss ball and jump rope
SARA: A treadmill and free weights
BECKY: Large exercise ball
JEN: Hand weights, a resistance band, videos
NICOLE: Stability ball, dumbbells, resistance bands, a kettlebell, yoga/Pilates mats/props/straps, and lots of fitness DVDs

In the grocery, I usually head for _________ first. 
DEAN: Fruit
CHRIS: Fruit and veggies…but I do stop and grab some Combos
JOE: Fruits and veggies
SARA: Deli for chicken salad & turkey
BECKY: Produce
JEN: Fresh fruits and veggies
NICOLE: Produce (gotta be organic!) or bulk foods section

My personal motto: 
DEAN: “Think first, then eat.”
CHRIS: “Your daily actions and words can impact more people than you realize!”
JOE: “Everything matters, but one thing won't make or break you.”
SARA: “Goals can only be achieved if you set them, and do your best to reach them.”
BECKY: “I can't, can't do anything.”
JEN: “There are no short cuts to any place worth going.”
NICOLE: “Make yourself a priority.”