There’s no shortage of research or opinions debating the value of nutrition compared to exercise, but all experts agree that a combination of these factors are indispensable when it comes to reaching full health potential.  But sometimes neither choosing to eat healthier nor staying active can be an easy task.  Here are some tips to get clients, family, and self, eating better and moving more.

Each day, meal, and opportunity to move hands us the chance to better ourselves.  Every bite builds us, impacting each cell in the body, energy levels, and nutrient status.   Each minute spent simply moving or, better yet, purposefully engaging in a sweat session impacts our overall health, reducing health risk and leading to better health and wellbeing.  Like superior nutrition, habitual exercise has been clinically proven to have a positive impact on many conditions, from chronic and long term to acute and temporary.

In theory, our clients, loved ones, and selves can get started as soon as we lace up a pair of gym shoes and fill our plate with better choices.  With seemingly low barriers to entry, why is it that so many of us can’t remember the last time we ate an apple or used our gym membership?  Better habits take effort, planning, and knowledge so here are some tips to help you eliminate common excuses and instead inspire achievement of better.

Find the Right Carrot

Eating better leads to overall feelings of “I got this” and exercise is known to increase feel-good, come back for more endorphins.  Still, sometimes a reward that’s a bit more tangible is needed to get you out of bed when the alarm rings.  For some, “earning” an incentive like fresh new kicks or feel good apparel keeps them inspired and moving.  Others incentivize themselves with a spa date, holistically closing a loop as they move towards better health and wellness.

Implement only one rule when identifying this “carrot”.  Resist undoing hard work in the gym or the kitchen with crap calories and food-based treats.  There’s no need to be a martyr about dessert or French fries but counsel to help clients avoid falling into the mentality of “I earned it”, consequently rewarding positive progress with a reinforcement of former habits.   Food is fuel, not a reward.  Find something different to keep the fire burning within.

Tune In to Tune Out

Ever find yourself cranking through a rep or a project and realize you’ve been adding moving towards your finish line without realizing it?  Music has the power to move us, distracting us from feelings of fatigue, and even increasing mood and prompting participation if the right type of mix is in the air.  suggests that tuning into upbeat, high tempo music (~170-190bpm) for workouts requiring endurance or speed is best as a quick rhythm can foster a reduction in perceived effort and ultimately increase the benefits of exercise.  No matter the workout design, the right mix can aid in completing the task so experiment with playlists and genres until you find the right mix.

Better Nutrition Fuels Better Workouts

Feeling chronically worn down and sore post-workout is unlikely to inspire 100% the next time out.  Rather than skipping sessions or just going through the motions, the right nutrition can energize us to push our limits.  Adequate fueling and nutritional recovery is essential to protecting muscle and energy stores.  Even those with limited or reduced calorie intakes can 100% fit in proper fuel.  Design meal and snacks before a workout to support the effort and then consume a mix of protein +/- carbohydrate in the hours post-workout.  Grab a ZonePerfect CarbWise with 30g high-quality protein within an hour post-workout to help stop muscle breakdown and jump start recovery.  Then restock energy levels with whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.  Remember to add in hydrating beverages that include a mix of electrolytes to be well on the way to recovery, refueling, and rehydration.