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Do You DESERVE to be fit in 2016? Joel Harper Says YES!

Is 2016 the year you’ll JUST DO IT—get fit and become a disciplined exerciser and a more active person in general?

If you follow my Food, Fitness & Fiction blog or read my posts on TwitterInstagram or on Facebook, you know that exercise and physical activity are important—and fun—for me. Not only have I gotten into the habit of posting my near-daily workouts, but I love when others share theirs with me. With 2016 in full swing, I hope we can continue to motivate one another and that when I ask, “How did you #moveitorloseit?” you post your workout too! Accountability is key and you don’t need to run marathons or be an Iron Man to stay in shape and reap the many physical and mentalo benefits being regularly active provides.

To further help you get and stay motivated in 2016, I asked celebrity personal trainer Joel Harper, author of Mind Your Body, a few questions via email. Here are the highlights:

EZ: What’s the number one struggle you see people experience when they attempt to get fit in the New Year?

JH: Committing to consistency. People tend to set unrealistic goals for themselves in the New Year. With all the hype around a New Year’s revolution to lose weight and eat healthy in the New Year seems to set people up to attempt their New Year resolution from the wrong angle. Don’t get me wrong—setting goals for yourself are an important part. However, you want to be sure you are setting realistic goals and that you approach them from the right mindset. With the right approach, achieving the goal(s) will come more naturally and maintaining the healthy lifestyle that fits you won’t be a struggle.


Joel Harper headshot color HR


EZ: What advice do you give to people who have trouble sticking to an exercise plan (and frequently go on and off one)?

JH: People need to find their DESERVE LEVEL—it’s a rating of self-worth, self-respect and self-esteem for a given category in your life. It’s the blessing or permission you give yourself based on what you believe you deserve in your life.  Once I get a client to tap into this, then I can help them make changes. Then we find the exercise and diet plan that works best for them. If a plan fits you and your lifestyle you will find it much easier to maintain and are then less likely to go off it.

EZ: What advice do you give to people who want to get more consistent in their workout routine?

JH: When I work with clients, I first try to figure out why they haven’t been consistent in the past. Once I know where they fall short I can better educate them with techniques to balance out where they once fell short. As with anything, I recommend they plan ahead and to create a schedule for themselves to make choices automated and to incorporate their goals into their day-to-day routine.

EZ: How important is it for people to not just exercise but to stay active (e.g. slip in movement) throughout each day?

JH: It’s extremely important for people to exercise regularly and eat a healthy balanced diet if they want to achieve and maintain healthy, long lasting weight loss.  Throughout the day, I encourage people to think about everything they do and if there is an active approach, take it. When going to a meeting, walk there if possible. Opt to take the stairs rather than an escalator. Those who have a desk job can schedule time to get up from their desks to go for a walk around the office or block. When on the phone, stand and walk. This way of thinking will help keep you active. Look at like brushing your teeth—we do that on a day-to-day basis. Exercise and stretching should be thought of in the same way.

EZ: What’s your take on activity trackers/apps?

JH: I believe people should do/use what they feel works for them best, however accountability plays a huge role in achieving fitness goals. Activity trackers and apps force people to take accountability. If you think running an extra mile makes up for the burger you had for lunch, your calorie counter will show how you were sadly mistaken.




EZ: What’s your typical fitness routine?

JH: I train clients from 4AM until 9PM most days so I get in a variety of workouts. I bike everywhere and I workout with my clients. I believe in teamwork. I don’t just stand there and count. It keeps things moving and interesting and I treat myself to massages as often as possible.

To learn more about Joel Harper, visit his website here. You can also follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.

Other reads to help you get fit and stay fit:

How to Stay Fit Without Setting Foot in the Gym,

6 Tips for Keeping Your 2016 Fitness Resolutions, MoneyTalksNews.

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About The Author

Elisa Zied is a nationally recognized and award-winning health and nutrition expert, author, speaker, and spokesperson. A trusted source of food, nutrition, and health information, Elisa has garnered millions of media impressions, lending her expertise and real-world perspective to dozens of TV shows, web sites, news organizations and magazines. She’s the author of four nutrition books. An avid walker, she loves motivating others to #moveitorloseit. A book lover, she recently earned a certificate in children’s literature from Stony Brook Southampton and is currently working on several young adult novels. You can find her previous Food, Fitness & Fiction posts here and connect with her on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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