How to stay sane and survive Halloween

Do you get candy anxiety every Halloween? I definitely do! Watch the video below for 7 simple strategies to get you through Halloween!

How to stay sane and not give up on my health and fitness goals through Halloween ūüéÉ Katie Kozloff Banks

Posted by Katie K Active on Monday, October 30, 2017

Are you ready to make a real change?

As many of you may already know, I came up with the idea for¬†Katie K¬†Active while working as a personal trainer in Philly. I remember my boss at the gym would always say, ‚ÄúEvery trainer needs a trainer‚ÄĚ. He was right. Having someone to keep you focused and support you isn‚Äôt mandatory to achieving your health and fitness goals, but it definitely helps! As a trainer it was my job to keep my clients motivated and push them to work hard and get them out of their comfort zone, but they also had to do their part. It was a team effort.

After posting my planking picture last week and getting some comments, I decided to see if I had something to compare it to. The top picture is from the last time we did a plank challenge, last summer. It was thrilling to see my progress over the year and see some physical evidence of all my¬†workouts. But I was also disappointed. For all those workouts and time spent trying to be healthy,¬†I¬†thought I should look more fit¬†or be a smaller size. Too many times we’re overly¬†critical of ourselves but sometimes it’s just what we need to push ourselves to make a change.

I need to be honest with myself and admit I’m not as focused as I could be. I have been working out regularly but I’ve struggled with how I’m fueling my body. Personally, I think nutrition is the hardest part. With our busy lives it can be hard to stay consistent with nutrition and exercise.¬†I truly loved being a personal trainer and working with people one on one. I miss feeling like a team, helping each other stay focused¬†on our goals and working together to achieve them. So¬†I’d like to bring on a few clients again. I’m ready to commit to myself and you, to be real with myself and make the necessary changes to my lifestyle to achieve my health and fitness goals.

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So who wants to join me? I want to¬†help you accomplish your health and fitness goals, but also to help me.¬†I’m just not where I’d like to be and I’m ready to make a real change. I want to get back to where I felt good¬†and be more comfortable in my own skin and clothes. I‚Äôm tired of always restarting on Monday and losing my motivation by Thursday. I want to be part of a team where we‚Äôre all supporting, motivating and inspiring each other to push harder and achieve our health and fitness goals.

Here’s what you get when you hire me as your personal trainer:
-Weekly meal plan
-Portion control
-Delicious recipes
-Daily check ins
-Accountability and support
-Personalized attention
-30 minute workouts
-Direct access to me

If you‚Äôre serious and want to learn more, please email me Katie@KatieKActive.com and use the subject line ‚ÄúI want to make a change”.

Let’s work¬†together to¬†get healthy and fit while navigating our busy lives!

6 Benefits of Planking Daily

I’ve always known planks are a great exercise to build core strength and provide a challenge to ourselves. There are¬†a lot of ways to do¬†planks from just a simple forearm plank to a side plank with leg raise. However, no matter how simple, I always find them a hard yet rewarding exercise. With practice improvement does come and progress can be easily measured. But if that isn’t enough of a reason, here are 6 benefits from planking daily:

  1. Improved Core Definition and Performance
    1. For a plank you use all your major core muscle groups. I’m not talking about just your abdominal muscles but it‚Äôs a total body exercise, engaging all your muscles from your head to your toes. Planks strengthen all these muscle groups to give you better overall exercise performance in addition to a stronger core.
  2. Reduces Back Pain
    1. Planks strengthen your upper back muscles in addition to your core without putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. A strong core protects your back and provides much needed support.
  3. Boost Your Metabolism
    1. Since planks challenge your entire body by strengthening more than just your abdominal muscles you’ll burn more than traditional crunches. Because it‚Äôs a total body exercise the muscles you strengthen will burn more energy even when sedentary by doing planks on a daily basis.
  4. Increased Flexibility
    1. The muscles around your shoulders, collar bone and shoulder blades expand and stretch in a plank but you’ll also be stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet and toes.
  5. Improves Your Mood
    1. Planks help stretch and relax muscle groups that become stiff from prolonged sitting releasing the muscle tightness from a sedentary day. Planks also stretch muscle groups that contribute to tension and stress.
  6. Improve Your Balance and Posture
    1. Planks strengthen your core and all the muscles needed for proper posture so you’ll be able to sit or stand up straighter with ease. Good posture also means your joints and bones are in correct alignment, which means they’ll be better maintained and healthy but it also mean your muscles will be more effective.

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Join our 15 Day Plank Challenge and reap the benefits of planking everyday! Go to our Women Who Define Brave¬†group to get all the info and join in the fun! We’ll be doing giveaways so be sure to share your planking pictures for a chance to win!¬†

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Who Inspires You?

Last night I had the privilege of listening to Kathrine Switzer. For those of you who might not recognize her name, she was the first woman to run the Boston Marathon. Kathrine was amazing to listen to because she was unbelievably inspiring in such a matter of fact kind of way.

She told us the story of how she became the first woman to run the Boston Marathon. But she said it really all started with her Father. He was the first person to really inspire her to reach further and strive for the best. Her father taught her that to be successful was simple but not without a lot of effort. That all she needed to do was put in the work and to “show up” and she would be ahead of everyone else.

Kathrine had another very influential person, the volunteer running coach at Syracuse. Although they didn’t have women’s sports yet, they let her run with the cross country team. Over time they developed a very close friendship and once she proved to him that the beliefs he had about women and their capability wrong, he became her biggest supporter. He believed in her, pushed her and was by her side when she ran the marathon.

kshandskneesIt was amazing to listen to Kathrine recount the moment in time that has now become so famous and changed women’s running and sports forever. From that moment on she has worked hard to change sports to include more women’s events. And she did!

In addition to being incredibly inspired, I thought Kathrine made a very important point. There will always be a few people who really inspire you. They will push you to do and be better and reach for what you think is unachievable. You never know who these people will be but they will touch your life in immeasurable ways. And that we all have the opportunity to be that for someone else.

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How to get started on your fitness journey

I had recently asked a group of women what¬†their biggest fitness obstacle was and the overwhelming¬†answer was “how to get started”. For some people, exercise is just a part of their life, a piece of their daily routine. But for many others, it’s hard to even know where to start.¬†Deciding to start a¬†fitness routine¬†shouldn’t be scary but getting started is often the hardest part.

Here are 9 tips on how to begin your fitness journey:

  1. Set realistic goals: Make SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely).¬†Think about your overall goal and break it down into actionable pieces. Many people start a fitness routine to lose weight. But focus on exercising 4 days a week, with 2 days being strength training and 2 days being cardio. Plan out which days you’ll workout and what you’ll do on those days. Then commit to 30 days of this plan and see where you are at the end. Most likely, you’ll lose weight or inches and gain the benefits of more energy and feeling great.
  2. Track your fitness progress: What gets measured gets managed right? So make sure you’re keeping track of measurable points so you can see your progress. This is more than just the number on the scale. Take your measurements and update them every few weeks. You may lose inches but not pounds, but it’s still progress! Or track how long you can run for or how long into a workout until you need a break. Seeing these numbers change will show you are making progress and your hard work is paying off!
  3. Celebrate your success everyday: Your fitness journey won’t always be easy, it’s challenging to change your lifestyle. It takes commitment, motivation and planning to make fitness a regular part of your lifestyle. But the benefits are totally worth it! Celebrate every day, no matter how small. Did you get in a workout when you totally didn’t feel like it? Maybe you tried something new or used a heavier weight. Or maybe you were able to make it 5 more minutes in your workout. Recognize these moments and congratulate yourself! You’re making a change and working towards your goal, each step towards that goal needs to be celebrated
  4. Get the right gear: You need to feel good and be prepared with the right clothes for your workout. If your clothes don’t fit right you could be distracted by having to constantly pull up your pants during your activity, trip over long pants, jiggle in places you don’t want to, chafing or feel uncomfortable jumping around without the proper support for the girls. All of these things could ruin your experience so make sure you invest in yourself and wear activewear meant for your activity. Plus having a new outfit will motivate you to want to show it off!
  5. Know your why: You need to have a good, strong reason as to why you want to make this change to your lifestyle and routine. There will be challenging times and you’ll want to give up,¬†but you need something to keep you focused on your goals. Why do you want to get healthy? What’s driving you? It has to be something more than “I want to get healthy”. Put something real behind it like: I want to be able to run around with my kids, I want to participate in the activities with my friends, I want to be able to get up a flight of stairs and not feel winded, I want to run a 5K without stopping etc. Figure out your why and let it push you through those difficult times when you need motivation and inspiration.img_4980-2
  6. No workout is off limits: You may want to do a workout but think you have to be at a certain level or that you can’t do a specific workout. Get out of your comfort zone and try it! There are always ways to modify an exercise to make it doable. So even if it intimidates you but looks like something you’d like to do, you should! Maybe you have to take extra breaks to get through it, so what, you’re still doing the workout and it’s all part of your journey. Modifying the exercises will help you develop the strength and stamina so that over time you will get better and eventually might not need to modify.
  7. Don‚Äôt wait: It’s a common feeling to think I’ll start my fitness routine after I’ve lost some weight or once I feel more comfortable in my body. But exercise has an amazing benefit…it gives you confidence. It helps show¬†you that you’re capable of amazing things and helps you feel good in your own body. So don’t wait until you feel better about yourself,¬†start your fitness journey and use the body you have right now to get healthy.
  8. Make¬†it fun: Find something that you enjoy! No one is going to keep doing something if they hate it or had a negative experience. It’s important to find a class or workout that you like. Try different things and you’ll find workouts that are enjoyable. Maybe you’re not the traditional workout type so get outside for a hike, sign up for a dance class or join a sports league. There’s many different ways exercise, so make sure to find something you enjoy so that you’ll want to keep doing it.
  9. Have a support system: Whether its working with a trainer or recruiting a friend to be an accountability partner, you need a support system. There will be times you’re tired or uninspired but your support team will help push you. Knowing there are other people counting on you will motivate to keep going and striving to achieve your goal!