Women's Health Tips from Cari Powers

3 Steps to a Better You

Article by Jamie Ames

Photography by Ruth Novella

Originally published in Boise Lifestyle

When it comes to women’s health and wellness, certain issues often come to the forefront. Cari Powers, owner of Kaiafit gym in Boise, shares issues women face when it comes to a healthy lifestyle and offers tips to help.

Women are concerned about weight. Cari recommends toning/weight training. The reason for this is the more muscle you build, the denser the tissue becomes which makes you look smaller. Muscle tissue then burns more calories than fat at rest. Simply doing regular toning exercise helps your body lose weight while you are watching TV. It can be intimidating for women to go to a gym and lift weights, so women-only gyms are a good option. They can be a safer space for women starting out.

Another issue women face is a lack of energy. Often they care for others, neglecting themselves. Women are tired, overworked and spread too thin. The last thing they want to do is to work out. Cari says adding exercise may make you tired for the first few days, but your body will rise to meet the demands you put on it, and soon exercising will energize you. Releasing endorphins also makes you feel more energetic. Exercising regularly not only gives you more energy but is also a keystone habit that can have numerous energizing trickledown effects. If you commit to getting up early to work out, you may feel more inclined to go to bed earlier and get extra sleep. After working out, you may feel inspired to make better food choices.

The third issue Cari highlighted is nutrition. More than 80 percent of positive results are because of healthy eating. Women often feel like they have constraints on what they can manage. Whether it’s picky eaters they’re cooking for, running around like crazy chauffers or working full-time, women have a lot on their plates. Cari suggests figuring out what changes you can do consistently by asking, “What can I stick with over time?” She says to make small sustainable changes, finding ways to sacrifice where it’s less impactful.

Weight Loss/Toning

Cari recommends taking a class that gives a full-body workout. It is much more motivating to work out with other people, and the accountability and encouragement you get when you go are helpful. It is important to tone everything in order to maintain a balanced body. When your body is out of balance, it can lead to a lot of problems. If you are starting out on your own at home, try resistance bands or cans of food if you don’t have weights. Pushups and squats also work.

Feeling Tired/Lack of Energy

Cari says committing time daily to care for yourself not only increases fitness, but it’s also good for your mental health. Making and keeping any kind of daily commitments strengthens your resolve and makes other obligations more attainable. To learn more about keystone habits, Cari recommends the book The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, available on audio.

Eat Well

Cari plans ahead. If she knows she will eat out Friday night, she makes an effort to eat better that day. Cari suggests “crowding out.” The more fiber you eat, the less room for junk. If you know you're going to order dessert, eat two servings of vegetables for dinner so there isn’t much room left to gorge. Then, listen to your body as you enjoy dessert. When you are full, stop eating.

“Avoid demonizing foods. You can eat whatever you want to, really. It’s about finding a balance,” Cari says.

Cari Powers and Kaiafit are online at Boise.Kaiafit.com or find them on Facebook: Kaia FIT (Boise).

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