Jill Koegel is a registered dietician and certified personal trainer based in Omaha. She blogs every Wednesday for Livewellnebraska.com. Read more from Jill here.
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Of all the health-related gadgets and programs, apps and super foods, there's one thing that clings to its status as a magic tool. It's simple and effective, sort of like making a phone call versus sending a text. It might take longer, but you'll get the right answer and there's no mistaking the message.
Introducing (drum roll please) the classic white board. The great news about this oh-so-simple tool is that you may already have one lying around.
Years ago, a couple came to me for nutrition counseling. They needed a way to plan meals that could be quickly prepared and ready to go when they finished a workday. Since the husband usually started the meals, he needed direction in order to avoid take-out or a not-so-healthy frozen meal.
I suggested a small, magnetic, calendar-style white board. On Saturdays, the couple would take an inventory and decide on a protein and vegetable for each night, then record those on the white board. Every night they would look ahead and determine what needed to be defrosted and which quick-n-easy recipe to utilize.
In personal training, the giant easel-style white board helps me stay focused on the client instead of always having to think about which exercise is next. Individualized workouts have purpose, and I love using the white board to get the most of my preparation for each client. Plan, write, erase. Repeat!
Recently, I had another experience with a client who requested that I record his workouts on a simple, gridded white board in his own home gym. He wanted something to follow and something to check off. The white board is now an accountability tool!
Some might think white boards are for conference rooms. So why not get fancy? How about dry erase paint?
I love this idea and so do home decorators. In the the area with your exercise equipment, paint a small section of the wall and use it as a permanent white board. This also serves as amusement for young children while you're trying to workout. You can do this in your kitchen, or use chalkboard paint if you'd rather, to record meal plans or the menu for the week.