Blog Category/Fitness/Nutrition/Wellness - Sep 25, 2018

Intermittent Fasting

' Happy Tuesday! Today I am popping on to talk about Intermittent Fasting. I have fasted in some sort or other for years, whether for medial or religious reasons, as well as the unhealthy fasting that comes with stress and personal pain. But as this way of eating has grown more popular, I wanted to learn more about it in order to implement into mine and my clients eating. The best part of IF, is that it is not a diet, instead it is a pattern of eating that I have found incredibly freeing and has allowed me to focus less on what I am eating, instead I focus on eating to fuel my body when it is truly hungry! The popular IF trends right now have people fasting 16-18 hours, which I have found to be a tad too long for me. Instead 14 hours has been my magic number. Basically I stop eating around 9pm and then eat again around 11-12pm depending on my day! This has allowed me to truly feel hungry, and I feel like my body is truly using the food I eat for fuel. When we eat, our bodies can’t use all the energy from food immediately. The leftover energy must be stored away for later use. Insulin is the key hormone involved in the storage of food energy. Insulin rises when we eat, helping to store the excess energy in two separate ways. Sugars are turned glycogen and stored in the liver. The liver only has so much glycogen storage, and the excess glucose gets stored as fat. When we fast however, the insulin levels fall, allowing our body to start using stored energy as fuel. This causes the body to use the excess glucose that was stored as fat.Insulin levels fall, signaling the body to start burning stored energy. Our bodies use Glycogen because is the most accessible energy source. Glycogen is broken down into glucose, which can power the bodies cells for up to 36 hours. Once that has been used, fat is broken down and burned as energy. In the past two months I have found more energy, been able to sleep better, and lose a few pounds! More than the weight loss which was secondary, I’ve gained more muscle tone without changing my workouts and have had less “unhealthy eating” self talk! I was worried at first that it could trigger my history of disordered thoughts and habits, but instead it has helped free me of those beliefs. I have more food freedom now that I am able to truly see food as energy, and am no longer just eating to eat. If you are interested in learning more about IF, I’d love to help you navigate it! Shoot me an email or DM!
Fitness/Training/Wellness - Jun 28, 2018

Secret to Success: Don’t Quit!

' Today’s post is inspired by a quote I saw on Facebook, but also by a pattern I have been noticing in my work both as a counselor and personal trainer. Often, when pursuing a goal exercise or athlete related, we think about either making our goal or failing to make it. However it is not that black and white, which is why this quote struck out to me so much this morning. Each goal is a journey, and like any journey, we are going to take breaks or make a pit stop that sets us back, however the only time the journey ends is when we decide to quit. Exercise should not be a temporary activity just until you lose “the last 5 pounds” and then you go back to a sedentary lifestyle. In that scenario, exercise is the break or the pit stop- not the journey. Exercise can be a powerful thing- it allows us a 30-60 minute break in our day when we can breathe, focus on our body, and thank our body for all it does through something that is good for it. It should be a lifelong habit, a way of life. Obviously not all forms of exercise are sustainable forever because of wear and tear, but there are options for everyone 98% of the time. That being said, none of us are perfect and so we will take our days off, which sometimes turn into months or years. We will have our cheat food days when we eat pizza and ice cream and drink too many beers. These days- the days we let go and allow ourselves the freedom to not exercise, or not adhere to strict food guidelines- these are NOT failures! They are simply the detours on our journey, and are often necessary for adherence to any program. Many of my clients, express guilt or a feeling of a failure after these days. They shame and guilt themselves, believing that they have failed. But then with some renewed motivation, they begin again. The pattern here is this nasty feeling of shame and guilt. Instead of being an actual motivating factor it just cuts even deeper into ourself esteem. Instead, remind yourself of the journey you are on- for lifelong health, a peace of mind and to be happy with who you are! That means embracing those times of “failure” and work them into your program. If you know you are going on vacation or celebrating, or just have a day where working out isn’t possible- work that into your week. Bring healthy food/snacks or allow yourself the space to indulge a little bit without judgement. Take a walk on the beach or wherever you may be on a trip and enjoy your surroundings! Savor the food you are eating, and enjoy the company you are with! At the end of the day- it is these experiences we remember and cherish! The only failure is in giving up on yourself and quitting! So enjoy life, enjoy healthy food and exercise and enjoy the little detours!
Fitness - Jan 23, 2018

The Benefits of Circuit Training

' My favorite way to train hands down is circuit training. It allows me to fully challenge myself and clients without ever getting bored! A good circuit should include aspects to build strength and get your heart rate up at the same time. Here are a few ways to create a killer circuit for your next workout!   1. Use strength training and plyometric exercises I love circuits that alternate strength and cardio. For example I love a squat circuit that progresses from squats, to squat pulses, to squat jumps or jacks. This type of circuit burns the gluteus and provides for the perfect muscle activation and burn! Sample Circuit: Squats Squat Pulse Squat Hold Squat Jump 2. Pick 3-5 exercises and do 3-4 rounds I love including multiple circuits in each workout (usually 2-3) and so I will choose 3-5 exercises in each circuit. I will usually create these based off of what muscle groups I want to work. I love 3-4 rounds because the first round is to learn each move, the middle one or two circuits are for really getting strong in each move, and the last round is for complete burn out. 3. Set a timer  I am a terrible counter, especially when training, as I tend to get a little chatty! I will usually set a timer for 45 seconds- 1 minute for each exercise. This sounds hard (and my clients will tell you it is) but it allows me to really push myself in each round to get as many reps as I can get in! 4. Use various Fitness Tools I am always playing around with different equipment, but I do have a few favorites! TRX, Step360 and Kettlebells are my favorite pieces of equipment to use in circuits. These often incorporate multiple body parts as well as full body stabilization which increases the overall burn. Plus using new  or different tools allow you to be constantly changing  and challenging your muscles- which is neccessary for avoiding plateau or gym boredom. Sample Circuit:

TRX Push-ups

TRX Narrow Rows on 360 with a squat hold 

360 Burpees

x3 5. Throw some treadmill intervals in Love a Barry’s Bootcamp or Orange Theory but can’t always make class? You can recreate those killer circuits by throwing treadmill (or rowing) intervals in between weight circuits! Not a runner? You can customize it so do hill intervals on a walking speed that is slightly faster than your normal pace! This is a great way to get high intensity cardio in, especially if you want to start running because you can include walking  and running intervals to build endurance. Sample Circuit: Sprint Interval Circuit: 30 s sprint 1 min fast walk or jog recover 45 s sprint 1 min fast walk or job 1 min sprint  1 min fast walk or jog 45 s sprint 1 min fast walk or jog 30 s sprint 6. Use Compound Moves To maximize my circuits as well as workouts overall, I love combining moves (also called compound moves)in order to challenge myself more and burn more in each circuit. The more muscles you work, the more calories you burn which is always a plus! In addition to an increased in caloric burn, compound moves provide dynamic flexibility, improved coordination and efficiency, and elevates heart rate. Examples of Compound Moves: Deadlift to a High Pull Squat to a Bicep Curl Single Leg Deadlift with a Tricep Kickback Reverse Lunge with a Shoulder Press These tips will help you create an awesome circuit workout to build strength, increase heart rate, and burn both calories and your muscles! It is in these circuits that we create the lasting change in our bodies.    
Fitness - Jan 16, 2018

At Home Workouts

' Happy Tuesday! It’s another snowy day here in Nashville and other places, which among other things, means it may be an excuse to not workout if your normal routine is thrown off! Not to worry, I am the queen of at home workouts! Working in a gym all day, I often find less motivation to work out there and more at home! So I have developed at home workouts using weights and body weights in order to get what I need when I need it! In today’s social media based world, its so easy to go on Pinterest and insta and YouTube and find awesome workouts you can do at home! Which is why I am so excited to launch my YouTube channel featuring only workouts to be done at home! These workouts will vary in length and intensity but can also be modified to your needs and Fitness level! Today’s workout is structured around build-up circuits and plyo AMRAPs. There is a 3 min AMRAP warm up to get your heart tease up and muscles warm! Circuit 1 and Circuit 3 are meant to warm up your muscles before the second and fourth circuits which are based on combo weighted moves. Do 1 and 3 one time and 2 and 4 three times! I used 5lb weights, but lighter weights or no weights are fine! Listen to your body and what you can do!   [embed]https://youtu.be/sZnRvpCYaik[/embed] Enjoy and enjoy and let me know how you did! xxoo Meg
Fitness - Nov 21, 2017

Seven Tips to Maximize your workout!

' Happy Tuesday! As we head into the holiday season, it is more important than ever to stick to our goals and routines especially when it comes to working out!!! Here are 7 tips to make sure you stay on track and get the results you want! 1. Be Consistent Consistency is important in maintaing a successful fitness routine. Decide at the beginning of each week which days will be set aside for strength/interval training and which days are going to be cardio days. Stick to that each day. In addition if you like to take classes, look at the schedule of classes each week and write down which ones you want to take in your calendar. That way you won’t schedule something in that time slot! 2. Follow an Effective Program As a trainer, I develop specific programs for each of my clients to make sure they are hitting the areas they want in order to get the results they want. You can do this without a personal trainer by following these steps Strength training: If you belong to a gym, ask if they do free consultations with trainers or wellness staff. Doing this will allow you to ask any questions you may hae about what kind of s trength program will be right for you, as well as show you correct form and use of different machines! Also don’t be shy- if there is a trainer on the floor without a client- ask them for tips! Strength should be done for at least 30 min 2-3 times a week. With the majority of my clients- I go for circuit style strength! This involves several exercises done at a specific number of reps or time intervals done 3-4 times. Interval training- Interval training is when you change up the intervals or intensity of your workout. For example- walking for 1 min followed by a sprint or jog for a min. You can add and take away resistance as well as changing speed. Spinning is a great example of interval training. I recommend interval training 2 days a week to see the results you want! Cardio: 30-60 minutes of steady, low to moderate activity. This can be jogging, walking, biking, water aerobics, yoga, or dancing. 1-2 times a week. 3. Set Realistic Goals When you are starting a new program, write down exactly what it is you want. Then follow the SMART technique: Specific: what is it you want? Measurable: how will you know that you have made progress? Weekly weigh-ins, inches lost, strength increases etc Attainable- can you do this? When you identify goals that are important to you, you have to figure how to make them work.This allows you to develop the attitudes and skills to reach them. You can attain most any goal you set when you plan your steps wisely and find yourself growing to match them. Acknowledging your goals allows you to build self image and worth. Realistic- are you willing and able to put in the time and effort towards this goal? How motivated are you? A harder to achieve goal will boost your motivation and is ultiamtely more likely to be accomplished! Timely- set a time frame in order to keep yourself on track. Remember we are using goals to create healthy behaviors not striving for perfection! 4. Use the Buddy System Working out is always more fun with a friend! It is also more likely to keep you accountable as you are going to the gym or to a class with another person who expects you to be there with and for them! 5. Be Happy As Elle Woods so famously said “Exercise gives you endorphins and endorphins make you happy, happy people just don’t kill their husbands” To be happy in the gym figure out what exercise you enjoy and will actually want to do. If you aren’t a class person- you wont enjoy a spin class no matter how good the music is or challenging it is! The happier you are the more you will adhere to a program! 6. Watch the Clock Listen to your body on this one. When do you have the most energy during the day? That is when you should work out! If you are a morning person, workout in the mornig before work! If you have the time and energy after work, do that! Finidng out when you have me most energy and working out then will yeild the best results! 7. Be Patient Finally, remember that these things take time. To achieve lasting weightloss and body peace, you need to take your time and allow yourself to enjoy the journey. There will be setbacks and days where no matter how hard you try you just cant workout. Allow yourself breaks, with hard work and patience all your efforts will pay off!