A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Meg's "Keep It Simple" Tips!

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I do not know why I am qualified to give you tips. I am not a nutritionist. I am not a trainer. (But I will be soon!) I'm just a gal working to find balance in her own life. I have done a lot of things right and a lot of things wrong over the years. Things seem to go south for me when I make things too complicated.

Things don't have to be complicated. In fact, most things are simple!

So I have for you, some no nonsense, simple tips to help you with... all kinds of randomness! But just one tip for each category! Keep it simple, guys!!!

Tip #1 for Nutrition...

- Read food labels.
-  Do not be tricked by misleading claims.
- Log your calories. (Not forever, just for a few days to give you information.)

I'm not going to give you tips on exactly WHAT to eat, but the main thing is to KNOW WHAT YOU ARE PUTTING INTO YOUR BODY.

Tip #1 for Exercise Adherence...

- Schedule your workout. Do not cancel it. This is a very important date you have with your health. What is more important than that?
-  Lay out your clothes/pack your gym bag/load up your iPod the night before. Have everything ready.
- Do something you love. There are a billion effective ways to get your sweat on. You are more likely to stick to your workout if it's something you enjoy.

Those who fail to plan, plan to fail!

Tip #1 for Beginner Runners... (When I say beginner, I mean you haven't run since you were forced to run the mile in gym class.)

- Do not go from nothing to declaring "I'm going to run 3 miles this morning!" You probably won't be able to do it. It's fine. You shouldn't expect that of yourself.
-  Instead, determine a set number of minutes you are going to exercise (15-20) and alternate intervals of walking and running until you have reached your goal time. (The intervals can be anything you want. Example: Walk 2 minutes, run 30 seconds.)
- Once you can do walk/run intervals for 20-30 minutes, slowly decrease your walking interval and increase your running interval. Soon you will be running for 30 straight minutes. Now you're running 3 miles!!!

Set yourself up for success with goals you can reach! Not many people can go from laying on the couch to running 3 miles the next day. But most people can go from laying on the couch and walking for 15 minutes. It's a start, and you gotta start where you're at.

Tip #1 for Running Faster!...

- Do intervals- any duration you want, just alternate easy-hard-easy-hard... etc.
-  Tempo runs.
- Run up a hill and run back down. Repeat.

I know it sounds simple, but the only way to run faster is to practice running fast! No, it's not fun. Yes, it works.

Tip #1 for cramming in a strength training workout...

- Pick exercises that use one or more large muscles groups to get the most out of your time. (Examples: bench press, pull ups, squat and press, push ups, burpees, planks)
-  Save the isolation exercises for another day.

Why do 3 sets of squats and 3 sets of shoulder presses when you can incorporate them both into one exercise? Save time, target many muscle groups in one move!

Tip #1 for cramming in a cardio workout...

- Alternate easy-hard-easy-hard, etc. When it's supposed to be hard, go all out. The goal is to be exhausted after 20 minutes of this.
- Design your own cardio circuit, deck of cards workout, or use an online Tabata timer.

If you only have 20 minutes or so, you can get in a very effective workout by incorporating high intensity intervals.

Do you have any #1 keep it simple tips to share with us?


  1. I am a nutrition teacher so I have tons of food and healthy eating tips, but as far as training, i'm still trying to figure them out! ( which is funny because my sister is a certified personal trainer and fitness instructor but I have never taken one of her classes)

  2. Fantastic tips! I've been writing down everything I put into my mouth lately, just to give me a general idea of how much I eat and if I'm eating enough. It really holds you accountable.

    1. Right!!?? When I have to stare in the face the number of calories I eat from ice cream, it makes me think about how many scoops to put in my bowl!

  3. Every once in awhile I have to go back to tracking calories in myfitnsspal because I start to slide a little and feel "heavier." So even people who have been doing this for a while slip up. I agree that you should ease in if you haven't done much. Too often people get too hung-ho then feel like they've failed when they can't accomplish something, but it takes a long time to get to that point. Patience with oneself is key.

    1. Patience! Great tip. Could work with so many things...

  4. Love these tips!!! Very useful and foolproof (which means even I can follow them!)

  5. "the only way to run faster is to practice running fast" it so simple and obvious.

    When I first started running I kind of thought I would just get faster by running more and getting more comfortable with it ... and I did, marginally. But now that I've incorporated actual speed sessions into my training I am seeing much bigger improvements!

    1. I know! The first time I ever tried speed work... oh.... 4 years ago, I didn't notice any improvements until like a month after I started doing it... which i guess would maybe be only 4 sessions. But the normal 6 mile route I would run daily, I had suddenly shaved like 5 minutes off my normal pace... and I wasn't even trying to go faster, my pace just naturally was faster. So crazy.

  6. I love these 'keep it simple tips!' I schedule 'Dates with my health' and I am more likely to go through with a workout if it is staring at me from my fridge door. ;)

  7. These tips are great, and I definitely practice/have practiced quite a few of them. Any of my friends who ask me how I manage to run 10+ miles are told that when I first started out, I could barely run a mile. I would run until I felt out of breath, and then walk a little. When I felt like I had caught my breath, I'd start running again. In my first year of running, it took me an entire summer to train to be able to run a 5k without walking.