The Phoenix Rising Collective

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The Take 3 Method: Eating the Right Amount of Good Food at the Right Time

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I like fitness, but I also like to eat.  I would assume the latter part of that sentence is true for most people. I mean, seriously, food is good and we need it to survive. That is why I am not a big fan of diets. Instead, I believe in eating the right amount of good food at the right time.

As part of my Tabata Bootcamp program, I talk to my clients about nutrition.  Nutrition is an extremely important part of your life and fitness program.  Bad nutrition can completely sabotage a great workout.

Every time you sit down to eat ask yourself three simple questions:

  1. Am I hungry?
  2. Is it a good choice?
  3. How much do I need?

 

Many times we eat out of boredom: While we’re sitting at the computer, watching a movie, or reading a book. Or we eat because it is convenient: At a party, “food day” at work, or meals sent over by relatives. Before you eat, ask yourself if you are really hungry. If your answer is “no”, stop there! Also, try drinking a glass of water then waiting. Our stomach sends the same signal to our brains for thirst as it does for hunger. You may think you are hungry and really you may just be thirsty.

If you truly are ready for a meal or a snack, the next question should be, “is it a good choice?”.  Yes, you may be hungry, but a Snickers bar from the vending machine is not a good choice. Instead, pack carrot sticks, cucumber slices, almonds, low-fat cheese, pistachios, or fruit.  If you are at dinner, go for the whole grains and lean meat such as fish or baked chicken instead of fried foods or red meat.

PhotoGrid_1428275789533-1The last important question is about portion. I grew up in an Italian family where you were expected to eat the full portion and usually a second helping as well.  However, despite your family’s expectations or what society tells us, we do not need to finish everything on our plates.  In fact, most restaurants give us way TOO MUCH food!  Eat slow and drink lots of water.  When you are full…stop! If you are at a restaurant, immediately ask for a to-go box and box up half of your meal before you even take a bite. This will remove the temptation to eat it all. This last question is also important if you allow yourself to have dessert: Take a few bites, but you do not need to eat the whole piece (or whole bag of cookies)!

Food Journaling:

I also recommend finding an accountability partner.  Together keep a food journal. Write down everything you eat during the day and then at the end of the week share you journal with your partner.  If you know someone is checking your progress, you are less likely to eat the bacon cheeseburger and fries.

There are great apps available as well to help you track your food intake, such as MyFitnessPal.

Fitness and nutrition go hand in hand. If you are committed to living a healthy lifestyle, don’t forget the importance of healthy food choices.  Step away from the diet and choose to use the Take Three Method.

In health, fitness, and love!

Megan

 

Want more details on The Take Three Method? Well, take a look at the Tabata Bootcamp Nutrition Guide.  For additional fitness coaching, contact Megan here.

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About the Contributing Writer:

Megan_Weidner[PRC Health Contributor]Megan Weidner is the Health + Wellness contributor for The Phoenix Rising Collective; she is a fitness coach and environmentalist in the Akron/Canton, Ohio area. She manages a global sustainability and corporate responsibility program for a large multinational company; her areas include environmental compliance, social equity, community engagement and health and wellness. Megan is also devoted to Rock. It. Fitness., her fitness and natural skincare business. She is committed to making the world a better, more environmentally friendly and healthier place through motivation and education. She is certified through AFAA and Tabata Bootcamp.  She has a B.S. in Soil, Environmental, and Atmospheric Science (University of Missouri), a Graduate Certificate in Environmental Management and Policy (University of Denver) and an M.P.A (University of Missouri).  She lives in Green, Ohio with her husband and three kids.


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A 6-Minute Workout: Never Underestimate Yourself and What Your Body Can Do (Video)

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A few weeks ago, I held my first “beginner” class at a studio in Green, Ohio. The participants were shy and nervous, but they ROCKED it! So many of the women in my class had not exercised in years; some had injuries, most were not happy with their current weight, but all were motivated to make a change. Because of that motivation, they ventured out in a particularly cold and snowy northeast Ohio night to let some stranger work them out. The most exciting thing about this whole experience is that these ladies were NOT beginners! My classes are not easy; even when the title of the class says “beginner”, it is a tough workout. Too often, the first step is to believe in ourselves; to know that we simply…can.

My point to all of this? Do not underestimate yourself and what you can do. If you haven’t exercised in months, years, or never in your life – start now! Now is your time. Start slow and find something that you enjoy. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on a gym membership or a trainer; most things you can do in the comfort of your home. A trainer or fitness coach is great for motivation and for showing you how to do new exercises, but again, don’t underestimate you.

Below are a couple of example workouts to get you started and for additional motivation!

Consult a physician before engaging in any type of workout. Warm up and cool down adequately.

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Lunge Demonstration – Megan Weidner, The PRC Health + Wellness Contributor

Workout #1 – Lunges

High knees (step or jog) 20 seconds, rest 10 seconds

Side lunges alternating sides 20 seconds, rest 10 seconds

Repeat both

Jumping jacks (step to the side or jump) 20 seconds, rest 10 seconds

Step back lunges alternating legs 20 seconds, rest 10 seconds

Repeat both

Push-ups (from floor or wall; you can drop your knees on the floor and push up) 20 seconds, rest 10 seconds

Plank 20 seconds, rest 10 seconds

Workout #2 – Burpees

Tabata: Burpees – 20 seconds; and 10 second rest (Repeat 8 times)

[Also, click here to learn more about Tabata]

Jump or step side to side 20 seconds, 10 second rest

Squat walk (squat position, take two steps forward and two steps back, repeat) 20 seconds, 10 second rest

Repeat

Here’s How to Do a Burpee:

Start by adding a simple 6-minute workout each day. Most of my clients find that getting the short exercises completed in the morning is best for energy levels and for their schedules.

In health, fitness, and love,

Megan

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Megan_Weidner[PRC Health Contributor]Megan Weidner is the Health + Wellness contributor for The Phoenix Rising Collective; she is a fitness coach and environmentalist in the Akron/Canton, Ohio area. She manages a global sustainability and corporate responsibility program for a large multinational company; her areas include environmental compliance, social equity, community engagement and health and wellness. Megan is also devoted to Rock. It. Fitness., her fitness and natural skincare business. She is committed to making the world a better, more environmentally friendly and healthier place through motivation and education. She is certified through AFAA and Tabata Bootcamp.  She has a B.S. in Soil, Environmental, and Atmospheric Science (University of Missouri), a Graduate Certificate in Environmental Management and Policy (University of Denver) and an M.P.A (University of Missouri).  She lives in Green, Ohio with her husband and three kids.


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A Healthy, Fit New You – Every Movement Counts

PhotoGrid_1422966824372 IT’S A NEW YEAR, and here’s to a new you! Let me introduce myself: My name is Megan Weidner; I am 34 years old, a mother of three kids, a wife, an tree-hugger environmentalist by day and a fitness junkie coach by night. I own and operate Rock. It. Fitness  – an energetic, effective, and FUN in-home, online and group fitness bootcamp.

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Megan, Health + Wellness Contributor: “In all seriousness, moving is essential and every movement counts.”

Fitness is much more than dieting and taking a few classes at the gym – it is a lifestyle, and as the health and wellness contributor for The Phoenix Rising Collective, I hope to inspire you to live a healthy, happy, and prosperous life through activity and healthy eating. My disclaimer: All of my exercises are suggestions. I am not a nutritionist but through my own experiences, life choices, fitness training and reading, I believe I have the knowledge, and definitely the passion, to help you create a new you in 2015. So here we go… ACTIVITY TIP:I like to move it, move it…I like to move it, move it…I like to…MOVE” (If you’re a mom, dad, aunt, grandmother, sister, cousin, or teacher you know EXACTLY what movie this is from and you just danced in your chair). In all seriousness, moving is essential and every movement counts: Walking out to the mailbox, walking to the copier at work, playing with children, dancing, and of course, biking, running and lifting. In my classes, I use a method called TABATA; it is awesome, and with an awesome workout you get awesome results. Tabata pushes your body into the anaerobic zone; the zone where the body is forming lactate and promoting strength, speed, power, and muscle-building – basically where all of the good stuff is happening. Tabata is a form of “high intensity interval training”, but please don’t be intimidated by all of those words; you can turn anything into a “tabata”.  A tabata exercise means that you are taking your current level up a notch or two for twenty seconds, back down to normal for ten seconds, then back up for twenty seconds and repeating eight times for a total of four minutes. Try adding this to your walk around the block or on the treadmill: After warming up, increase your speed or jog for twenty seconds, then slow down or walk for ten seconds, and repeat eight times. The up-down, up-down is the basis of interval training and is going to push your body into the anaerobic zone. It will also give you noticeable results when you use it weekly. Your energy levels will increase and your endurance will improve. You’ll start to tone, lose pounds, and gain muscle. And, oh my goodness, I almost forgot to tell you one of the best things about tabata: EPOC or Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption. This is the period after your tabata workout, up to four hours, marked by an increased rate of oxygen intake when your body is returning to its resting state; however, while it’s returning to that resting state, it is continuing to burn calories and tone! There is SO much to share, but I think starting with a little exercise tip is a good way to begin my journey with you and 2015. Please share your fitness questions in the comments section; I look forward to connecting with you. Learn more about Rock. It. Fitness.  Be well.

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About the Contributing Writer:

Megan_Weidner[PRC Health Contributor]Megan Weidner is the Health + Wellness contributor for The Phoenix Rising Collective; she is a fitness coach and environmentalist in the Akron/Canton, Ohio area. She manages a global sustainability and corporate responsibility program for a large multinational company; her areas include environmental compliance, social equity, community engagement and health and wellness. Megan is also devoted to Rock. It. Fitness., her fitness and natural skincare business. She is committed to making the world a better, more environmentally friendly and healthier place through motivation and education. She is certified through AFAA and Tabata Bootcamp.  She has a B.S. in Soil, Environmental, and Atmospheric Science (University of Missouri), a Graduate Certificate in Environmental Management and Policy (University of Denver) and an M.P.A (University of Missouri).  She lives in Green, Ohio with her husband and three kids.