Saturday, November 21, 2015

Fuel Your Fitness Product Guide

Whether shopping for yourself or for your favorite member of the fitfam, the following products and services support a lifestyle of healthy habits and wellbeing.

XBAR Fitness System
The XBAR's unique and innovative design allows for unlimited exercises.  Workout every body part
with one compact device.  Work your abs, shoulders, chest, legs, back, biceps, triceps and more!  It's simple, portable and functional   Train on your time, in your place, at your pace.  Save 10% on your entire order at with code MeganLinge at checkout.  Shipping is free.

Personal Training Services
If the person you're shopping for is new to exercise, has reached a plateau, or is looking to improve their athletic ability, working with a Personal Trainer provides several advantages over working out on your own. I am a Chicago-based Personal Trainer, insured and certified in CPR/AED. I am certified through AFAA as a Personal Trainer and Group Exercise Instructor. My experience includes working with beginners, athletes, recreational exercisers, prenatal clients, and clients preparing for their wedding day!  Online programs are available, as are partner and group sessions.  Click here for more information.

Vitamin Shoppe Treats 
Vitamin Shoppe is my go-to place for protein, vitamins, collagen and various other products such as hemp seeds and shaker bottles!  They have a full line of skin care products as well. Click here for a variety of gift items and special offers.

Wahoo Fitness TICKR Heart Rate Monitor
The Wahoo Fitness TICKR monitors your heart rate, calories burned, and time plus distance and pace when connected to your phone.  The TICKR's dual band technology works with smart phones and GPS watches, making it the ultimate heart rate monitor!  The TICKR is available for purchase here.  

Share Your Story Locket
I'm in love with this necklace and everything it represents.  During my last bikini competition I remember feeling mentally and physically exhausted the day of, not having placed and having "nothing to show" for all of my hard work.  Yes, that though, at some point, entered my mind.  Then I knocked it out as quick as a set of burpees! Focus on the progress, not just the end product.  Competitions, triathlons, marathons, performances...they are OPPORTUNITIES for us to REVEAL our talents and strengths.  Opportunities to witness our accomplishments, evaluate the outcome and reassess with a new (or modified) goal in mind.  Click here for necklaces and more.

Power Systems Fitness Equipment
Power Systems carries all kinds of fitness equipment including exercise mats, workout DVDs, stability balls and more.  Be sure to check out their New Products as well.

Shields of Strength
I discovered Shields of Strength through Instagram and was so intrigued by the products and the company's presence in various communities, particularly in the fitness industry. It is amazing to see women like Jamie Eason and Paige Hathaway not only represent their commitment to a healthy lifestyle, but to a spiritual one as well. This is a great opportunity to share faith in God and passion for fitness.  Explore the options from Shields of Strength here. 

Which of these items are you wishing for? Forward them to a friend!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Glow-Getter Smoothie

Strengthen your hair, skin and nails with this fruit infused smoothie.  NeoCell's Super Collagen is 100% pure collagen protein that provides building materials for growth and maintenance of a healthy body.  
  • Collagen is the number one protein in your body!
  • Collagen is the "glue" that holds your body together, making up your bones, tendons, ligaments and giving skin its elasticity.
  • Collagen supplementation not only can increase the amount of collagen fibers, but new fibers are more organized and less prone to fraying--leading to a more youthful appearance.
  • Collagen supplementation has been shown to reduce joint pain caused by arthritis.
  • Typically, after age 25, we lose about 1.5% of collagen each year.
  • Collagen is absorbed best when consumed on an empty stomach (wait 30 minutes before eating).
  • Vitamin C plays an important role in the production of collagen.
  • The Vitamin C in the Vitamin Water improves the absorbency of the collagen.  A 20 oz. bottle contains 150% of your daily value.
  • Pineapple is also a fantastic source of Vitamin C.  It contains 105% of the daily value per 1 cup serving.  Pineapple also contains bromeliad, an enzyme that can reduce bloating and may help arthritis pain by easting inflammation.

1 scoop NeoCell Super Collagen powder
8 oz. Vitamin Water Zero Orange
1 cup frozen pineapple

Blend and serve.  The NeoCell brand can be purchased here from Vitamin Shoppe.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Living Healthy in a Hectic World

Every day we are bombarded with ads promoting smaller waistlines and bigger biceps.  We crave tighter glutes and results that loosen our jeans.  Among the noise, we hear “Eat less/eat more! Avoid cardio/go running!”  If you’re able to tune out these distractions long enough to balance work, family, and a week’s worth of laundry, the last thing you probably feel like doing is going to the gym. However, it is possible to live a healthy lifestyle and incorporate clean eating in your routine without neglecting everything else in the process.  Much like the airline announcement prior to take off, “in case of an emergency, please secure your air mask before assisting others,” prioritizing your health will enable you to perform at your best and help others.

I see so many fitness ads, workout programs and diets that I’m not sure which one is for me.  How do I decide where to begin?
A healthy lifestyle is more than “working out” and “eating right.”  If a program requires drastic changes that you cannot maintain on a regular basis, you should reconsider.  The goal is to find something that is attainable AND sustainable.  What works for some people, may not work for you.  It is important to consider where you would like to be and where you currently are.  

I’m always going out for food and drinks with clients and co-workers.  How do I make healthy choices while everyone else indulges?
Plan ahead.  The following tips can help you maintain a social life without breaking your “caloric bank.”
-If you have any say in where you decide to eat, speak up.  Familiarize yourself with restaurants that provide healthy options and smaller portions.  
-Consider ordering from the appetizer menu or combining side dishes.
-Make sure you have healthy snacks available.  If you arrive to a dinner or party on an empty stomach, you are more likely to eat larger portions of less healthy food.  I like to keep protein bars or a bag of peanuts and raisins in my purse or glove compartment at all times.
-Can you bring a dish to share?  If you’re invited to a party, cook one of your favorite dishes so you know there will be at least one option that you can enjoy without feeling like you’re ruining your diet.
-Speaking of “ruining” your diet, understand that it’s okay to enjoy a piece of cake or a cocktail from time to time.  By incorporating these into your routine, you’ll feel less guilty for having them and your progress will not be ruined with the occasional treat.
-Who says the outing needs to include food and drinks?  Suggest meeting for a spin class or for a walk outside.

I spend two hours commuting to work and spend 10+ hours working.  I travel and don’t have access to a gym. When and where can I workout?
Anticipate road blocks and plan accordingly.  If you forget your gym bag on the way to work, plan on going home and changing immediately into clothes so you can run outside.  From my experience, I know that if I spend go home and sit down, I’m unlikely to want to get up and drive to the gym.  A workout doesn’t always have to involve going to the gym either.  There are a variety of strength and cardio movements that can be done in your own living room, while outside or in a hotel room.  Here is a sample routine that doesn’t require any equipment. Complete each move for 30 seconds.  Complete three rounds of the routine.

-Jumping Jacks/Squats
-High Knee Run/Pushups
-Jump Rope in Place/Alternating Reverse Lunges
-Mountain Climbers/Alternating Front Lunges
-Wall Sit/Full Arm Plank

I eat right and exercise but am not seeing any results. What gives?
A lot of times, we forget to prioritize sleep and rest days.  Throughout the week, we are running from meetings to appointments to soccer games to the dry cleaners.  We’re up early to take the kids to school and home late after dropping off the soccer teammates at their homes after practice.  The day isn’t over.  There are schedules to organize, reports to work on for the boss and a spouse to spend time with.  On a “good night,” you maybe get 6 hours of sleep.  However, most adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep a night to stabilize hormones and allow their bodies to recover.  Lack of sleep not only affects energy levels, but it also effects the hormones that control hunger.  You end up hungrier, craving more sugary/fatty foods.  And that time at the gym?  You’re more susceptible to injury and illness when your body isn’t getting the adequate amount of rest.  

How can I find the motivation?
Set goals.  If you are training for something specific, you will feel much more purpose driven in your pursuits.  A goal gives you a vision, an end sight, so you are not “spinning your wheels,” aimlessly wandering through the gym.  I also find that keeping a fitness log helps me to progress toward goals.  Write down your exercises, record the weights and reps and challenge yourself to do more over time.  Here are examples of goals you can incorporate.
-Hold plank for 30 seconds
-Hold a wall sit for 60 seconds
-Complete a 5k
-Walk for 20 minutes (instead of the 10 you currently do)
-Complete a pull up (or 10!)
-Fit into a pair of jeans that are a size too small
-Take your kids to the park 3x/week
-Walk for 20 minutes with your spouse 3x/week
-Complete a triathlon

Stay Positive
Regardless of your starting point, you are capable of setting a goal and creating the route to get there.  There may be times when you’re frustrated, stressed, disappointed or bloated!  Accept these feelings and know they are temporary.  You have not lost all of your progress.  You have not backtracked.  You have simply “pulled over.”  Rest, reroute if necessary, and being moving again.  There is no “back on track” because every day is an opportunity to move forward, albeit with a leap of faith or a baby step. 

For information about my online training programs, click here.