Megan Meisner, a long-time Smart Lifebites contributor, brand ambassador, and fitness coach and blogger, talks all things diet and fitness. Check out the 4-week Holiday Fitness Challenge, led by Megan that will encourage you to become more mindful of your activity level, nutrition intake and stress level during the holidays.
Describe a typical day in terms of how you build a workout routine into it?
Personally, I prefer to workout in the morning. It’s a great way to start my day and, since things tend to pop up and I get busier as the day goes on, I don’t have to sacrifice my workout in favor of work or something else. Realistically though, you can work out any time of day and get results. The best time to workout is the time you WILL workout!
Are you an omnivore? vegetarian? vegan? If you happen to be passionate about a particular diet, please explain why.
I’m a lifelong vegetarian. As a child, my mom would require me to eat two pieces of meat at every dinner. I never cared for the taste or the texture. Now that I’m an adult, I enjoy experimenting with meatless meals for myself, my husband and stepson. It’s amazing how many resources are out there that provide delicious recipe ideas that are easy and affordable.
Are there any activities you’ve had to curtail because of injuries? If so, how do you compensate for that?
Most definitely. A few years ago, I had back surgery because of a herniated disc. I worked out too hard and didn’t spend much time resting. Now, I listen to my body and realize that workouts will consist of “peaks and valleys.” You can’t climb the peaks every day. While I love interval training outdoors, running laps around the block alternating with dumbbell work in the driveway, it causes a lot of impact and inflammation in your body. I’ve found an amazing balance between that and more restorative activities like Pilates and yoga which, for me, create more body awareness and are challenging in an entirely new (surprisingly difficult!) way.
Workout–group classes or solo?
In the past, I preferred to workout solo. I was very particular about which machines I used at the gym and how hard I worked. Since then, I’ve realized that not every workout needs to be as difficult as the last. It’s great to experience the variety of a group class! You just show up and you don’t have to think “what am I doing today?” One of the best parts is meeting like-minded people who support one another.
Advice for people trying to start a new exercise regime.
It can be overwhelming when you’re trying to decide where to begin. There are countless programs online, programs advertised on TV and all sorts of mixed messages that circulate through society and social media. The first step? Get up and get going. Whether you run at the gym or walk around the block, something is better than nothing. Begin with 2 activities a week. Then, aim for 3. Over time, lengthen the duration of your activity or increase the intensity to see continued results. Remember, this is a lifestyle, not a quick fix. Your program should be attainable and sustainable.
Strength Training: How heavy do you go? 10, 20, 30, etc…And do you have a preferred exercise?
Love this question! There are a lot of misconceptions around how heavy to go (or not go). Many people fear to bulk up with heavy weights. On the other hand, people fear that too little weight isn’t enough to make a significant change in your body. I do both. I love the variety of pushing myself through body weight push-ups on some days, while doing lat pulldowns at the gym on other days. Overall, if you’re working to fatigue (either with a heavy enough weight, or high enough reps), you will make progress.
What’s your record for holding a plank?
Oh gosh, I sense a challenge about to take place! I can confidently say 60 seconds, but I’m curious to see how long I can really hold one. I’m going to wrap up this interview now so I can go find out! 😉