Tag Archives: tips

5 Tips to Prepare for Summer Workouts

The warmer weather is coming and it can play a big factor in your training, racing and overall fitness.  The heat, sun and humidity that come with summer workouts can be very dangerous.  Avoiding the possibilities heat stroke, heat exhaustion and dehydration are key elements of a good summer plan.  Here are five tips to help you prepare for summer workouts.

Prepare for summer workouts by checking your schedule.  As the daily high temperatures climb, it can be incredibly valuable to change your workout schedule.  If you’re working out in a gym, you can stick with whatever works best right now but if you’re training means you’re outside, hit the road or track in the early morning when it’s coolest and the sun isn’t shining directly overhead.  If mornings aren’t an option, try to find a place to put workouts in the summer workoutsevening.  The setting sun and dropping temperatures will help you stay cooler than earlier in the day.

One fun way to prepare for summer workouts is to try something new.  If you usually go for a post work run in a sunny park or a bike ride on black paved roads, try stand-up paddle boarding or a lunch hour spin class.  If you can find an alternative indoor or water based workout you enjoy, skipping the great outdoors for a day or two to stay safe won’t make you feel like you’re missing out.

Put a good hydration plan in place.  An important element of preparing for summer workouts is keeping your body full of fluids.  Staying properly hydrated can eliminate lots of risks associated with hot workouts.  Sweat rate and fluid intake is also a good way to gauge your exertion level when the heat might make it hard to tell just how difficult your run, bike or outdoor strength training session is.

Go shopping.  If your workout wardrobe is full of long sleeved tops and full length bottoms in winter warming dark colors, purchasing light colored options is a good way to prepare for summer workouts.  The light colors will reflect rather than absorb the sunlight, keeping you cooler from beginning to end.  Investing in a hydration pack can be a good addition to any equipment collection and be sure to stock up on sunblock, sunglasses and hats.

The heat and humidity that play a role in summer workouts can make it hard to tell just how much effort your expending during a session.  Prepare for this by easing into the warmer weather.  Start with comparing a workout you’re familiar with to how you feel after performing it on the first hot day.  Slowly add time to outdoor workouts and be aware that you’re working harder just because it’s hot out from the moment you begin.

Use these tips to help ward off the dangers that come with summer workouts and stay safe, healthy and fit all year long.

Coach Meredith

Running in the Cold? Be Prepared

It’s winter.  Training doesn’t stop just because it’s cold or snowy out and neither should you.  Running in the cold is just fine as long as you’re prepared for it.  With the scientifically perfect running temperature somewhere between 50 and 55 degrees, running when it’s 25 outside can present a few challenges.  Here are five tips to help you succeed with your cold weather training.

Plan.  Give yourself time to get moving indoors and figure out which way the wind is blowing.  It won’t feel quite so chilly out there if your blood is pumping.  You’ll also want to finish your run with the wind, rather than against it.  This will prevent your sweaty body from getting blasted by cold air and help you finish strong.running in the cold

Layer up.  You’ll figure out what works best for you as you gain experience but if temperatures are below freezing, layers should be at least two deep on the bottom and two or three thick on the top.  I like to be warm.  My below freezing gear includes stockings, long tights, wool socks, tank, thin layer and a fleece lined half zip.  Make sure your outermost layer is bright and remember that you can always take something off should you become too warm.

Protect your small parts.  Even if there isn’t snow on the ground, you’ll want to protect your feet from the elements.  Wear shoes with the least amount of mesh possible and try pairing them with wool socks.  Keep hands and ears safe by always sporting earmuffs or a warmer and gloves or mittens.  Running in the cold can look cool!

Stay hydrated.  Even if you’re not dripping sweat, running in the cold burns through fluids as your body works overtime to keep your core temperature and muscles warm enough to perform.  Your body doesn’t send the same thirst signals to your brain in the cold, making a good hydration plan a key part of running in the cold.

Expect to slow down.  Your body works overtime trying to stay warm but muscle contractions just don’t happen with the same power as when it’s 50 degrees.  There are a slew of other reasons running in the cold isn’t the same as on those perfect days, too.  If there’s snow on the ground, expect to slow down even more as you pick your way through snow drifts and potential icy areas.

Use these tips for running in the cold to stay safe and warm this winter.

Coach Meredith

Get Ready for Race Day

Training for a race takes a lot of time and effort and there’s nothing worse than working hard for a race day that doesn’t end the way we want.  Here are some of my favorite tips for runners who are preparing to run their best from Start to Finish.

A big part of running your best race is to realize that race day actually begins long before you’ve picked up your number.  Planning and practice are key elements of a good performance.  These are a few things to do before race day arrives so you can put your best foot forward.

Practice with different sources of hydration on training runs and test out different fuels for both before and during the race to make sure you know what’s best for your body.  Compare hydrating with water versus as sports drink.  Try eating a gel versus a bar on those long training outings.  Learning how your insides respond to different nourishment means avoiding digestive issues, staying hydrated and giving yourself the best chance you can to put together the race race dayyou want.

As race weekend approaches, study the course.  If you know what’s coming at you, you can mentally and physically prepare for it.  What mile brings the hills and which ones are flat?  Is it out-and-back, point-to-point or a loop?  Where are the hydration stops, Port-a-Potties and gels?  How about the bands?  Are you going to need your own music?  Anything can happen out there and it’s important know what support will be around you on the course.

Once you’ve nailed down your race day hydration and fueling plan and learned the course, take the final few days before race morning to rest up and prepare your body to work hard.  Tapering, carb loading, stretching, massaging and getting plenty of sleep in the days leading up to your event are some guaranteed ways to perform at your best.

It’s race weekend, what’s next?

After you check out the expo and pick up your number, pin it on clothing you’ve run in at least once before, are familiar with and want to be photographed in.  Being uncomfortable is a surefire way to make your race more difficult and the last thing you want is to be distracted by a chafing seam.

Get up race morning and follow the fueling and hydration plan you developed while training. Stick with what you know works!  You’ll want to head to the corrals early enough to have time to stretch out and get your body going with an easy jog and a few strides.

Once you’re off, be careful to start slowly.  The start of any race is an exciting moment.  With all that adrenaline pumping, it’s easy to get swept up in the group and go out at a fast pace.  Burning through your fuel in the first mile doesn’t leave much for the rest of the race, especially when you’ll need it for a strong finish.  It’s much easier to increase your pace on legs that are ready to go than maintain it on legs that are tired.

After you’ve beaten the urge to rush out of the starting chute and settled into your run, start thinking about the course you’ve studied.  Hug corners, run the inside of curves and take the shortest route possible from Start to Finish.  Courses are measured this way.  Taking wide turns or weaving through groups can add to both your finish time and total distance.

Most importantly, trust your training. You’ve put in the hard work to have a successful race.  Believe in yourself, take a few of these tips with you and you’ll be hard to beat come race day!

Coach Meredith

Prepare for next race with us!  Email Info@FitNicePT.com for more information on all the ways we can help you rock your next race day.

*This was originally posted here*

6 Ways to Make Fitness Fun in 2015

Last week I wrote about making commitments instead of resolutions to have success in this new year.  To make your commitment stick, it’s important that you find a way to make fitness fun.  When you enjoy what you’re doing, you’ll to look forward to workouts and have better results than if heading to the gym is a total drag.  How do you make fitness fun?  Here are six tips to get you started!

Plan a fitness vacation.  Run your first half marathon in a state you haven’t visited before.  make fitness funHike the Grand Canyon.  Take the Boulder Outdoor Survival School challenge.  Scheduling a big challenge with friends and family keeps enthusiasm high, makes training more fun and gives you something to celebrate for many years to come.

Track your training.  Writing down your workout, how you felt, how far you ran or how much you lifted in a notebook each day makes it easy to see your progress even when you can’t neccessarily feel it.  You can even use an app such as The Fitness Games to help you track your sessions.  Seeing your progress will make it easy to stay positive on tough days and only lead to more success.

Train with your significant other.  Even if you don’t do every workout, training run or yoga class together, getting your partner involved is a great way to make fitness fun.  Don’t worry if you’re not on the same level Connecting through exercise is a great way to build a strong body and a strong relationship.

Try something new.  It might be a few months before you’re ready for that fitness vacation but you can get excited right now.  Reach out to friends for ideas on a new gym, group class or workout to try.  Mix it up all year long by branching out once each month.   You might find something new to love and your body will thank you for the challenges.

Be flexible.  Stressing out about getting a workout in can do make fitness completely un-fun.    Allowing flexibility in your schedule might mean a quick bodyweight workout at home instead of a trip to the yoga studio, trading the road for a treadmill, even taking a different day off than you planned.  Doing any workout is better than nothing at all and a few missed miles aren’t going to derail your training.

Reward yourself.  When you look at your workout tracking book and see how far you’ve come, give yourself a pat on the back.  Get those new running tights you’ve been dreaming about, treat yourself to a massage or spa day, maybe even book that fitness vacation.

Try these 6 ways to make fitness fun in 2015 and see just how much you can accomplish.

Coach Meredith

How do you plan to make fitness fun in 2015?

Six Tips to Stay Healthy Over the Holidays

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and there are plenty more holidays right on the heels of that.  Maintaining your fitness routine and healthy eating habits can certainly be challenging at this time of year with parties, treats and wine at every turn.  No matter what your plans are before you ring in the new year, here are six tips from Team FitNice to help you stay healthy over the holidays.

1.  Carry and use disinfecting wipes or a hand sanitizer if you’re going to be touching things like railings, restroom doors, airplane tray tables, elevator buttons and shopping carts.  Germs can spread easily during the holidays and keeping your hands clean is one of the best ways to avoid healthy over the holidayscatching a cold.

2.  Pack healthy snacks and bring a healthy dish.  Having a granola bar handy and bringing a crudities tray rather than a cookie platter will help not only you but the party’s other guests maintain a healthy diet during these challenging months.

3.  Make a plan.  Schedule time to work out, especially if you have family in town or are going to see some.  A flag football game is a great way to get everyone moving and a brisk morning walk is the perfect time for a warm mug of coffee and some quality time with loved ones.  If you’re lucky, you might even be able to find a nearby 5k or ugly sweater run for a little friendly family competition.

4.  Add fitness to holiday activities.  Do ten squats for every present wrapped, five push-ups when the bow is on and two burpees when it’s all ready to go.  Combining workouts and chores makes both go by a little bit faster without making you feel like you’re losing any time.

5.  Steer clear of lots of alcohol.  Alternate alcoholic beverages with glasses water and take it easy on all of those empty carb calories.  You’ll want to be entertained, not the entertainment.  Plus, a hangover won’t only keep you from feeling good enough to hit the gym the next morning, it’ll make you crave greasy, bad for you foods while dehydration makes you more susceptible to germs.

6.  Don’t stress.  Just because you’ve made a plan, tried to eat the right things and imbibed in moderation doesn’t mean everything goes right.  If you step off track, it’s OK.  Stress leads to poor decision making that can make everything worse and missing one workout isn’t the end of your chance to stay healthy over the holidays.

Use any or all of these tips to stay healthy over the holidays and start your new year off on the right foot.

7 Tips for Summer Time Exercise

Summer is upon us!  The heat waves are coming and most places are seeing warm weather already.  While sweating more than we do during the winter doesn’t cause the body to burn more calories, it does have the potential to create dangerous situations.  Here are 7 Tips for Summer Time Exercise that will help ensure your safety when you’re summer time exerciseworking out in the heat.

Hydrate!  Water and sports drinks are your best bet for staying hydrated, which will help you avoid heat exhaustion, stroke and other heat related summer time exercise induced conditions.  Be careful to avoid alcohol, soda and other caffeinated drinks, especially before your workout, and aim to have 1/2 ounce of water per pound of body weight each day (200 pounds?  Shoot for 100 ounces of water every 24 hours).

Dress less.  Summer time exercise isn’t always a fashion show.  It’s about wearing what keeps you the most comfortable while helping you stay cool.  Light colors that reflect instead of attract the sun and lightweight sweat wicking fabrics are a must for any warm weather warrior.

Have perfect timing.  Schedule your workouts for cooler times of day.  Early morning or after the sun sets as usually go-to times for summer time exercise, but if you have to catch some rays while you sweat, make sure you have shade nearby.  Look for shaded trails or covered areas to keep the sun off your back, and if you’re near a beach, don’t be afraid to hit the sand and take a dip in the cool water.

Adjust everything slowly.  Allow your body time to get used to warmer temperatures, higher humidity and working harder.  Gradually expose your body to the more intense weather and within 10 to 14 days, you’ll be ready to handle the tougher conditions.  You should also think about adjusting the difficulty and length of your session when you’re facing more than just a hard workout.

Lather up.  Sunscreen is a must when you’re going to be getting your sweat on outside.  Apply 15 minutes before you head out to give your skin time to absorb the product, otherwise you’ll sweat it right off.  Be aware that even on cloudy or overcast days, the sun does get through and you still need that protection to avoid getting any unwanted sun.

Find a buddy.  Not only is working out with a friend more fun, it makes summer time exercise more safe.  No matter how careful, hydrated and lightly clothed you are, the heat can make summer time exericsecrazy things happen.  Having someone with you gives another layer of security to working out at a dangerous time of year.

Listen to your body.  You should always be doing this, but when summer time exercise puts your health at risk, it’s more important than ever.  Stop working out, find some shade and replace electrolytes at the first sign of dizziness, faintness, exhaustion or nausea.

Want to make your summer time exercise warm weather safe and friendly?  Ask FitNicePT for help!  Email us at Info@FitNicePT.com or fill out the form below:

Dining Out? 5 Tips to Stay on Track

Dining out is a popular past time, and even when you’re on a fantastic, widely varied meal plan, sometimes getting out of the house just sounds good.  There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having a meal away from home once or twice a week, but unfortunately, dining out can add anywhere from a few to a couple hundred calories to your daily intake, with an average dining outof 135 additional calories per meal, that might climb even higher if you add sugar and carb loaded alcoholic beverages.  Here are 5 tips from Team FitNice that will help you beat the restaurant over-eating blues.

1.  Read the menu closely.  Read each menu option and pick those that are grilled, broiled or baked rather than fried and breaded.  Watch for, and avoid, words like creamy and buttered, which usually mean lots of high fat content dairy products are used in the food’s preparation.

2.  Ask questions.  Ask your server if it’s possible to make changes to meals.  Substitute sides, such as steamed seasonal vegetables for fries, or cooking methods by asking for grilled rather than fried chicken and fish.

3.  Think small.  Choose small portions.  Many menus now offer low calorie options dining outthat feature smaller portions and heart healthy combinations.  Try tapas, mixing many small dishes together and sharing with the table to keep consumption down or even consider ordering a child size dinner.

4.  Get a box.  Ask for a box to be delivered with your meal and box one third to one half of it up before you dig in.  Restaurant portions are often good for two to three servings, and rather than letting what you haven’t finished get thrown out, take it home for later.

5.  Order a salad.  A leafy, green salad is filling and will help keep you from overeating.  Ordering it with the dressing on the side can keep fat content even lower and consider skipping the cheese while asking for extra vegetables.

Use these tips when you’re dining out and stay on track with your meal, diet or weight loss plan.  Want help with your meal plan?  Ask us!  Email Info@FitNicePT or fill out the form below.