The link party continues!  The decision (or lack thereof) has been made … I’ll keep the flexibility of 7 Tips Sundays: sometimes I’ll do lists of interesting (I hope!) articles with my commentary, and other times I’ll do other tips, weekend/ race recaps, or in-depth looks at specific topics.  These are fun posts for me to put together, since I spend so much time reading about the latest nutritional and fitness news anyway!

This week had some great reads … I hope you enjoy! 7 Interesting Things I Read This Week

  1. What happens to your body after just one workout.  Probably my favorite post of the week, because the idea is SO powerful: you can literally change your body by completing just a single workout.  I’ve talked about the benefits of exercise several times, but if you’re looking for a quick way to improve your mood, focus, stress levels, and overall health … yes, even ONE workout can contribute! one workout away from a good mood(picture source)
  2. Fish oil is often mislabeled I hate to say I told you so … but this post shows that about 1/3 of the tested fish oil supplements were mislabeled in terms of the DHA contents they actually contained vs. what they claimed to contain (DHA is one of the beneficial omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil).  The good news is that the heavy metal content was negligible in all tested supplements, which was actually my main concern, as I had previously read studies showing otherwise.  The article sheds more light on the debate over whether or not fish oil is actually beneficial.  If you want to skip the article and go straight to the rankings, click here (they also rank some popular protein powders).  This study is making me reconsider my choice of fish oil – I may go with the NOW Foods brand, as I’ve been pleased with some of their other supplements and they’re rated #5 in quality here. ultra omega(picture source)
  3. 94-year old woman still competing in track and field.  My mom first told me about this amazing woman, and her story is so inspiring!  I love everything about her – from her nutrition advice, to her optimism, to what she said when asked if she’ll be slowing down soon: “No way. No way.” Australia Masters Games(image from Associated Press, via here)
  4. Why runners need to incorporate strength training.  We’ve discussed this before, but another reminder never hurts.  Strength training can benefit runners by building muscle mass, preventing injuries, improving your running performance, and improving your overall fitness.  Personally, I’d still like to incorporate even more strength training, but I know that the mix of short interval workouts, yoga, weight lifting, and other cross-training activities I include have been critical in preventing injury over the past several years (knock on wood!). n-STRENGTH-TRAINING-FOR-RUNNERS-large570(picture source)
  5. Exercise contributes to improved work-life balance. Yet another study showing that exercise helps us detach from work mentally and physically, and contributes to a sense of overall well-being.  I’ve said it before, but even when I was getting way fewer hours of sleep than I needed, exercise has been absolutely critical to maintaining my sense of balance and happiness.  Think about this as you’re next overwhelmed at work … just squeezing in a quick session in the morning, an at-home or hotel workout after work, or a short walk at lunch can help you separate a bit and feel far more balanced.work life balance(picture source)
  6. FDA will revise nutrition facts panels.  Although the future nutrition label has yet to be defined, I’m excited about the potential here.  I personally feel that one of the biggest downfalls of current labeling policies is that serving sizes can be so deceptive … if a bag of something looks to be individually-sized, and the fact that it actually contains 2.3 servings is hidden, the label can be deceptive to even people who do try to glance at the nutrition facts.  And 42% of working adults do look at the label always or most of the time – far more than I would have guessed! nutrition facts(picture source, property of Associated Press)
  7. Positive encouragement works better than criticism.  Wow – if you want to delve into the science of how positive and negative feedback impact the brain, this article is pretty cool.  Of course, my mind immediately went towards the approach I take with health coaching clients – I’ve always believed that positive encouragement is far more motivating than focusing on the “bad” things in a person’s diet.  But the article is a fantastic read for anyone who is delivering feedback or leading a team.  Here are a few take-aways:
    1. When feedback is delivered negatively, we struggle to focus, think clearly, work effectively, and communicate.
    2. The emotional tone of the person delivering feedback can often have a greater impact on the feedback recipient than the actual feedback delivered.
    3. Making your employees feel “heard and understood” is critical to their happiness and their health: “Workers who feel unfairly criticized, or whose boss will not listen to their problems, have a rate of coronary heart disease 30 percent higher than those who feel treated fairly.”

Spill-it-Sunday-option-2-1

Spill It Sundays

I forgot Spill It Sundays last week, but we’re back on track today!  The theme is TV shows, and I am pretty pathetically uninteresting in this dimension.  I’ve always said that I wouldn’t have a TV if I wasn’t married to Kevin, but he is slowly  (10+ years slowly!) helping me to understand the ability to relax and chill out while watching TV rather than multitasking!  I’ll answer two of the questions:

  • What was your favorite TV series growing up?  This answer drives Kevin crazy, but I honestly didn’t watch much TV growing up.  I didn’t have any TV restrictions (that I remember), but I would always choose to do other things (mainly reading – nerd alert!).  I do remember really liking “Boy Meets World,” “Full House,” and “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.”  Kevin and his sister Holly have quoted “Saved By the Bell” more times than I can possibly count, so I’ll add that one in too for their sake!
  • What is your current favorite TV series?  I adore Biggest Loser (we can get into the discussion of whether it’s realistic, healthy, etc., but I like for pure “feel-good” inspiration).  We are also almost finished with watching all of the Friday Night Lights series, which I love, especially coming from a Texas football-crazed high school.  And finally, I love Chopped and Cutthroat Kitchen for some foodie entertainment!

So tell me in the comments … Which article do you find most interesting?  Any other articles you want to highlight this week?  What is your childhood or current favorite TV series?

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20 Comments

  1. Sara @ LovingOnTheRun on January 26, 2014 at 9:45 am

    Love the article on the importance of strength training! I have been really trying to focus on that personally. I remember growing up watching TGIF – Boy Meets World, Family Matters, Sabrina the Teenage Witch. They all bring back memories for me 🙂
    Sara @ LovingOnTheRun recently posted…Weekly Training Recap: 1/20 – 1/26My Profile

    • Megan Lyons on January 27, 2014 at 9:49 pm

      So glad you’ve been building your strength training – way to go! Also REALLY glad it’s paying off in your fast recovery from injury!

  2. Madison @ Eating 4 Balance on January 26, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    I keep on seeing Friday Night Lights pop up in my recommended section for Netflix but haven’t watched it yet. One of these days… It sounds good!

    Boy Meets World was one of my favorites when I was younger too, as was Saved by the Bell! Full House kind of annoyed my parents so we didn’t watch it too much, but needless to say, anything Mary Kate and Ashley was my favorite 🙂

    I’ve read a few of those articles earlier this week. The one about positive encouragement makes a lot of sense. I like this article from Food Babe: http://foodbabe.com/2014/01/20/is-butter-secretly-ruining-your-health/ I thought it was going to be downing butter altogether but it was actually very well written.

    • Megan Lyons on January 27, 2014 at 9:51 pm

      You should definitely check out Friday Night Lights, Madison – it’s SO good! It totally sucks you in, though, so beware! Thanks for sharing that butter article – very interesting!

  3. Debbie on January 26, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    Ok Meg……Friday Night Lights was the best series. Alex and I were so upset when it was over…..great morals and real people stories.

    Now our favorite is Blue Bloods, again because of the great family values they have. What bothers us is they put these great shows on Friday nights when no one is home…..
    During the week, during prime time they put Wife Swap, Jerry Springer, The Bachelor and other trash which seriously scares me when you think of their popularity……no wonder our society as a whole is so lost.

    • Megan Lyons on January 27, 2014 at 9:53 pm

      So glad you’re with me on Friday Night Lights, Aunt Debbie! I’ve never heard of Blue Bloods (I am fairly out of the loop in terms of TV, though!). I agree on The Bachelor, although your youngest sister is one of that show’s biggest fans :). I have never heard of Wife Swap but the idea just terrifies me, and so does Jerry Springer!

  4. Robert on January 26, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    I grew up watching MacGyver, and Star Trek Next Generation. We weren’t allowed much TV, only a couple hours a week (wow have times changed!).

    These days pretty much anything on PBS grabs my attention, expecially Materpiece Theater. My wife watches (and me by default) The Biggest Loser also, and The Voice. I record House Hunter’s International for rainy days.
    Robert recently posted…Secret SauceMy Profile

    • Megan Lyons on January 27, 2014 at 9:55 pm

      I’ve never heard of Masterpiece Theater – will have to go check it out! Kevin watched House Hunter’s International, but I’m not really a fan. I have no artistic/ decorative/ architectural talent so it’s a little bit boring for me, but he loves to dream about different houses!

  5. Tonya@healthy, Fit, and Frugal on January 26, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    I think the importance of strength training. I hear about some runners running every single day and think that’s just insane. If that’s all you do then you run a huge risk of injury…not to mention only working certain muscle groups. Friday Night Lights is my all time favorite TV show (one word: Riggins)! I’ve watched the series SEVERAL times over. I think Coach T and Tami are my all time favorite TV/Film couple. I might be mildly obsessed! 🙂

    • Megan Lyons on January 27, 2014 at 10:00 pm

      Yes, Tim Riggins definitely doesn’t hurt the show!! And I agree with you on Coach Taylor and Tammy – the way they understand each other just makes me melt!

  6. Arman @ thebigmansworld on January 26, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    You find the best articles…and the fish oil dilemma! Thank you for the ‘Now’ Brand suggestion- I’ve seen it on iherb so I’ll make sure it’s in my next order!

    So glad the FDA are going to make amends- When I wrote my post on serving sizes, that was one of my biggest criticisms- packages which looked ‘single serving’ yet if you read the panel, it would say 2.5, ‘about 4 serves’ etc.

    You’re parents would have been thrilled with little Megan…I love how you didn’t rely on TV for entertainment!
    Arman @ thebigmansworld recently posted…Spill it, Sundays #9- TV ShowsMy Profile

    • Megan Lyons on January 27, 2014 at 10:02 pm

      I don’t think it’s any particular gift for finding articles … it’s just that I read a TON so I can weed out the bad ones :). I actually did just buy the NOW brand Ultra Omega, so I’ll start that once I finish my current bottle (which I now realized is overpriced for the value – oops!). Oh yes, now that you remind me about your post, I do remember it – thanks for bringing that up! Here it is for anyone reading: http://thebigmansworld.com/2013/11/26/but-the-serving-size-told-me-so/

  7. Michael Anderson on January 26, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    Totally love that you are keeping these going!

    Funny – I was reading a positive reinforcement in the workplace article I saw on LinkedIn this week … so important and yet there are so many examples of punitive management and leadership. Fear only motivates so much, and we will see the impact when the economy finally returns.

    But I love the ‘work-life balance’ article – my company really tries to get this stuff right, has both benefit committees and volunteer things that work to integrate health and wellness concerns into everyday life. They have a ‘365 Safety’ that teaches safety at home and so on. It is a great way to at least try to help employees (although sometimes it doesn’t work if the audience isn’t receptive, like I mentioned about the healthy meal program rules in Kentucky).

    As for TV, we didn’t have strict limits growing up, but were never a ‘TV on all the time’ family. Now we just watch occasional shows, and Hulu+ is our friend as we are rarely able to match out schedule to air-time.
    Michael Anderson recently posted…Retouching Video Shows the Power of ‘Unreality’My Profile

    • Megan Lyons on January 27, 2014 at 10:15 pm

      I completely agree on the fact that fear can only motivate so much, Michael. I LOVE that companies like yours are getting more into the idea of educating and helping the well-rounded person. Although you can’t help EVERYONE (like the Kentucky folks), at least providing the education to those who ARE open to learning is a huge step!

  8. Davida @ The Healthy Maven on January 26, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    Amen to #4! A lesson I unfortunately learned the hard way…

    Full House will always have a place in my heart <3 Also it's so funny you say it drives Kev crazy cause I grew up on TV and Curt didn't even have cable which totally blows my mind!
    Davida @ The Healthy Maven recently posted…Pesto Egg SaladMy Profile

    • Megan Lyons on January 27, 2014 at 10:16 pm

      I guess our respective partners just balance us out a bit, right? You and Kevin would be watching TV 100% of the day without Curt and I, and Curt and I would be clueless about TV pop culture without the two of you :).

  9. Caitlin on January 27, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    Haha you seem to be the living embodiment of a child doesn’t want what he or she is not restricted from! I had a rule in my house that I always had to ask before I watched TV so of course it seemed forbidden and I wanted to watch it a bunch!

    • Megan Lyons on January 27, 2014 at 10:44 pm

      It really does make me wonder about parenting, Caitlin! I’m sure if my sister and I ended up watching a TON of TV, my parents would have put in some restrictions, but the fact that it wasn’t forbidden just didn’t make it seem like that much of a treat! I think about things like this a lot when I think about kids and nutrition, and whether parents should “force” their kids to eat their vegetables. But that’s another whole rabbit hole to go down!

      • Michael Anderson on January 28, 2014 at 10:11 pm

        It is funny – Lisa’s parents used to use reading as a ‘punishment’, which makes it amazing how much she loves to read as an adult.

        Eating habits are tough, in that you want to provide positive reinforcement so they choose healthy habits, but not make it feel like the are forced. Because there is a big difference between mandating an action and building good habits.
        Michael Anderson recently posted…Take Care Tuesday: Impact of ‘Vaccine Hysteria’My Profile

  10. 7 Exercise Tips From This Week on July 16, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    […] in a groove with the “7 Interesting Things I Read This Week” Sunday series (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) … and then Brazil happened (the recap is here!) … and I already know I […]

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