It’s been quite a while since my last post! I’ve just been trying to enjoy my summer as much as possible. It’s the last real summer vacation I’m ever going to have!
I’ve been using the extra free time I have to spend time with family and friends, relax a little, visit the boyfriend, and, of course, wreak havoc at the gym 🙂 I’ve been really focusing on building up my lower body which means double legs days every week and sprints, sprints, SPRINTS! I was pretty lax with my sprints for a while and didn’t really make the extra effort. If it was hot outside I would stay inside and do treadmill sprints, which I found myself slacking on. If I was tired I would do plyometric intervals. And then I would complain about the results that I wasn’t seeing. Then it hit me…what right do I have to complain if I’m not putting in maximal effort to move towards the goals I set for myself??
Sprints are where its at for lifting the booty and building muscle in your quads. Plyometrics are great, too, but I was getting stuck in a rut of doing the same routine day in and day out and I was getting bored. And who wants to be bored at the gym?? Certainly not me! So I’ve set the goal for myself to take my sprints outside for every HIIT session I have schedule for the next month.
That means early wake up calls to beat this ungodly heat! Track sprints, hill sprints…basically any kind of sprints I can think of will be on my schedule for the next few weeks. I even took my steady state outside this week and ran a 5k. It felt refreshing to change things up and I’m excited to see what changes I can make in my physique over the next month.
One truly important thing that I learned this week in respect to outdoor workouts, however, is the true importance of staying hydrated and replenishing water and electrolytes. After two days of outdoor workouts my body was really feeling it. Even though I had gotten up early both days, it has been so hot that there has been no optimal time to “beat the heat”. I had also made sure to drink plenty of water, but even those precautions seem to only make a small dent. I spent a good portion of yesterday afternoon battling a headache, fatigue, and issues focusing. I ate dinner at 6pm and was STARVING again by 6:45pm. I grabbed a huge glass of ice cold water and another full serving of protein and fat to try and chase this hunger right out of me. I was still a little hungry after but it was 10x better than previously. The thing that truly helped though? I was feeling so drained and I started thinking it could be an electrolyte imbalance from how much I had sweat that morning and the day before. I went straight for my Want More Energy (an Isagenix product that naturally replenishes energy with electrolytes a vitamins with no artificial sweeteners). Even though it was 7pm and I didn’t need any extra energy, I knew I needed the electrolytes. Within half an hour my headache was gone and I had perked up just enough to be considered a fully functional human being again! My other favorite way to replenish electrolytes is coconut water, but I didn’t have any around the house last night unfortunately. So, obviously, I went out and bought some this morning!
There was a time in my life when I drank Vitamin Waters, Gatorade, or other electrolyte replacement drinks after getting extra sweaty at the gym. I, however, soon realized just how unhealthy these drinks are. Artificial colors and sweeteners, insane amounts of sugars, and nasty chemicals are loaded into these drinks that so many of us think of as “healthy”. After realizing that, I switched to coconut water and, soon after, discovered Want More Energy. Both of these are all natural (I try to stick with the plain coconut water) and provide electrolytes without all the extra “fluff’ ingredients that we don’t really need and that, IMO, are not worthy of being put into the bodies that we work so hard to make healthy!
If this week has really shown me anything, it has been the importance of, not only replenishing protein, carbs, and water post-sweat sesh, but also making sure to keep my electrolytes in balance! It’s crucial to daily functioning; altered levels of potassium and sodium can also cause nasty problems including swelling of extremities, fluid shifts inside the body, heart palpitations and arrhythmias, and other scary health issues (thank you nursing school for teaching me everything that could possibly go wrong with my body!). So if you’re in New England this week, please remember to drink your water, eat plenty of healthy foods, and REPLENISH YOUR ELECTROLYTES!
And if you’re interested in learning more about Want More Energy, see the “About Me” section 🙂