This is the first week of my training, otherwise known as the first week of no-excuse dedication to my fitness. It also happens to be a horrible week weather wise in Boston, and horrible in terms of my free time. I have been working part time jobs since the beginning of January, so I have been really fortunate most days, where I get out of work at 1:00 and have the rest of the day to make time for myself. This week I picked up extra shifts at the day spa I have worked at part time since college, which has introduced two twelve-hour work days to this week, coincidentally they both fall on my run days. But that’s life! Finding time is always possible, its just not always going to be pleasant. Getting out of work at 8:30 Tuesday night, 9 degrees outside, and going to the gym to run on the treadmill for a half hour was not pleasant, but it was necessary.
I was battling with making sure my body was being taken care of all day so that by the time I was faced with the treadmill I wouldn’t feel the normal aches of a long day. I didn’t want to be hungry, I didn’t want to have a headache, I didn’t want to be slightly nauseous like I so often am, and I didn’t want to be exhausted. Taking care of yourself is important when you are heavily relying on your body’s performance at any specific time.
What you can do to make sure your body is ready for the workout:
-Drink plenty of water all day. Making sure you are hydrated all day is essential. I bought a new water bottle that has a straw and is really fun to drink out of, so I have been drinking much more water than usual. It really is making me feel so much better!
-Eat actual meals at regular intervals. When I work long hours I tend to go way too long without eating, which makes me irritable and exhausted. Fueling your body all day, not just right before you workout is advised. Tuesday I ate a nice salad three hours before I was scheduled to go to the gym, and a Clif bar thirty minutes before for that extra boost.
-Stretch during the day. When I work behind the front desk at the spa I am typically wearing shoe without support and standing for several hours at a time. This does a number on my shins, so I try to stretch out my calves whenever I feel my legs starting to ache. This prevents me from getting to the gym and crying when I step on the treadmill.
-Drink green tea. I don’t know if this is a rule for everybody, but I drank green tea about an hour before going to the gym. It is a much healthier alternative to coffee for that extra caffeine jolt to help pick up your steps. I read this article about best and worst drinks to have before working out, and while it’s probably pretty obvious information, it may be interesting to look at!
Life is always going to be happening, and you won’t always have the luxury of having a lot of time to get in your workout under ideal conditions, but taking care of yourself all the time will help you be ready for anything, at any time. Get to it!