Sunday, September 6, 2015

Energy Crisis

It is a beautiful day and you are excited to exercise. You feel ready to go and are sure it’s going to be a great experience.  Then less than halfway through your workout you start to hit the wall. Your arms and legs become heavy, you energy drops and what looked to be a promising exercise session has crashed into a ball of flames.

We have all been there when we experienced the dreaded “bonk,” that feeling you get when you run out of energy and putting one foot in front of the other one seems like an insurmountable task. So what happened?  The body is much like a car that uses fuel to operate. When the car runs out of gas, the motor stops running. This is very similar to what happens in the body.  When the body runs out of fuel, coupled with other factors, it continues to operate but not at the level you desire.

Do you find yourself losing energy halfway through your workouts? Find out what the culprits might be--and how to give yourself a much-needed boost. Here are eight energy zappers that can rob your body of energy needed for optimal athletic performance.

Don’t forget to eat complex carbohydrates. Carbs provide the glucose muscles need to operate. When the sugar is gone, you experience the dreaded “bonk.”

Get plenty of rest. Whether you're skimping on sleep or you're exercising too much, a lack of rest and recovery can zap your energy levels and hurt your progress, too. Most people need 7-8 hours of sleep each night, so reorganize your day and your time so that you can get as much shut-eye as possible each night.

Plan your exercise and get into a habit. 

Variety is the spice of life.  Whether you take your indoor workouts outside or try a new fitness class, variety will keep boredom at bay and help you get better results

Make sure your iron supply is sufficient. Iron is a trace mineral that helps blood carry oxygen to the muscles throughout the body, keeping them powered up during a workout. In general, an iron deficiency can also lead to sagging energy levels. Women are more likely to experience low iron levels, but if you suspect your body is low on iron, talk to your doctor. A simple blood test can determine if iron is an issue, and your doctor can help you get back on track. You'll find iron in lean red meat, fortified cereals, and leafy greens, but steer clear of supplements (unless recommended by your doctor) because too much iron can be toxic.

Eat for energy. Proper planning of your meals and snacks will give your body steady fuel. On days that you plan a heavy workout, you might need to eat even more before you head to the gym.

Deal with stress.  . Instead of letting your stress prevent you from hitting the gym, think of your workout as a much-needed break. Use this small window of "me" time to mentally sort through any issues you've been dealing with lately.

Stay hydrated.  When not exercising, be sure you get 80+ ounces a water a day.

HERE’S TO BEING FIT FOR LIFE! Chris is a Certified Personal Trainer, USA Triathlon Level 1 Coach, Group Exercise Instructor, exercise and endurance enthusiast.  He competes yearly in numerous running races, marathons, ultra-marathons, triathlons and other endurance events.  He is a member of the 2015 QT2 Systems Advanced Team.

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