Do you have enough energy for your workout?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hi Everyone,

I hope everyone had a great day! This evening, I had my first class of my graduate studies. I am pursuing a masters degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies. My class today was therapeutic recreation. I am actually really looking forward to this class (I know I sound dorky). This class will discuss recreation programming for individuals with disabilities. As I was sitting in class, I was thinking that with all of the hundreds of aerobics classes I have seen on schedules, taken, or even taught myself, I have never experienced aerobics for people with disabilities. I hope that through this class, I can learn ways to help disabled individuals experience the joy of group exercise that I love so much! Anyways, on to today's topic:

One of my wonderful readers asked me this question:
How can you maintain energy throughout your workout, even when you work a 9-10 hour day?

I think this is a problem a lot of us struggle with. Between work, school, kids, husbands, social lives, etc. how can anyone have the energy for a quality workout? There are often days I leave for work/school in the morning and don't return to my house for 10-12 hours, but I always try to squeeze in a workout. Now, I do have an unfair advantage because my work involves teaching aerobics. However, unless I am teaching 3+ classes, I usually do my own workout in addition to my classes. (Some of you are thinking yeah right she's crazy, but let me explain) When I teach aerobics, that workout is for my students. I am there to encourage, teach, lead, and motivate, not get in my own workout. Yes, I definitely sweat, burn calories, and workout, but I also have to be on point at all times; cueing, demonstrating exercises, watching for safety hazards, and trying to accommodate students of all skill levels. My personal workouts are my time to destress and just focus on me. So, how do I find energy to workout, even when my schedule gets crazy?

  • Workout smarter not harder. You don't have to log 2 hours in the gym to get in a quality workout. By increasing your intensity you can burn just as many calories in less time.
  • Find an activity you enjoy. If you force yourself to do a mode of exercise you don't like, each session will feel more like work than exercise. Remember, exercise is suppose to be fun. I can always get myself out of bed to go take a great step class, but sometimes forcing myself to swim laps is a chore.
  • Don't fight your internal clock. If you are an early bird, try to workout in the morning. If you are a night owl, wait until the afternoon/evening to workout. Working out when you feel the best will go a long way to improve your energy level. I am definitely an early bird. I would rather workout at 5:30am over 5:30pm any day. Eric on the other hand, would kill someone if he had to workout before 12pm. However, you can adapt. My new job requires me to teach all afternoon/evening classes, so I am trying to learn how to sleep in past 6am. It's very very hard!
  • Repeat after me: everyone needs an off day! I am definitely guilty of not giving my body time to rest and recover between sweat sessions. However, I have experienced how amazing it feels to fully let your body recover and then come back better than ever. Some of you may know that last August I broke my sacrum (which is the flat bone right above your tailbone). I was forced to take 3 months off from running. I can still vividly remember my first run back. It was mid-November and I went for a 5 mile run around campus. I felt like the Red Bull commercials with little wings on my feet. It was one of the most amazing runs of my life. None of my joints hurt, my legs didn't feel heavy, and my shins weren't achy; it was bliss!

  • Fuel up pre-workout. Have a healthy snack of carbs and protein pre-workout. This will give you energy for your workout and let you workout as effectively as possible. My favorite pre-workout snacks include: a green apple and cheese stick, almond butter on toast, a banana and peanut butter, or a South Beach peanut butter granola bar. If you workout after work, make sure you pack a healthy snack to take with you so you're not stuck raiding the vending machine.
  • Don't let your food choices slow you down. Eating heavy, high fat foods for breakfast or lunch will make you drag thgrough your workouts. Eating a consistently healthy diet can vastly improve your energy levels.
I hope these suggestions help!

Food for thought:
Have you ever seen/taught/heard of aerobics for dissalbed individuals?
How do you find the energy to workout when your schedule gets crazy?
What are your favorite pre-workout snacks?

Yours truly,

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2 Responses to “Do you have enough energy for your workout?”

  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Lauren! I love the post. Hopefully, once I get used to this schedule it will just become second nature. I love classes, so it's easy and fun to go - my way of venting/de-stressing! People at work think I'm nuts because I was leaving work and then going to exercise. I had like at least 3 people ask me about it. Like I could really give up me 4-5+ days a week at the gym? Also, I have plantars foot too, what do you do for yours?


  2. super great tips! i think i'm still learning how to appreciate a rest day. it's hard when you love running so much! but of course, when i take a day off, my muscles recover quicker and i run SO much better when i'm back at it! it's definitely worth it in the end :)


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