Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Roadblocks

This post is coming pretty much directly from Active.com. I take no credit for it but I thought the information is may be useful to some people whether it's running or any activity you are trying to do.

This article addresses what to do when you want to work out but morning, afternoon or evening roadblocks try to get the better of you.

Per the article:

"Hormonal and neurological shifts occur in our body, which can impact how we feel about exercise and how we feel while exercising," says exercise physiologist Julia Moffitt, Ph.D., assistant professor of physiology and pharmacology at Des Moines University. Luckily, you can outsmart these internal power struggles and reduce the temptation of hitting snooze, working through lunch, or cutting a workout short. Here's how to clear the roadblocks in your running day.

Morning Roadblock:

Morning hours are challenging because body temperature and heart rate dip to their lowest point at this time," Moffitt says. "In the presence of light, body temperature and heart-rate increase, which makes it easier to be active." The carbohydrates in your last meal play a role, too. If you skipped dinner or ate fast-digesting carbs like rice, bread, or sugary desserts, your glycogen levels will be depleted, making it even harder to muster the energy to get up.

HURDLE IT: Prep for an early-morning run the night before. Eat slow-digesting carbs like broccoli, beans, and lentils. Set your automatic coffeemaker to brew before you wake. "Caffeine can help stimulate your arousal system and get you ready to run," Moffitt says. Shut-eye is important, too. If you're constantly waking up feeling exhausted, it's a sign you aren't getting enough z's. Turn off the computer and TV at least 30 minutes before you hit the sack and get blackout shades for your windows — the absence of light boosts production of melatonin, a hormone that makes you feel sleepy.

Late-Day Roadblock:

IT'S BEEN A LONG DAY AND YOU'RE BEAT

WHAT'S HAPPENING: Mental fatigue lowers dopamine, a brain chemical that makes you feel energized. Plus, blood sugar dips again between 5 and 7 p.m.

HURDLE IT: Don't confuse mental fatigue with physical fatigue. Researchers from Bangor University in Wales report that short-term mental fatigue doesn't impact the physical function. So it's your mind — not your body — that craves downtime. And running is the perfect antidote. "Running elevates your nervous system, which increases your sense of alertness," Moffitt says. Resist the urge to skip your run by packing your gear, changing at work, and going directly to the gym or trail. Even better, join — or start — an after-work running group. Keep your energy up with a snack before your run.

Midrun Roadblock:

YOU'RE TEMPTED TO WALK OR CUT YOUR RUN SHORT


WHAT'S HAPPENING: On a run that's longer than 90 minutes, it's probably a fuel issue. "As you run out of carbohydrates, your body uses fats for energy, which takes longer and leads to a sluggish feeling until that fuel kicks in," Moffitt says. Or it could all be in your head: "You may feel like you've done enough, and no one's watching anyway," DeVries says.

HURDLE IT: On runs longer than an hour, consume 100 to 200 calories every 30 to 60 minutes to replenish energy stores, says Nancy Clark, R.D., a sports-nutrition expert. Keeping a running log can also discourage you from taking shortcuts, DeVries says. You won't want to write that you did eight miles instead of 10.

Postrun Roadblock:

YOU WANT TO CRASH, NOT STRETCH AND ICE

WHAT'S HAPPENING: When you stop running, your blood pressure drops and blood pools in your legs, which may make you feel weary and lightheaded. "You may feel 'my work is done; I deserve to chill out now,'" DeVries says.

HURDLE IT: Slow your pace the last mile of your run, and then walk for a few minutes before stopping. Because muscles are most pliable and inflammation is at its peak right after running, try to stretch and ice trouble spots after cooling down. Then, within an hour of finishing, consume a carb-protein snack. "Carbohydrates refill your glycogen stores, while protein repairs muscles," Clark says. Record your postrun routine (stretching, icing, refueling) in your log so you'll consider it just as important as the run itself, DeVries says.

Again: I take no credit, nor do I agree or disagree with the article. I think it has some useful information that may or may not help with your workouts. Let me know what you think of the information provided.

I may just have to go for a run, a longer one, this evening!

****Also, Danica from Danica's Daily is having a giveaway for a Wiseman Tea package. Visit her blog if you would like to enter to win. Contest ends this Friday!

2 comments:

  1. Great tips, Amanda! Thank you for sharing that info :)

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  2. Thanks for sharing! I'm a morning person but I do find I lack energy in the am, I'll try changing up my meal at night :)

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