The summer months keep me on my toes and bouncing from activity to activity. Few weekends are spent at home and there is virtually no boredom in our household. Over the last few years, I have taken up a few new activities, including paddleboarding, rafting and most recently, mountain biking. One thing I quickly realize, no matter what the activity is, is how grateful I am to have the fitness and nutrition to support all of these different activities. That does not mean it is easy for me by any means…I always joke that I think we have a different set of lungs for each activity- biking lungs, swimming lungs, running lungs, etc. It takes me time to adapt to each activity, but I do feel like I am able to keep up a little bit more and adapt quickly due to the fitness level I maintain.
One thing I struggle with, especially in the summertime, are feelings of guilt that I do not get as many “workouts” in each week as I normally would. Well, that is pretty stupid, right? I workout so that I can do fun things on the weekend, and attempt to keep up, but sometimes I forget that most of these activities are exercise as well. It is a re-training of my typical thinking that I have to try to master. So what if I only get 3 or 4 days in the gym and then 2 days doing outdoor activities…that is still a high activity level, and it can be very easy to over do it if you do not manage yourself properly. Anybody else decide to get in a quick workout before going and skiing or biking for a couple of hours? I have, and I instantly regret it! I feel like my body just can not give me 100 percent. And this is where it gets easy to over do it…not taking in to consideration all of the other activities we do that add strain to our bodies, and piling on our high intensity gym workouts on top of them.
No more for me! I am giving my body a break! I get in my gym days during the week, but I am not sweating it anymore if I miss a day or two here and there. Giving your body the proper rest and recovery is so important, and often overlooked.
This also applies to our nutrition. Anybody else let loose a little on a Friday night, and then pay for it the next day? I am already slow on my bike, I do not need anymore reasons to slow me down! So, while I think it is very important, mentally, to have those days where you relax and just do not worry about what you eat, it is equally as important to ensure that you are fueling your body properly. My recovery instantly goes down when I start eating poorly. I can just about guarantee I will be 50% more sore when I eat poorly and add any alcohol to the mix.
Here are a few tips to stay on track while being a weekend warrior:
- Stay hydrated- even if your kicking back and enjoying some drinks, be sure to get your water in. You will feel so much better if you can do this!
- Pack healthy snacks. And no, I don’t mean all the “goos” here. A lot of times we use hiking and biking for a couple of hours as a good excuse to start eating artificial carbohydrates, but you can still eat real food. There are some good bars out there, you just have to read the ingredient label. What you will find in my cooler are Rx Bars, rice cakes, peanut butter, fresh berries, and a Nooma to rehydrate. Remember, just because the label says “Organic, Gluten Free, Non-GMO” does NOT mean it is healthy!
- If you are going to have a less than ideal meal, eat a salad first. Give your body some of the good stuff before you load it with the processed stuff.
- If you know that you are going to need some “treats” after that long day of playing, make something healthy during the week to pack along.
- See my post Camping Eats for some good food ideas!
So, get out there and use your fitness outside! Don’t worry about missing a gym day here and there, you will probably be better off for it! Eat well and give your body what it needs to keep you going so that you can get the most out of your summer.