fuel your better
By default, I’m an anxious human. When not in check, my subconscious mind has the ability to get the best of me. And if I’m not careful—I’m in deep before I even realize. At that point, it can be a steep uphill climb to move beyond the bundle of nervous energy that has come crashing down on me.
For those (millions) of us living with anxiety, there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to dealing. That said, anxiety is something that we must live with and manage so it doesn’t cause our bodies harm, or have a negative impact on our relationships (with ourselves or others).
Although some seasons of my life are more anxiety-ridden than others, the following methods and activities help me cope and live with a clearer mind regardless of what is happening externally.
There are a number of reasons I love running, but one benefit of running that oftentimes goes unrecognized is its stress-relieving properties. When I start my day running, it sets the tone for the whole day—clear mind, energized body, focused spirit. This is true for every single run, whether it’s a strong 10 mile training run that’s invigorating and empowering, or a 2 mile shuffle that’s so miserable I can barely keep my feet moving. When I follow up my work day with a run, it’s a similar scenario. A post-work run allows me to reset my brain and shift my attention away from work before the evening begins. No matter how intense, or what time of day, running provides me with instant decompression and gratification. It gets the blood flowing, not only to my brain, but to each and every part of my body.
TIP: If you hate running, try another aerobic activity. What do I mean by aerobic? I mean cardiovascular exercise, be it biking, hiking, swimming, dancing, or even simply taking a speedy walk with your dog— anything to get your body moving, oxygen flowing, and your heart rate up. I find that getting my heart rate up while exercising helps me have a lower resting heart rate, which also means my body is less likely to store up nervous energy to be released in a negative way.
I know I’ve sounded off quite frequently this summer about surviving the heat, but it’s certainly been a hot one. Thanks to Vega’s Fuel Your Better campaign, despite the heat, I’ve been able to improve my fueling regime this summer, and focus on asking myself a single question: “What’s holding you back from better?” Along with helping me answer this question and motivating me toward better fueling, the Fuel Your Better campaign has turned my liking of Vega products into a love. This summer, the focus of my Vega love has been on a three-part sustain package made up of Vega Sport products that hydrate and provide immediate energy.
I’ve been sipping on Vega Electrolyte Hydrator every single day this summer (running or not) and I don’t plan on stopping this practice. Not only have I welcomed my family on board drinking Hydrator with me, I’ve even been blending up Hydrator-infused smoothies to share.
It’s no secret that staying in any kind of groove during the sweltering summer months is something that’s been incredibly difficult for me this season. It’s been all I can do to survive the summer heat. Trekking back and forth across Florida while trying to get a number of dreams and schemes sorted out before fall arrives has not made things any easier. Instead, it has discombobulated my running regularity and any sort of routine I thought I would uphold this past month. Still, my running shoes have been going with me everywhere, and I have been making an effort to run in between thunderstorms. Each and every run has been a sweaty, tiring kick in the butt.
As the latter portion of summer blazes on, in an effort to keep on keeping on and hold myself a bit more accountable between now and the arrival of fall, I’ve developed a simple 8 Week Base Training Plan.
I am not what you would call a melon person. Yes, I said it. I hesitate ordering fruit salad as a side item when dining out because I know there is a 90 percent chance that it will be packed with honeydew or cantaloupe that is void of all color and freshness. Maybe some soggy pineapple if I’m lucky. While I’ll never appreciate melons that have become void of all color and taste, I’m slowly but surely growing to develop a liking for fresh melons, starting with one I already enjoy in small doses—watermelon. Although as a kid my watermelon intake was limited to pool parties, I’ve since learned to enjoy watermelon in cocktails and smoothies.
During the early part of this year, when I first started marathon training, I found myself struggling with proper fueling. Although at that point in time I had just kicked off my perfect oatmeal morning ritual, I had yet to develop a consistent regime for fueling before, during, or after runs.
Sure, I was drinking a reasonable amount of water, but I wasn’t taking any extra measures to replace electrolytes. As things heated up and the marathon rapidly approached, I found myself ending my long runs covered in salt, and feeling dehydrated and spent. Once I reached that point, no amount of water could revive me. Like many, I knew I could and should be fueling better, but I wasn’t taking the necessary strides.