A few weeks ago, I was having trouble motivating myself in my workouts. Even on days when I walked into the gym with an interesting plan and the ambition to really ‘kill it’, that ambition would peter out not long after my workout began. At first, I blamed it on the post-vacation blahs. You know the feeling; you have a fantastic time in a new place, eating wonderful food and seeing wonderful things, and when you return home, everything seems so ordinary and a little boring in comparison. When the ‘blahs’ started to drag on a little too long, I reconciled myself to the fact that, in addition to missing the sweet freedom of vacation, the temperature here in Germany had risen drastically while I was out of town and my body just hadn’t had time to adjust.
Then, the temperature dipped back down into comfortable sweatshirt weather and I-just-got-back-from-the-BEST-vacation became I-had-a-really-fabulous-vacation-a-couple-weeks-ago and I still was having a hard time finding my groove. Everything in the gym felt difficult to do; I wasn’t able to lift as much weight, I was running more slowly and for shorter distances and spending less time at the gym in general, and I was baffled as to why. I was eating well, sleeping well, and, I thought, getting enough fluids.
It wasn’t until I started to consistently get headaches in the afternoons following my lackluster workouts that I realized maybe I was not well hydrated. I had increased the amount of water I was drinking, but I guess not enough to keep up with the amount I was losing and the super high temperatures. I started making it a point to drink lots of water and a little Gatorade throughout the day (I use the powdered Gatorade so that I can dilute it a little more), and now things are back to normal.
We’ve got to watch out for dehydration in the summer, especially when we are exercising. We lose even more through sweat and respiration when it is hot and humid than we do during the cooler months (because, duh, we sweat more and breathe harder when it is hot out. I don’t why this wasn’t obvious to me!?), and we must be sure we are replacing those fluids in order for our bodies to function properly and replacing them with things that actually hydrate us. A Dunkin Donuts Iced Latte may be a refreshing treat, but the caffeine and sugar it contains dehydrate us further, the same goes for sodas. Nothing does the job better than good, old fashioned, H2O.
Now that I’ve watered myself enough, I’m feeling FANTASTIC and am making up for my lazy days of being under-hydrated. In addition to my normal weightlifting/cardio routine, I’ve started to step up my running a bit more with some interval training and have added some sporadic swimming into the mix. In another week or so, I will be starting a fitness Boot Camp (as opposed to a weightloss Boot Camp) at my gym. The gal working at the front desk when I signed up didn’t have much information on the Boot Camp (she was on vacation when it was presented and it was her first day back when I signed up), so I actually do not know anything about it other than it is focused on fitness improvement. I could probably ask about it again, but I think I’m going to let it be a mystery and see what fun (and pain, probably some pain) awaits me. In the meantime, I’m going to stay hydrated and get a dose of fitness inspiration from tonight’s World Cup game (Deutschland v/s Argentina for the big one, Schwarz, Rot, Gold, all the way!).