Finding Your Body’s Secret Energy Store
I used to hate running – I think it was all because of the mandatory school P.E. classes in elementary and high school to be quite honest.
It wasn’t until after exercising wasn’t mandatory anymore did I start enjoying it. I became a bit more proactive and would go to the public gym, run around the block, use my elliptical… But I never really got into a routine (mind you, I was pretty young).
In this last year or so I’ve really gotten into the swing of things and now run regularly and weight train a lot. And it’s all thanks to a few key factors I finally discovered and focused in on.
1. Discover What Fuels the Engine Best
Pay attention to your energy levels when you are working out and compare that to a few things – what you ate, when you ate it, whether you stretched first, what your environment is like… and then switch things up to see how it affects your performance.
Personally I’ve found that I need to eat at least an hour before running or else I don’t perform very well. I also need to avoid milk products beforehand or I get phlegmy mid-run and have a hard time breathing. These are just a few of the things I discovered once I tuned in.
Listen to your body!
2. Re-evaluate Your Diet and Nutrition
Ever since cutting out most meats a bit over a year ago I have gained so much energy – it’s like the switch to a plant-based diet revealed this secret energy store in my body that was just hiding out waiting to be released.
There are so many myths and false information around “going vegan” or vegetarian, as an example I’ll speak to what is said about protein or calcium and not getting enough of it.
All plants have protein – some more than others – and plants should have calcium as well considering calcium is in the soil plants are grown in. Then cows eat a ridiculous amount of plants to live and create milk and everyone thinks cows magically produce it. Not to mention plant-based calcium and protein absorb into the human body much better than animal-based. Imagine that.
So as long as you are a healthy vegan (you actually live off of primarily vegetables, fruits, legumes, grains, etc. and not just junk food) you consume more than sufficient amounts of essential nutrients and minerals and will even make better use of them.
Discovering this has made all the difference for me!
3. Know Who Your Support Group Is
It’s important to have at least one person who will keep you accountable and who has similar values when it comes to health and exercise. It’s nice to know someone is rooting you on! Especially when many will bring you down.
Luckily a lot of my co-workers are really into exercising as well – my company even pays for us to attend races a few times a year. I am very grateful for a work environment that supports my health choices.
4. Educate Yourself About Proper Footwear
I used to just run in the most random shoes and no wonder I would roll my ankle or get a cramp or hurt my back. Footwear is soo important.
Go to a footwear specialty store like The Running Room or New Balance and get a free evaluation. You’ll be surprised what you learn and the benefits you will reap if you adjust your footwear or habits.
Overall, Listen to Your Body
Take care of yourself and listen to your body all day every day. If you are feeling groggy ask yourself why and take into account your diet, stress, sleep, and everything in-between.
You’ll be amazed by what you can learn and change for the better.