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Quick Summertime Fitness Tips

Bring on Summer!

Bring on the Summer of 2013!

I don’t know about you, but at this time of year, I’d rather be out doing something active than reading about it. So, here’s a simple Motivation Monday post with my top three tips for how to make the most out of this month and the soon-to-arrive summer season.

1) Stay hydrated:  As the mercury rises, we tend to be more aware of getting the right amount of fluids throughout the day. Be sure to drink 16 ounces of water one hour before your workout and keep sipping throughout. I know lots of people amp up on caffeine before hitting the gym, but just remember to proceed with caution. If I’m dragging at the end of the work day, iced green tea offers just the kick I need to get myself to the gym. However, we all react differently to caffeine, so be sure to gauge how much you can tolerate and avoid the jitters. Want my take on sugary energy drinks? Unless you’re an athlete running up and down a court or field for 90 minutes or longer, skip the extra calories and stick with water.

2) Love Your Bod: ‘Tis the season for short shorts, tank tops, bikinis and all-things skin revealing. Which makes it all too easy to start the self-sabotaging act of comparing ourselves to others. So, here’s an important reminder: no two bodies are built the same. Let other fitness fanatics motivate you to move simply because you want to feel the same endorphin rush they’re experiencing. It shouldn’t be about getting the same “six-pack” abs as the gal who just ran by you in nothing more than shorts and a sports bra or the same pecs as the guy doing push-ups on the park bench. If you’re doing all you can to exercise, eat healthy and take care of yourself in general, give yourself a pat on the back and bask in all the positives you experience because of your lifestyle.

3) Have fun! This really is the perfect season to explore your options beyond the four walls of a gym. Maybe this is the year you try paddle boarding, Saturday morning boot camp classes in the park or join a social dodgeball club in your area. Turn the outdoors into your fitness playground and mix things up!

If you have any tips that add to your summertime fitness fun, I’d love to hear about them! Here’s to another great week ahead filled with lots of opportunities to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

Energy Boost?

Recently, my friend and colleague, Rob, asked if I had ever tried the over-the-counter liquid shots we see at drug stores everywhere called “5-Hour Energy.” When I told him I hadn’t, he suggested I give one a try and write about what happened. I said to myself, “What a great idea!”

I thought today would be the perfect time to try a “shot,” as I had a marathon shoot to produce which featured a 4:30 a.m. wake-up call in order to capture three Internet videos for a corporate client by 4:30 p.m. I cannot drink regular coffee before 7 a.m. as it does a number on my stomach. So, I had an iced decaf around 6:30 am and decided to try the “5-Hour Energy” shot for a boost in the afternoon. It was the first and last time I’ll ever use the drink to get my energy up.

Please know, all my comments are based solely on my personal experience with this popular energy drink. Some of you reading this post may be big fans and never experienced the following effects: within 30 minutes of drinking all 1.93 fluid ounces of the berry-flavored shot, my head started pounding and I had palpitations. I was definitely awake, but for me, the headache and flutters in my chest were not what I expected or hoped to experience. I realize I was under some extra stress and pressure because of my demanding day, but turning to a cup of green tea of second 16-ounce iced coffee after lunch never caused me to feel like I did this afternoon.  In the end, I wish I had simply relied on one of my regular “energy boosters” instead of the shot.

Again, I realize there are many people out there who use these drinks to get through a long day or even rev up before a workout. I thought this was simply a good opportunity to share my own personal experience in the hopes of raising awareness that even over-the-counter products and supplements can cause unwanted or unexpected results.

One positive note: I definitely didn’t experience any kind of “crash” after the five-hours were up. I simply got tired again when the long workday came to an end.  Now, I look forward to getting some solid sleep and starting a new day filled with new opportunities to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

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