Hello! I’m sorry I couldn’t be here to post, but this is one heck of a busy week. Thank goodness I have awesome bloggie buddies like Heather to help me out! Check out her awesome guest post, and don’t forget to stop by her blog.
Hi everyone! For those of you that don’t know me, I’m Heather and I blog about food & fitness at Better With Veggies. I’m excited to be guest posting for Tiff today, sharing some tips about something I’ve been working on this year!
We’re halfway through January – the month of new beginning and often goals (or resolutions). How are you doing on your goals for 2012? If you’re like many people, you probably have some fitness goals on your list – lose weight, run faster and farther, tone up, kick butt at your next race…you get the idea.
If you’re working on a fitness goal, you’ve probably have a plan on how you’re going to get there. What changes you are going to make to your diet, how many miles you’re going to run each week, the weights your going to lift at the gym. Have you thought about how you’re going to reward yourself along the way?
For me, food and drinks have typically been my reward of choice. I just finished a really long run, so I deserve a huge meal, a couple of beers, and a nice dessert later. Tough bike ride on Thursday night? It’s time to heard to our favorite sports bar and get a sandwich, fries, & beer. I had a good run on Wednesday night, so let’s hit up Mellow Mushroom for a pizza and split a pitcher of beer.
Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong in splurging every once in a while on comfort food and good beer, but if the end of most of your workouts look like this (and this is what mine looked like quite often in the past!) -– you may not get the results you are hoping for. Those calories add up fast and soon you’ve eaten more (or about the same as) what you just burned. You’re also not refueling your body with the best fuel for recovery.
So what am I suggesting? Should you just munch on a celery stick after finishing a killer workout? No! That’s just mean!
Here’s my suggestion:Think like an Athlete. When you finish that hard workout, what does your body really need?
- Recovery Fuel: Within 45 minutes of your workout, it’s time to refuel your body with a snack (liquid or solid). The ratio most experts recommend is 3:1 or 4:1 (carbs: protein). One of my favorite options is Chocolate Almond Milk – very quick and easy. For a bigger workout, I’ll whip up a quick recovery shake with Vega Protein Powder (Chocolate), Banana, Peanut Butter, Ground Flax, Almond Milk, & Ice.
- Put Your Feet Up: Relax and let your body absorb the workout. Right now, I’m usually pretty cold after an outdoor workout, so I’ve been relaxing in a warm bath after my runs. Bonus: Add some bubbles, light a candle, and grab a book – a great way to rewind and refresh!
- Massage: Regular massage is a great way to loosen your muscles and help prevent injuries. It also feels great – so it certainly feels like a reward for your hard work! There are a few ways to help work regular massage into your budget:
- Places like Massage Envy offer discounted massages when committing to a monthly massage.
- Watch for coupons on discount sites like Living Social, Groupon, or Couptessa.
- Swap massages with a friend – you give a massage this week, you get one next week. You could turn this into a date night activity with your favorite date!
This year, instead of always splurging on food & drink because “I earned it”, I’m going to think about what my body needs. I’ll enjoy my chocolate almond milk (or shake) and soak in a nice warm bath. Ah……
Now remember, the occasional beer is not probably not going to hinder your goals. And that delicious slice of cake you’ve been eyeing can still fit into a healthy diet. Just be sure you are making smart choices most of the time, so you can meet your goals, stay healthy, and enjoy life!
Do you usually reward yourself with food or drinks? What is your favorite post-workout recovery snack? Do you ever have trouble balancing your goals and rewarding your hard work?