Now that it is summer and getting unbearably hot outside here in Mississippi, my workout routine has changed quite a bit. I plan to talk about my results a little more in my body after baby 9 month post coming up in a couple weeks, but I am definitely seeing some results and doing things a lot differently.
I have always struggled to run in the heat. Just because you live in the south doesn’t mean running in 100 degrees with 99% humidity gets any easier, you just learn to accept that it’s just the way it is. I can remember being a small child at field day at the end of the school year and getting horrible headaches from running around in the heat (and no I’m not dehydrated). Anyway, summers have always been tough for me because I am not great at getting my butt to the gym, and would prefer to workout at home on my own time. Also, I like to keep a base of 5-6 miles in the summer (ok, 6 is pushing it, I typically cap out at 5).
So humid my sweat refuses to evaporate!
So, these facts coupled with the undeniable truth that I have been struggling to lose the last 5 pounds of baby weight led me to make some changes in my routine (I will save the eating side of things for my body after baby post). From mid December-March, I was marathon training, so I was running all the miles and eating all the foods. This got me through my race, but it didn’t do great things for my waistline. I knew something needed to change, so here is what I am now doing as far as workouts go (not food changes):
1.) Running less: Gasp! I know right? A distance runner running less, what is wrong in the universe! I know, I know. Like I said…it’s hot here. Even at 6:30 in the morning and 8:00 at night. I was getting terrible headaches and getting very frustrated in general, so I decided to cut my runs to 2-3 days a week, and my max mileage has been 5 miles at a time, and I am only doing that every 2-3 weeks with my other runs being 2-3 miles.
2.) More short, HITT and other cardio workouts: I have been randomly finding workouts on Youtube that I can do in my living room…in the air-condition. Most are between 10-20 minutes long, so I can fit them in easily during the day. My poor body is sore the next day from just those few minutes!
3.) More strength workouts: In addition to the HITT workouts I have been finding, I have also found short strength routines that target things like arms, legs, or abs. I pick one at random and do them at home as well. I have 10 pound dumb bells and an active motion bar, as well as a yoga mat. Pretty much all I have needed so far.
4.) More Walking/resting: I used to take one day off a week, but instead of that I am now taking two days off, once day of complete rest and another of active rest. I have been going for a lot of walks either at home with the dog, or early in the morning at the park with the baby. It’s a great way to get some steps in but at a more leisurely stress free pace. It mixes things up and keeps my body guessing, and it’s working for me for now.
5.) More sleep: This is a big one. When I am tired the first thing that I tend to cut out in favor of more sleep is my workout (well, I can’t really cut out work or cooking or taking care of the wee one now can I?) It isn’t always fun to go to bed at 9:00 (one day last week it was 8:45!) but even if Emma Kate wakes up at 5:45, I am still well rested enough to not skip that workout, and I just feel so much better in general.
I know these things kind of sound like a no brainer, but for me it was actually putting them all together with some eating changes that have made the difference for me. I have only been doing this for about 3 weeks, but I can already see a difference not only physically, but in my mood and ability to get other tasks done during the day without feeling so tired. I realized I was killing myself trying to run for countless hours and doing sssooo much steady cardio with minimal results. I can’t wait to share what else I’m doing in my body after baby update! Stay tuned!
QOTD: What has been the best approach for you in the summer months when it comes to your fitness?