Tag Archives: Personal Training

5 Ways Hydrating Can Keep You from Hurting

By: Howard Shapiro


You’re all set for your 3:00 workout. Pre-workout snack? Check. Exercise clothes? Check. But just when you thought it was safe to Push Play on your P90X® DVD, you realize there’s one important thing missing: your water bottle!

Water Bottles and Dumbbells

That little 12-ounce bottle is truly a fitness enthusiast’s best friend. After all, adequate fluid intake during a workout is essential for comfort, performance, and safety. And the longer and more intensely you exercise, the more important it is to drink the right kind of fluids.

Here are 5 important things to know about hydration and exercise:

  1. Woman with Sports Bottle Water works wonders. Did you know that in 1 hour of exercise, your body can lose a quart or more of water? (If you did, give yourself a big pat on the back.) It’s a fact: Water helps replenish your body because of the amount you sweat during a typical workout.

    Drinking water throughout your workout has a variety of other benefits too. Your muscles can start to cramp if you don’t drink enough. This is because water aids in the removal of lactic acid, which is the primary cause of muscle soreness.

    It also helps prevent the dreaded “D” word: dehydration.

    Becoming dehydrated can severely hamper your athletic performance, slowing you down and making you feel sluggish. But in extreme cases, it can also cause dizziness, heatstroke, or even death. Last time I checked, none of these seemed like appealing options.

    Want to make a preemptive strike against dehydration? Don’t wait until you begin your workout to get water into your system. So when should you start, you ask? Great question.

  2. Man Drinking Bottled WaterDrink water before, during, and after your workout. Many people tend to forget about drinking before exercise, which can be another major reason for dehydration. None of the water you drink when you start working out makes it into your system quickly enough to help your body. This is why you need to drink about 15 to 20 ounces 2 to 3 hours before you work out in order to hydrate properly. (Sorry, this doesn’t include alcoholic beverages.)

    It’s also vital to stay hydrated while you exercise. Remember to drink 8 to 10 ounces of water approximately every 10 to 15 minutes while you work out, not just when you’re thirsty. And once you finish working out? Since your body needs to replenish the electrolytes it lost during exercise, a good sports drink will do the trick quite nicely.

  3. The skinny on sports drinks. Sports drinks are perfect for athletes, or those exercising at a high intensity for 60 minutes or more. These drinks contain fluids that supply the needed calories required for continuous performance.

    Be careful though, as most of these drinks add extra calories from sugar, which can wind up hurting your diet if you drink too much. How’s that for a catch-22?

    The bottom line is there’s nothing wrong with sipping on a sports drink throughout your workout, and afterwards to replace essential electrolytes.

  4. Woman Drinking Water After WorkoutKnow the signs of dehydration. The first sign is thirst. I know this sounds painfully obvious, but it’s true. When the body is dehydrated, it sends a message to the brain that fluids are needed.

    The next sign is the ever-annoying muscle cramp. When you sweat, you lose sodium, which causes cramping of large muscle groups. People sweat at different rates, and those who sweat more are at greater risk for cramping.

    Next, it’s time for a little bathroom break. No, not now—during your workout.

    Basically, if your urine is the color of lemonade, you’re doing well. If by chance it’s leaning toward the color of apple juice, you need to reach for another glass of fluid. Other symptoms of dehydration include headache, poor concentration, fatigue, constipation, disorientation, and light-headedness.

  5. Woman with Bottled Water During WorkoutTips for “wetting” your appetite. Here are a few helpful reminders to ensure that you don’t find yourself on the verge of dehydration:
    • Carry a bottle. Many people find it useful to fill up a big plastic drinking bottle. If you carry it with you all day, you won’t find yourself without water when it’s time to work out. Plus everyone else is doing it, so you’ll look really trendy!
    • Set a reminder. Set your watch to beep at the top of each hour, or set a periodic computer reminder so you don’t forget to drink.
    • Track your progress. Keep a log of how much you drink. This will help increase awareness and help ensure you’re staying on track.
    • Little by little. Whatever you drink during your workout, take it in frequent small amounts. This proven strategy guarantees that your body will absorb fluids more rapidly and effectively—leaving you energized and well hydrated.

In truth, the dangers of dehydration are real and often overlooked. However, staying hydrated before, during, and after exercise will keep your body’s engine running smoothly. You’ll be protecting your internal organs and preventing your muscles from getting damaged. I’ll drink to that!

The whole package!

Sailors work out to prepare for upcoming physi...

Sailors work out to prepare for upcoming physical fitness assessment. (Photo credit: Official U.S. Navy Imagery)


I have met several people who want to change a part of their health and fitness, recently.  Many of these people have reached a point of desperation and want the quick fix weight loss pill.  Can I tell you that a quick fix does not exist?  You cannot drink just a protein shake, or just take a pill, starve yourself, or exercise non-stop and be truly fit.  It takes a decision to change your lifestyle, a plan on how you want to reach your goals, support from others to help you on your journey, healthy nutrition and a regular fitness program.  This is the total package that will help make lasting changes in your life.  You can do it and trust me, the results are worth it.  So, where are you on this journey? Have you decided to change a part of your life and need help figuring out what the next step is?  Reach out, there are people who are available and willing to give you some extra motivation to reach the goals you want.

You are NOT too busy or too tired!

English: At sea aboard USS Bataan (LHD 5) Sept...


There are 2 common excuses people use to not exercise.  They are: 1) I don’t have enough time and 2) I’m just too tired to do it.  Guess what, if you plan out your day and get your exercise done in the morning the rest of your day will be better.  I am not a morning person.  I HATE mornings and would treat myself to sleeping in past 9am most Saturday’s.  But, I have been able to successfully change my routine and make early morning (5am) exercise part of my day 6 days a week.  Surprisingly, I don’t miss sleeping in and find myself out of bed before 8 am on Saturday. 

Do you know what successful people have in common?  They tend to exercise before the go to work.  Exercise can help you think more clearly, become more productive and improve your energy.  Ahhhhh….did you catch that? You will have more energy if you exercise.  That leads me to excuse #2 “I’m too tired.”  That excuse doesn’t hold any water and is just plain bologna.  There’s a ton of research out there that supports the fact that exercise will improve your energy and fitness level, make you look younger, increase your self confidence level, a better sex life, longer life span, improve your overall quality of life, help you lose those extra pounds you’re concerned about and make you more productive.

How do you keep the motivation going?


English: YOKOSUKA, Japan (Jan. 31, 2011) Tony ...

Image via Wikipedia

You have decided to exercise and hit it at full speed, but now the enthusiasm is dwindling and now its work to keep your energy going. 

Let me start off by saying, “Don’t quit! You have made good choices and there are tricks to help.”

  1. Set realistic goals.  Don’t start a program when you’re new to fitness thinking that you’ll run a marathon in 3 months.
  2. Vary your workout program.  There are some workouts that have 15-20 min options (HIIT routines). These are short for days when it is hard to fit everything in.
  3. Visualize how you want to look when you have reached your goal.
  4. Schedule the workout.  Make this non-negotiable and stick to it.
  5. Find your “soul-mate” workout.  It’s one that you love and can fall back on when you don’t feel like doing anything.
  6. Allow yourself some rest breaks.  It really is ok to take one or two days off. This may actually refuel the engine and help you get back on track. The key is not going off the deep end nutritionally and getting back into the groove after your rest break.
  7. Find out why you’re not interested in working out.  Are you bored? Do you need some support or friends to work out with? Reach out to people who have the same goals and support each other.
  8. Limit distractions—do not work on your ipad while trying to do P90X.  You’ll lose focus and not give your best effort. Find a time of day when the kids aren’t running in and out of the room for things so that you can give your full attention to your workouts. This will help keep you focused and get you results.


If you need help with finding your “soul mate” workout or other tricks I’m here to help. Just send me a comment.

How to keep motivated?

fitnessThat’s a pretty common question even the most fit person has asked themselves.  First, I think it’s important to realize that you’re not alone when you feel that way.  Finding a group of people who are like minded and dedicated to their fitness program is a key ingredient to success. Also, find something that you LOVE to do and commit to it.  Say to yourself, “For the next 4 weeks I will exercise 6 days a week, log my food, and track my results.”  You may need to play around with the time of day that you workout so that it can realistically fit into you life.  Reach out to others when your feeling down, BLAH or just plain ready to quit.  Quitting is not something that I allow myself to do.  If you need more help please feel free to check out my website http://www.homefitnessjunky.com or like me on my Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/Homefitnessjunky


Want to get into the best shape of your life?  I’m starting a 30 day Beachbody Challenge group to help people reach their fitness goals.  Join our team as we work together to hold each other accountable, and motivate, inspire and encourage each other to   achieve amazing results.  It’s easy!

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