Guest Blogger, Ann!

  Yup, that’s Ann rockin the Bear Lake Brawl
 an Olympic Distance Triathlon!  Nice Job Fit Mama!

I have long admired Ann’s athletic ability and it only makes sense that she now has her very own Personal Training and Coaching business.  I wanted to get her input on what helps her keep up with family, business and training for Triathlons (not the little mini ones I do, but real live Triathlons!)  The topic she chose is so on point.  Thanks for bringing us back to the basics that we often take for granted.

Thanks Ann!

Enjoy Ann’s Post!

I went to high school with Jodie. More specifically, I graduated with her sister, Amanda, and co-captained the swim team with her our senior year.  Since then, I have moved to Lander, Wyoming and own my own personal training and coaching business, Advanced Fitness.  I was directed to Jodie’s web site by mutual friends, as I was looking for healthy recipes for my family including my almost 3 and almost 5 year old daughters.  My 3 yr old, is allergic to soy and my husband is gluten sensitive, so cooking can be a challenge in my home.   I am also an athlete myself competing in triathlons, running, and cycling races of all distances.  When Jodie asked me to write a post for February, I was honored.  So here I am, February 29, writing my post.  Good thing an extra day was added to this month for those who procrastinate.  Since I hate to cook, I thought I would write about water.  As a swimmer, I also thought this was fitting!  Water is important for us to remember to drink both in the winter and summer months especially when engaging in exercise.
Water a Vital Nutrient
It is widely known that it is important to drink water when exercising.  However, many athletes do not maintain proper hydration levels, thus causing a decrease in performance level.  Every athlete needs to stay hydrated throughout the day in order to maintain proper water balance within the body.  Water makes up 70-75% of a person’s muscle tissue. 
The Role of Water within the Body
1.       Helps to cool the body through sweat helping to regulate the temperature of the body.
2.       Protects important tissues including the brain and spinal cord.
3.       Lubricates joints.
4.       Provides structure to body parts.
5.       Is the main component in blood.  Blood transports the oxygen to working muscles, so this is particularly important to athletes.
Hydration Level is Affected by:
1.        Sweat produced during exercise
2.       Dry climates
3.       Living and training at altitude
4.       Alcohol intake
Importance of Hydration
It is important for athletes to arrive at each exercise session fully hydrated.  Thirst alone should not be the guiding factor for when to drink water.  By the time thirst develops, a significant decrease in the level of fluids and an increase in sodium concentrations is already detected in the body.  When this occurs, performance level has already begun to take a dive.  Developing regular water drinking habits is vital in reaching optimal performance goals.  Improving your hydration status can also result in better recovery between training sessions and increase energy levels.
How to Stay Hydrated
1.        Limit alcohol intake.
2.       Try to drink ~8oz of water every hour.
3.       Be sure that half of daily fluid intake is water.
4.       Limit caffeine intake especially right before and right after training.
5.       Monitor hydration by making sure urine is clear or lemonade color.  Also, be sure to empty a full bladder at least 4 times/day.

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