I’ve been going through some challenging times in my life lately – upheaval in my career, a hard drive crash, lots of travel, and stress.  However, over the past month or so, things have begun to get better.  One of the changes I’ve made is to join a gym.  I’ve wanted to exercise more consistently, so I can http://www.flickr.com/photos/lululemonathleticaimprove my health, but always resisted the idea of a gym.  Too much intimidating equipment, too many people sweating and straining – it just wasn’t for me.

However, a friend of mine recently joined a gym to get her own health in order, and she encouraged me to join as well.  Unfortunately, just as I joined, I partially tore a calf muscle (not in the gym, just walking in a parking lot), so I haven’t been able to work out much yet.  However, I did a couple sessions on the treadmill and elliptical machines, and took a yoga class as well.

After those sessions, I had a revelation – I didn’t want to put junk in my body.  I didn’t want a donut or a vanilla latte; I wanted a cup of green tea.  And some fruit and vegetables.  I didn’t even feel like eating bread or meat or anything heavy.  But I knew that the first thing I needed was the tea.

I knew that the tea would replenish my fluids and provide some antioxidants, but it was more than that – it felt like a “clean” beverage.  It’s transparently honest and healthy, not clouded with milk or sweeteners (at least the way I drink it).  It’s refreshing and soothing, and it puts no stress on your body.  I drink water constantly, and had been during my workouts, but I felt like I needed more.  I needed to replenish myself, and tea was the right way to do it.

Of course, there is plenty of research to back this up, and it’s not like I have to look for an excuse to drink tea – I pretty much drink it at any opportunity.  But I was quite pleasantly surprised to find that my body was really craving tea (and good, clean food) after I worked out.  That might be just the motivation I need to keep up with a fitness program – it will make me want to drink more tea!