Fittest Executive Checkup with Julie Mueller

Thirty top-level professionals are competing in the first annual Fittest Executive Challenge, presented by In Business magazine. Who will earn the healthiest marks? Find out at the In Business Expo & Conference on Oct. 17.

This week, IB checks in with Julie Mueller, founder/partner of jamgraphics & design, llc.

Category: Fittest Executive – Women Under 50

As an athlete who has done competitions such as the Ironman, why did you decide to do the In Business challenge?
I am the type of person who is always up for a physical challenge – it helps me grow not only as an athlete, but also as a person. This one especially sounded like fun, as it is with peers and people I respect and know from a professional setting!

How does this challenge fit in with your other training/other goals?
Right now, it’s off-season for my Ironman training, and I always look for new ways to keep me focused and motivated. I also see this as an opportunity to work on a different part of my training, such as my nutrition. So I can step up other focus areas and work to meet some new goals, such as my nutritional intake.

Also, with the excessive heat we’ve faced this year, I’ve been measuring my sweat rate and fluid intake – this isn’t something I normally have to worry about.

How have you dealt with exercising in the excessive heat?
You really need to take precautions in this type of weather.

Some things I’m doing are the obvious changes, like drinking lots of water before activity (so I am pre-hydrated), as well as ensuring I take in lots of fluids during and after exercising. I’ve actually planned my running routes to go by places that have water fountains and have outdoor vending machines so I can get a sport drink along the run. I also keep my salt up, because I know I am sweating more than usual in these conditions, and I need to ensure I replace lost electrolytes.

I also adjust my schedule – I get out early, before it gets too steamy and humid. For me, that means getting up at 5 a.m. and being out the door by 5:30 or 6 a.m. I like to make sure my route is as shaded as possible (I do a lot of my training in Monona, so this is fairly easy to do).

I am making an effort to wear loose-fitting clothing that moisture can evaporate from quickly – this is the kind of thing that can make a big difference in chafing – and it also helps my mental frame of mind! I also cover my head and forehead, such as with a simple visor or cap – for me that keeps me cooler. I occasionally pour water over my head to cool down the core.

Post-workout, I have ways to refresh and recharge. I love to drink a small container of low-fat Organic Valley chocolate milk right after my workout. This helps repair muscle tissue while using carbs to restore muscle glycogen. This is the sort of thing I have become really aware of as my training has progressed over the years. I also eat a balanced meal within 30 to 45 minutes of a workout, and I make sure that includes quality protein.

Meet all of the competitors here, then vote for your favorite to win the “Readers’ Choice” awards on Twitter @ibmadison #FittestExec.

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