I feel that Wayne Gretzky’s quote is true both in the sport world as well as in everyday life. If we don’t risk and try and take the shots we’ll never know if we would have made them.
Welcome to Day 3 of 25 Days of Fitness
As we go through the next couple of days my post will really focus on four elements of being healthy and leading a healthy lifestyle. They are nutrition, physical activity, sleep, and stress handling. These are the four basic and key parts of what really leads to a healthy, satisfying and less stressful life.
As someone who is getting back into a fitness world after over 5 years of sitting on the couch, I can say that I’ve seem to have forgotten a lot of different tricks, especially when it comes to nutrition. Junk food, such as potato chips and soda might give you a temporary sugar high and a bit of energy, but they wear off just as fast as they come. On Monday, I got super lightheaded and dizzy during Body Pump, and I know it’s because I went to the gym on an empty stomach… My tennis coach use to always make us eat granola bars before practice and matches, and being my ditzy self, I completely forgot how important it is to always eat before exercising.
Hence, for today’s 25 Days of Fitness post, I want to talk about 5 Nutritional Tips that every individual who is trying to get fit should pay attention to.
1. Never, ever, ever exercise on an empty stomach
Would you try to drive your car without gas? This is pretty much the same concept, do not workout without putting some fuel in your tank. Much like a car, your body needs energy to be able to keep going. Don’t make my mistake! Trust me getting dizzy while lifting weights is not how you want to feel.
So about an hour before a workout, fuel your body with some easily digested carbs. A few great pre-workout snacks are: Banana, yogurt, whole grain toast with peanut butter. A CLIFF bar or some other protein bar is also a good idea.
For workouts that will last longer then 90 minutes you want to eat a small, well balanced meal. Here is an example: A sliced banana and peanut butter on whole grain crackers.
2. Pay Attention to your pee
The more you workout and the more you sweat, the more you increase your risk of dehydration. Even if you are slightly dehydrated your exercise can seem a great deal harder. And the best indication of dehydration is your urine color.
Urine should be a pale yellow color without a strong odor. The goals are to start exercise with pale colored urine and to produce pale urine within an hour of finishing your workout.
So if you notice that your urine is a dark color after the workout, you need to drink more water. If you had to run to the bathroom several times during your workout, you need to drink less water. Simple enough?
3. Snack on something after a workout
While you are exercising, your body is burning carbohydrates. On average you will need about 55 grams of carbs per hour of exercise. Make sure to replenish your supply of carbs, because when you run out of the carbs you will be mentally and physically exhausted and done for the day. A banana is a great source of carbs, hence you can eat one of those, or try some pretzels, and even sports drinks like Gatorade.
4. Salts are important too!
When your body sweats you lose a certain amount of salt.. you know why sweat tastes salty? Yup, you got it, because that’s what it is. You are sweating sodium out! Replenishing your sodium supplies is just as important as replenishing your carbs. How will you know if you are losing too much sodium you ask? Well, if you develop headaches, nausea, muscle cramps or disorientation during your workout then you are low on sodium.
I know I lose a great deal of sodium when working out, and my secret is drinking lots of Gatorade. Gatorade is pretty much colored sweat. It was created as a sports drink for the Florida Gator’s and the idea was to put the electrolytes that the players lost during their workouts back into their body. Hence, drink more water and eat more salt.
5. Don’t abuse your body… respect it
After exercising, don’t just go take a nap or eat a doughnut! Instead, reward it with a balanced meal and drink plenty of water.
After a workout, your body is trying to get back into the norm by repairing fatigued muscles, rehydrating and storing up carbohydrates. So try and help it out in this process. The best way to reward your body for all of its hard work is to eat unprocessed and colorful foods. Here are some examples of a balanced recovery meals:
- 100 percent whole grain toast spread with ricotta cheese, sprinkled with ground ginger and cinnamon and topped with sliced pear or berries
- 100 percent whole wheat pita stuffed with chicken or salmon salad (mix curry powder, grapes, raisins and pecans into salad)
- Spaghetti squash or 100 percent whole grain pasta with marinara sauce and low fat chicken sausage and spinach salad
- Smoothie with yogurt, tart cherry juice, banana, blueberries and almond butter
- Baked yam or sweet potato stuffed with sautéed spinach and chicken
- Scrambled eggs with a tortilla, black beans, salsa and fruit salad
So there you have it! Easy enough to do, so get to it!
I’m off to work and then to the gym for Body Pump!
Source: Hana Abdulaziz Feeney, MS, RD, CSSD from Active.com 5 Nutrition Tips for New Athletes
Disclaimer: The information found on Eat, Shop and be Married is merely personal opinions and facts based on the author’s research, and is for entertainment and educational purposes only. If you have questions regarding diagnoses or treatment of an illness please consult your physician.