Feb 162011

nutrition physical activityWe all know that exercise and good nutrition are the keys to long-term healthy living. So what does it mean to be physically fit? To be physically fit a person needs to develop flexibility, muscle strength, and cardio respiratory endurance. Flexibility allows the joints to move with less chance of injury. Muscle strength enables muscles to work harder and longer without fatigue. Cardio respiratory endurance supports the ongoing action of the heart and lung. Knowing when and what to eat can be important to how you feel when you exercise; whether it’s a casual work-out, a walk on the beach or you are training for a 5K, you’ll benefit from paying attention to your meals and snacks. Here are some tips on eating and exercise to help fire you up.

1. Eat a healthy breakfast – If you exercise in the morning, get up early enough to eat breakfast. Most of the energy you got from dinner the previous night is used up by morning, and your blood sugar may be low. If you don’t eat you may feel sluggish or lightheaded when you exercise. Emphasize carbohydrates with a small amount of protein for maximum energy. Examples would be whole grain cereal with low fat milk, toast and peanut butter, or fruit with yogurt.

2. Size matters – Be careful not to overdo it when it comes to how much you eat before exercise. The general guideline is to eat large meals three to four hours before exercising, small meals two to three hours before, and snacks an hour before exercising. Eating too much before you exercise can leave you feeling you with little energy, or worse with a case of stomach cramps. Eating too little may not give you the energy to keep you feeling strong throughout your workout.

3. Snack well – Most people can eat small snacks right before and during exercise. The key is how you feel. Do what works best for you.  The right snacks can help keep up your blood sugar and prevent distracting hunger pangs. Good snack options include: Energy bars, bananas or other fresh fruit, smoothies, or granola bars.

4. Eat after you exercise – To help your muscles recover and to replace their glycogen stores, eat a meal that contains both protein and carbohydrates within two hours of your exercise session if possible. If you aren’t hungry after your workout, drink juice or a sport drink to provide replenishing carbohydrates. Good post-workout food choices include: Yogurt and fruit, cheese and crackers or nuts.

5. Drink up – Don’t forget to drink fluids to help optimize your exercise and workouts. You need adequate fluids before, during and after exercise to help prevent dehydration. To stay well hydrated the American College of Sports Medicine recommends that you drink roughly 2 to 3 cups (0.5 to 0.7 liters) of water during the two to three hours before your workout. Drink about 1/2 to 1 cup (0.12 to 0.23 liters) of water every 15 to 20 minutes during your workout. Drink roughly 2 to 3 cups (0.5 to 0.7 liters) of water after your workout for every pound (0.5 kilogram) of weight you lose during the workout.

Water is generally the best way to replace lost fluids. But if you’re exercising for more than 60 minutes, or in very warm temperatures, use a sports drink. Sports drinks can help maintain your body’s electrolyte balance and give you a bit more energy because they contain carbohydrates.

Let experience be your guide

When it comes to eating and exercise, everyone is different. Pay attention to how you feel during your workout and your overall performance. Keep a log and let your experience guide you on which pre-and post-exercise eating habits work best for you. There’s no one right way to do it. Keep things interesting by changing your workouts regularly. It will not only keep you from getting bored, it will also help you avoid weight loss plateaus.

Just do it!

Read more about the Benefits Of Exercise and how it can impact health, happiness and success.

For information on weight loss diet have a look at hardcoreabexercises.com

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