Sunday, May 30, 2010

tip: Fuel your body!

I received this in the mail the other day and thought it was interesting. I need to keep this in mind as I plan to do my walking workouts early in the morning now that the heat of summer is upon us.

Fueling your body for Successful Workouts!
It is very important that you have had something to eat (either a major meal or a healthy snack) within 2 hours prior to exercising. This will help you maintain your energy throughout your workout and help you avoid that burnout feeling that can come at the end of workouts. You know the kind of feeling: when you feel like all of a sudden you are out of gas - there is nothing left in the tank.

If you exercise early in the morning, it is important to take in some nutrients (unless you literally start exercising within 15 minutes of waking) prior to working out. Nothing heavy – just something quick like a piece of fruit, half a bowl of cereal, a granola bar, etc.

It is also important to be well-hydrated prior to exercising. So if you can, try to drink water throughout the 1 or 2 hours (you really should be drinking plenty of water all day) prior to your workout in order to make sure you are hydrated before you start. Ideally you will go to the bathroom within the 30 minutes prior to starting your exercise. That is a good sign that you are hydrated - especially if it is not bright yellow. Sorry to be having a bathroom discussion, but this is important and worth sounding strange in order to help you.

It is also important to have a water bottle with you all the time while you are exercising and get in the habit of taking a sip every 5 or 10 minutes. If you are sweating while exercising (which hopefully you are doing), then you are losing a lot of water and need to replenish it.

Lastly, it is very important that you eat something (not necessarily a full meal, but at least a healthy snack) within 30 minutes of finishing your workout. That is because your muscles are looking for some nutrients to help them start to re-build (and get stronger). And the 30 minute window is the ideal window to give your muscles some fuel to start that VERY IMPORTANT PROCESS.

Use the above tips to fuel your body and your body will perform better, you will be able to better handle and bounce back from workouts and most importantly you will have more fun!
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