Four Tips to Reach Your Fitness Goals
By Donna Kostiew
It certainly wouldn’t be considered “breaking news” if I told you that two major components of good health are diet and exercise, but did you also know how closely intertwined the two of them are with each other as well? Many people don’t realize that their fitness performance is totally connected to what they eat and that their diet can have a huge impact on their exercise routines.
If You are Putting in the Time, Make it Worthwhile
It would be nice to have a personal dietitian following us around every day, telling us what to do and how to eat to maximize our workouts, wouldn’t it? At the very least, it would certainly take a lot of the guesswork out of our menu planning. But even though most of us don’t have this option, there are some tips you can follow that will help you understand how eating can impact your workouts.
- Don’t skip meals – One of the biggest misconceptions of losing or maintaining weight is to not eat. This approach could actually be one of the worst mistakes you can make on your fitness journey because your body needs fuel for energy. To ensure you have the energy you need, spread out your meals and include nutrient-dense foods such as fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and heart-healthy fats and carbohydrates.
- Eat a healthy snack before working out – It’s great that you are waking up before the sun to work out, but in your rush to get out the door, don’t forget to put a little something in your belly. Working out on an empty stomach can cause fatigue, lightheadedness, and (gasp) can actually cause muscle loss as well. You don’t want to gorge on a breakfast buffet, but you do want to eat something. Try an apple, a banana, or some yogurt with fruit.
- Stay hydrated – Water, water, water! I was tempted to stop after those three words because we all know this truth (and I am pretty sure we hear it most days of our lives), but sometimes an extra reminder is good. So remember the importance of drinking the recommended amount of water every the day, especially while exercising. And if your workouts are a little more on the intense side, consider adding electrolyte drinks to your fluid intake.
- Refuel after your workout – That’s right, it’s time to eat again, so replenish your body with the right kind of nutrition after your workout. This includes both carbohydrates and protein and is important because it aids in muscle recovery, restores your energy, and boosts your metabolism.
The secret to achieving your desired fitness level is a combination of regular exercise and eating the right foods at the right times. By following these tips, you can be sure to reach your goals sooner than you think, and you can avoid having that dietician shadow your every movement.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Tampa, Fla.