Are you getting the nutrients you need to power through your exercise routine? Or do you sometimes feel like you're running on empty?
Just like an automobile, your body will perform more smoothly and efficiently, given the right type of fuel and the proper fluid levels.
So if you find yourself huffing and puffing to make it through the final mile of your run, or if you simply want to feel better when you exercise, take a closer look at what you're offering your body as sustenance. Are you giving yourself the high-octane, performance-enhancing fuel it deserves?
Nutrient dense foods, a variety of foods and portion control are the three basic ingredients for a Balanced Diet.
Most people get enough carbs from their regular diet, but they may not be the best kind. For the most healthful carbohydrates, choose fresh fruits, root vegetables (carrots, beets, sweet potatoes), and whole-grain products, such as quinoa, brown rice, barley, and 100% whole-wheat bread.
No Special Diet Required
You know that what you eat and how much you eat has an effect on your overall health, and that some foods are better for you than others. It's really no different when you're eating for exercise.
In fact, if you eat a balanced diet and keep your blood sugar levels steady by eating healthful meals and nutritious snacks throughout the day, you've probably already got a good energy store for your workout.
Your main goal is to get the right amount of energy -- quick release, slow release, or both -- to give you enough vim and vigor to get you through your activity. It's also important to get enough water to replace what you lose through sweating. And last but not least, you'll need to refuel after your workout.
Serve Yourself Strong
Sometimes, making time for exercise is difficult enough without having to plan what you'll eat during the day to make your workout more effective. But if you're working on increasing your cardiovascular fitness or improving your strength or flexibility, it's worth it. Making just a few small changes to the way you eat can mean the difference between calling it quits or calling "next" on the elliptical trainer.