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Fueling Your Fitness

Lisa Michaels-Bilgrien, RCEP Lisa Michaels-Bilgrien, RCEP March 14, 2013 0 Comments Nutrition

Supplementing your exercise routine with proper nutrition and hydration plays an integral role in maintaining and enhancing your total fitness and boosting your body’s ability to perform at its maximum capability.

Eat the rainbow! Eating a variety of healthy and colorful foods is key to maintain the right energy levels.  To receive the proper amount of nutrition, it is vital that you consume at least three meals per day. Snacking on nutritious foods between meals can even contribute to a healthy diet, increase metabolism, and prevent overeating during the next meal.

Eat high-protein, low-fat items such as fish, beans, whole wheat pasta, egg whites, skim or 1 percent milk, and low fat yogurt. Try to avoid items such as fried foods, high fat meats, egg yolks, and whole milk.

For a good source of vitamins, eat a diet rich in raw or steamed vegetables, green leafy romaine, whole grain breads, and fruits with skin. Avoid fried vegetables, iceberg lettuce—containing no nutrients, white bread, and canned fruits in syrup.

There are good and bad fats? Try to choose non-trans fat bread spreads and heart-healthy margarine. Cook with olive oil or sunflower oil, and omit lard and meat fat. Limit or omit creamy salad dressings high in fat content, cookies, cakes, pies, and pastry goods. Likewise, avoiding fast food is always a good way to cut down on your fat intake.

Before a workout, you should eat a small serving of complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, fruits (apricots, oranges, plums, pears, grapefruits, prunes), vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, potatoes, yams, corn, carrots, onions, etc.), legumes (lentils, kidney beans, black beans, peas, soy beans, etc.), dill pickles, soy milk, low-fat yogurt, or skim milk. After a workout, stick with the standard fruits, vegetables, and of course, water.

The proper amount of water can help regulate your body temperature and combined with the proper fuel it can help you reach your fitness potential. During exercise your body reacts to the increase in temperature by sweating in attempts to cool you off. Since sweat is primarily water you must replace it by drinking more water. If you do not replace the water you have lost, it can lead to poor performance and possible injury. It is recommended that you drink water before, during, and after exercise to prevent dehydration and help improve performance.

“I don’t have time to cook nutritious meals.” We have all said this at one point; however, if you can manage to take some time the night before or even on the weekend to pre-cook some nutritious meals, you, your family and your wallet can greatly benefit. You can even utilize that overflowing Tupperware drawer that everyone seems to have—cook up some meals and then stock up the fridge for the week. This leaves you with plenty of meal options to choose from if you are crunched for time. By preparing these meals ahead of time, you are less likely to grab something unhealthy. It also allows more time for your workout—no excuses!

Whether you want to learn how to shop better for your family at the grocery store or find a way to a healthier diet, Fort HealthCare offers nutrition programs among the many health and wellness classes offered throughout the year. Additionally, registered dietitians are available for private consultation to assist both adults and children with healthy eating, living with dietary restrictions and creating personalized dietary programs. A referral from your doctor is needed for insurance coverage.