If you’re reading this fitness blog, chances are you’re no stranger to perusing others like it about personal training and nutrition.
How many have you encountered so far that compare the human body to a high-performance automobile that depends on the proper fuel – or food – to run?
The analogy is a widespread favorite among the blogosphere, and understandably so – it’s simple and direct and incorporates a colorful stand-in that almost anyone can visualize.
But is it accurate?
The answer is yes, in part. Food is fuel. Without it, your body’s engine wouldn’t turn over, and you would get nowhere fast.
But consider this: You’re driving along the interstate, belting out Olivia Newton John’s “Let’s Get Physical” in sync with the radio, when a tire blows out. Gas tank was full. But when’s the last time you checked the air pressure, or the tread depth?
It’s a roundabout way of saying personal training and nutrition involves a balance of multiple elements. Here are just four that should go a long way in maximizing your workout, while maintaining your nutritional health.
- Macronutrients are important. These are your proteins, carbs, and fats. Before exercising, many trainers suggest having a snack that’s high in easily digestible carbs, like whole wheat toast or cereal. Carbs are body’s energy source, and should comprise upwards of 60 percent of your caloric intake.
- Proteins paired with those carbs can provide a mighty pre-exercise boost – aim for 2-3 hours prior to your workout. The incorporation of protein in your diet is almost equally as important as carbohydrates, as they boost metabolism, improve bone density, increase muscle mass, and ward off hunger and overindulgence.
- Fats get a bad rap, but monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats – those derived from vegetable oils, avocados, nuts and cold-water fish – are essential to a healthy lifestyle, as they have been proven to protect the heart and lower the risk of diabetes. Steer clear of saturated and trans fats found in your typical fried, fast, and snack foods, however.
- Here’s some sweet and savory fitness news for you. Not all sugars are bad. Naturally occurring sugars, such as fructose and lactose are beneficial. Require a little saltiness with your sweet? A modicum of sodium is required by the body to maintain an accurate fluid balance, but too much can cause water retention and boost your blood pressure, which is no good.
- Frequency is a fallacy. The previously held belief that meals spaced at 2-3 hour intervals aided in achieving one’s ideal weight is a myth. Frequency is not the driving force, here, but quality. On the other hand, you never want to starve yourself, either. Eat healthily when you are hungry, don’t gorge, and keep an eye on your caloric intake.
- Hydrate. You know what else can shut a car down faster than an empty fuel tank? Overheating. Providing your body with the right amount of fluids before, during, and after a workout is part and parcel with it being successful and helping you reach your goals.
The accredited trainers at Fitness Together Ellicott City can help you set those goals, and establish the proper balance between personal training and nutrition. Call us today at (410) 750-2228.