This post is by an "old" friend of mine, Simone. Years ago, Simone and I sat next to each other as we got degrees in the environmental field at University. Coincidentally, later in life we realized that our passion actually lied in the holistic nutrition world and we each decided to pursue that passion.
She's out rocking it on the West Coast & blogs at Simone's Edible Adventures. Today, she shares with us what she learned in her sports nutrition class at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition.
There are a lot of mixed messages out there regarding exercise and nutrition plans.
In this post I want to give you ideas for the different types of exercise you should be completing and pre and post workout nutrition inspiration (recipes below!).
Eighty Percent Nutrition, Twenty Percent Exercise
First- it is important to look at fitness as a way to complement your diet and to promote health, not to be the be all and end all.
As I’m sure you’ve all heard, you can’t out exercise a bad diet! And it is so so true! 80% of the battle is nutrition while only 20% is exercise.
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Before you start pounding the pavement or the treadmill for miles upon miles, re-assess your diet and make sure you’re not over-doing it on the processed and refined ‘foods’ and that your eating a diet rich in real foods.
The 3 Types of Fitness
With respect to your fitness plan it is important to include 3 different types of fitness:
- Metabolic conditioning (cardio: run, bike, swim, row, skip rope, jumping jacks etc.,)
- Gymnastics (bodyweight: air squats, lunges, pull-ups, push ups, plank, yoga/Pilates etc.,)
- Weight lifting (kettlebells, medicine balls, Olympic lifts, barbell/dumbbell exercises etc.,)
Based on your fitness goals your combinations will differ.
If you are aiming to lose weight, it would be best to focus on gymnastics and metabolic with one day of weight lifting.
If you are focusing on gaining muscle, it would be best to focus on weight lifting and gymnastics with one day of metabolic conditioning.
Your Exercise Plan for Weight Loss
Heads up! Before starting any new exercise routine, please consult your physician.
Monday- Metabolic conditioning Row for 10 -20 minutes, then spend some time stretching and working on mobility
Tuesday- Gymnastics & Metabolic Conditioning 30 air squats + 4 minute bike =1 round. Do 3 rounds.
Wednesday- Gymnastic, Metabolic Conditioning & Weight Lifting 10 push-ups + 2 minutes skipping + 30 kettle bell swings =1 round. Do 3 rounds.
Thursday- OFF Rest is just as important!
Friday- Metabolic Conditioning Swimming for 40 minutes
Saturday- Gymnastics & Metabolic Conditioning 30 push-ups + 2 minutes jumping jacks =1 round. Do 3 rounds.
That's it that's all.
Exercise doesn’t need to be a long-winded ordeal; it can be an enjoyable component of your days.
The key is consistency! 20 minutes 5 times per week is all it takes!
How easy is that, everyone can find 20 minutes a day for himself or herself, right?
Pre Exercise Nutrition
Now that we have the exercise down pat lets move on to the equally if not more component, pre and post exercise nutrition. It really isn’t as easy as 1 size fits all. Its more an experiment to find what suits you personally.
Nutritional demands also change depending on the type and duration of your activity.
When completing weight lifting activities and high intensity intervals your body burns carbohydrates for energy, whereas when you are completing long and slower cardio (anything over 20 minutes) your body burns fat. You need to fuel yourself differently depending on the type of activity you are doing.
If your heading out for a long run it would be ideal to consume 1-2 tablespoons of MCT oil (medium chain triglycerides) about 2 hours before you head out- I prefer to blend mine in a nice cup of matcha. MCT oil is much easier for your body to absorb and use for energy, it has been proven to promote fat burning and to provide athletes with long term fuel- no matter how ‘thin’ you are, there is always fat to burn.
If you’re heading to the gym for a weight lifting session or an interval session, I would suggest a higher glycemic carbohydrate meal pre gym.
For those early risers a spoonful of dehydrated beet crystals in water en route to the gym is perfect.
If you prefer a later workout you could try a homemade snack (recipe below) or a handful of dates about an hour before exercise.
Post Exercise Nutrition
For your post workout nutrition, the ideal refueling timeline is within 2 hours post exercise.
During that time your body is able to utilize nutrients much more efficiently and store what is needed for your next workout. If you miss this window your next workout will suffer.
Ideal post exercise meals are again a personal choice- you need to find what works best for you.
The important thing to remember is that carbohydrates are your most important nutrient post exercise, not protein as everyone believes.
If you consume a protein shake post workout that contains little to no high glycemic carbs your body will not be able to absorb it because it will be in a catabolic state (breaking down tissue for energy).
In order to promote anabolism (storing of nutrients) you need to spike your insulin. This is done by eating high glycemic carbs.
My ideal post exercise meal is a roasted sweet potato drizzled with maple syrup or honey with some organic eggs. I pre cook my sweet potatoes and eggs so it is a really quick and easy meal.
Here are 2 recipes (in one photo) which are a great pre and post workout balls of goodness!
They are quick and easy to make, and super convenient for something quick to grab and eat.
The best thing you can do for yourself is to go out and experiment with what makes you feel your best.
Remember when it comes to diet and exercise its all about consistency, not about killing yourself day by day, hour by hour on the treadmill.
Have you figured out what works for your body? Leave a comment below and let us know what you eat pre & post workout!
Thanks so much to Simone for this totally informative & 'easy-to-put-into-action' post! Show her some love on her blog Simone's Edible Adventures!