Monday, July 30, 2012

Post Workout Diet

It’s evident that what you eat largely influences energy and performance levels, but as research shows, what you ingest following a training session is key to recovery. See, most fitness enthusiasts get the exercising side right, but, when it comes to proper nutrition for  recovery, the majority are falling short.

Eat for recovery

The quicker and sooner you provide your body with the valuable nutrients, the faster your recovery rate is going to be. There are two main goals of post workout eating: replenishing the empty energy tanks and assisting with the muscle damage rebuilding process. As long as you’re getting these two needs met, you’re on the right track.

The eating menu

So who should a post-workout menu look like? The answer is simple. You need two things in your menu: carbohydrates and protein. Carbohydrates are key to replenishing the empty energy tanks so you’ll be ready and set for the next workout. Protein provides your body with the essential amino acids for rebuilding muscle tissue damage. Research shows that taking both components together yields the best recovery results.

Eating ideas

Here are some of the best foods and meals for post workout recovery:

-          Vegetables and fruits: these should be the staple of your diet, whether you’re exercising or not. The more varied the colors, the better.
-          Lean meat: the main source of protein which is critical for recovery. If it’s not an option, try whey protein or use supplements.
-          Milk-shake: research shows that ingest a milk-based drink following a training session, yields better recovery results than drinking traditional carb-based shakes or just drinking mere water.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

3 keys to workout recovery

The formula for training success is simple and straightforward: you exercise, you recover, then you exercise some more. Though most fitness enthusiasts get the training ends right, the bulk overlook the importance of proper recovery for performance and overall health and well being levels.

Why recovery

Skipping on proper recovery sets the stage for performance plateaus and a myriad of other health troubles. Implementing the right recovery strategies helps you reap the most benefits out of the training program by assisting in getting rid of built up acid, releasing tension,  replenishing the empty energy tanks and speeding up the muscle rebuilding process. Otherwise, all the hard efforts were in vain.

Do the following for complete recovery

Cool down right

Proper recovery starts at the end of the training session. Therefore, before jumping in the showers, make sure to grant your body the time it needs to cool itself down and get the breathing and heart back to their normal levels. If you’re running or doing any other form high intensity cardio training, shoot for a five-minute walk.

Stretch your body

Incorporating an efficient stretching routine into your training program will not only make out of a more flexible person, it’ll also help you ward off soreness and muscle stiffness following a training session. Stretching releases the built-up acid in your body and helps you get your muscle tissue back to their normal length. The stretches, depend for the most part, on the type of exercise you’ve just finished. The rule of thumb is to stretch any worked up area and hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds.

Sleep right

The key to recovery is a hormone known as the growth hormone. This hormone is mainly released when being asleep, therefore, if you’re sleep-deprived; expect mediocre performance both in the gym and the workplace. As a result, try to get at least 8 hours of high quality and interrupted sleep during the night’s time.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A weight loss exercise mistake and how to avoid it

Whether you’re exercising to lose the last ten pounds or to make a major lifestyle change, doing the right type of exercise is key.  Most fitness enthusiasts are guilty, one time or the other, of falling into some of the most common fitness pits without even realizing their wrong-doings. This can lead to more frustration and setbacks with the training program.

Here is one of the most common exercises for weight loss mistakes and how to avoid it.

Exercising in the fat burning zone

There is no doubt that the body relies more heavily on fat as the main source of energy when doing low intensity exercise than high intensity workout, but the total calorie burn by the end of the training session will be relatively lower, therefore, the scale won’t come down as you much, setting the stage for more weight loss plateaus and frustrations.

The solution

Instead of opting for the traditional long cardio session at a steady pace—jogging or cycling for instance—change your training approach and shoot for interval training instead. Also known as high intensity training interval (or HIIT for short) this type of workout is ideal for burning colossal amounts of calories without it taking up much time of your regular schedule. Interval training fires up metabolism levels, builds muscle mass and boosts fitness levels like nothing else.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A weight loss diet mistake and how to avoid it

If you’re looking to lose those extra pounds for good, then chances you’re doing some of the below mistake or the other are high. Whether you’re looking to lose the last 5 pounds or you’re facing a major health challenge, steering clear of these weight loss mistakes is of upmost importance if you’re striving for success for the long haul.

Without further ado, here is a weight loss diet mistake and how to avoid it.

Mistake: Calorie restricting

Most weight loss enthusiasts make the mistake of assuming that the stricter their diet is, the more weight they’re going to shed. Though weight loss is a function of calories in versus calories out, severe calorie restriction can lead to a frustrating spiral of weight gain. Usually, skipping meals forces the body to enter into starvation mode, thus the body holds on to fat instead of using it as energy.

The solution

To keep the starvation response at bay, aim to eat frequently throughout the day. Shot for 5 medium size meals, every 3-4 hours. Not only this will help you shed the pounds, it’ll also help you keep your body well fueled, thus boost your productivity in all areas of life. Just make sure to keep track of your calorie intake and bodyweight so you can make the right adjustments.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Why proper running form matters and how to get it

When it comes to staying injury-free while running –or doing any other form of high intensity exercise—proper form is king. If you have good running form, then expect high running efficiency, be less prone to injury, thus you’ll run farther and faster with less fatigue. 

On the other hand, bad form is the root-cause of injuries and a plethora of problems.
Without further ado, here are some of the best good form practices:

Get the right posture

Good posture is key to proper form. Therefore, make sure to develop an upright and relaxed posture with a slight forward lean. This helps you run with a more efficient drive and lowers the running induced stress on the body. For more, get your core strength in check by doing regular whole body strength training workouts.

Land on the fore-foot

Most runners are heel-landers, meaning  they land on the heel when striking the ground. This is the recipe for disaster as doing so has been shown to cause overuse injuries such runner’s knee and other troubles. Instead, make sure to land on the fore-foot by cultivating a quick and short stride.
Instill relaxation

If you’re body is relaxed when running and exercising, you’ll become an efficient athlete, doubtless. Therefore, make sure to get into the practice of relaxing your body—even when being under the stress of exercise—by taking deep breaths and letting go of any tension or built-up un-easiness.