You wouldn’t attempt to drive your car when it has no fuel. You know better, and would make sure to put something in the tank before heading out even for a short trip around town, let along a long trip.
Food is our fuel, it’s our energy source that runs all of our body’s systems. So why do we continually see people trying to workout without enough fuel in the tank? It’s important to make sure that you have a little something to eat before your workout – always.
Round It Out – Plan a pre-workout snack to have a protein, carb, and a fruit or vegetable. Of course whatever you choose is going to depend on personal preferences, and any dietary restrictions you might have, but some of my favorite pre-workout dining includes milk, eggs, nut butters, cottage cheese, yogurt & granola. All items high in protein that will help you to feel more satisfied yet keeping it light. Morning-glory or Bran muffins, oatmeal with fruit or nuts, or high fiber cereals are all carbs that have whole or fuller grains to help you feel fuller without eating a large amount. Bananas and apples are my favorite go-to fruits to round it out. They are easy to take on the go, relatively mess-free and provide a decent amount of nutrients and fiber. Mixed melon, cucumber, and mixed berries are a fresh, light change as well. Making a smoothie to go is also a great way to incorporate more than one of these nutrient groups together in a tasty way. Try adding spinach for a high iron boost in a fruit/veg smoothie!
Did You Know? Cramping when running or swimming after eating a fuller meal is actually your body trying to digest that food. The blood that supplying your body’s intestinal tract gets redirected to your arms and legs, and the food “stalls” in your intestines.
Don’t let your car sputter out, just make sure you put premium in!
Not all Fat is Created Equal.
There are two main types of body fat found in our bodies. Ironically, we tend to focus on subcutaneous body fat, which is the softer fat found beneath the skin. This is the fat that we can grab with our hands or skin-fold calipers. Subcutaneous fat is less damaging as it is superficial (closer to the surface), and is less likely to result in major health issues. Visceral fat is the unseen fat in your body. It is found deeper inside the body, around your internal organs. It’s a harder fat and has been linked directly to chronic diseases like heart disease, high cholesterol, hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes, and some cancers. Visceral fat hides well beneath the surface, we don’t see it, most people don’t know about it, and it’s the body fat we should actually be more concerned about.
Lucky for our health, visceral fat tends to be targeted first during weight loss. Unlucky for our esthetics, the subcutaneous fat we all see is targeted second.
Wellness Comes in All Shapes and Sizes
We’re all wonderfully unique. It needs to be known that fitness doesn’t look like anyone or anything in specific. We all have a “best” version of ourselves, and we can’t ask for any more than that. In this delicious fruit bowl we call life, the three basic body shapes are apple, pear and banana.
Apples – you are identified by the majority of your body fat stored in your mid-section. This puts you at the highest risk of visceral fat accumulation, as well as the health risks associated with that.
Pears – you are identified by an accumulation of subcutaneous fat around the hips, buttocks and thighs. Not to say that you shouldn’t be concerned with visceral fat within your body, you are simply at a lower risk than your friend the apple.
Bananas – you are identified by your long and lean frame. Don’t be fooled with the lack of subcutaneous fat, visceral fat may still exist but hidden deep and unseen on your body.
Where your body carries weight naturally can be a factor in determining a lot of things for you. What doesn’t change is how to work with and manage your body type. Put down the junk food and grab an apple, pear, or banana – and get moving!
As summer season sneaks upon us there are endless nutritious options to choose from. This is the best time of year for all colors of the rainbow of fresh fruit and vegetables!
Tips and Tricks
Visit the Farmers Market: They have a ton of in season fresh summer fruit (peaches, nectarines, plums, cherries) and home grown vegetables (spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers). You will find a little trip to the farmers market may inspire you to try something new and because most of the selection is fresh and local you can avoid a large amount of additives and sodium!
Barbeque Fresh Fruit for Dessert: Pineapples, peaches and apricots are among the many fruits that are delicious items to grill; all you need to do is sprinkle a little bit of olive oil and place on the grill for a few minutes. The taste is rich and fulfilling while being nutritious. If you would like to indulge you can add a scoop of frozen yogurt or ice cream on top.
Hydrate: Summer is one of the most important times of year to make sure you have water before, during and after exercise as well as throughout your day. The body thrives on two liters of water per day to function at its optimal capability. If you wait until becoming thirsty you’ve waited too long. Thirst is an indicator that the body is dehydrated so make sure to be drinking water throughout your entire day. If you struggle with remembering, try labeling your water bottle to indicate target levels for consumption throughout the day or set your phone alarm to remind you every hour.
Engage in Food Prep: With longer sunny days most people want to spend the maximal amount of time outdoors and don’t want to think about cooking. Spend one afternoon each week in your kitchen prepping items, marinating and planning your weekly menu to make food prep more efficient. In the end, you’ll be able to grab and go without compromising nutrition.
Most off all enjoy your savory moments!
Strength and Conditioning Director
YMCA Calgary, Shawnessy
In an article on the Time Healthland website, writer Alice Park looks at a new study that shows TV viewing has a direct correlation to weight issues in children & youth. Some ideas covered are mindless eating, reaching for unhealthy snacks and lack of activity:
Leah Lipsky and Ronal Iannotti, staff scientists at the Eunice Kennedy Shrive National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, report that for every hour of television children watch, they are 8% less likely to eat fruit every day, 18% more likely to eat candy, and 16% more likely to eat fast food. Those results, reported this week in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, shore up previous studies that have linked TV viewing with unhealthy eating habits among children.
In a recent article on the Los Angeles Times online, writer Karen Ravn takes a look at whether or not superfruits really are a great as people tout.
“Over the years, a lot of produce has been given the “super” label, usually over levels of antioxidants. Studies haven’t really made a clear case…”
Nutrition is a broad topic and there are many, many questions that are regularly asked in regard to food intake. A typical client will ask questions about protein intake, “good” or “bad” carbohydrates, how to eat at restaurants and balancing eating for their training.
All those questions are important and deserve answers that are well thought out and pertinent to each individual. There is not just one eating plan that is perfect for everyone and individualization must occur, depending on a client’s goals.
Each month we will address a new issue around that of nutrition and we will begin with one of the most basic tenets of all: Eat your vegetables! This is one guideline that truly is for everyone and is overlooked far more often that it should be. Canada’s Food Guide recommends that a female between the ages of 19 and 50 eat 7-8 vegetable and fruit servings daily and males should take in 8-10 servings. Ensure that vegetables are on your plate more often than fruit if you’re looking to lose weight.
Choose brightly coloured varieties as often as possible; think Romaine lettuce in lieu of iceberg. Dark hues like purple, deep green, orange and red are terrific carriers of phytochemicals and antioxidants. A serving is a mere half cup cooked or full cup of raw veggies so check out the produce section and load up on those wonderful and healthy veggies today!
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