The Basics of Exercise and Nutrition
Exercise and nutrition go hand in hand. You can’t always eat like the tazmanian devil but expect to exercise and achieve that 6-pack, beach body. Alternatively you cannot be a couch potato and eat healthily and expect those arms and legs to be muscular and toned.
The point is, there is a happy balance of a healthy diet alongside physical activity. Based on your personal wellness goals you may choose to do things like gain muscle, lean out and tone, build endurance or simply lose a few pounds through regular exercise. However, it’s important to understand ways to better tweak your results through improved nutrition based on your personal fitness goals.
Here are a few nutrition guidelines that will make healthy living easier and more fun.
Perhaps your main goal is to gain weight and acquire muscle growth by lifting heavy weights. Your best bet is to ensure you are getting enough calories and sufficient protein sources that support muscle mass. According to BodyBuilding.com, you should “make sure you are eating 1-1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight every day.” Animal protein such as fish, chicken and lean beef are great sources of protein. Nonetheless, if you are struggling with getting enough calories and protein in during the day, a clean, protein shake can do the trick!
For those of you who exercise at a high intensity levels and typically for long periods of time like a marathon runner or triathlete, you must make sure you intake sufficient amounts of carbohydrates and protein. Usually, endurance athletes require higher amounts of calories and carbohydrates. One easy way to obtain the necessary dietary needs of such activity to eat frequently including during exercise if you sustain activity for periods longer than 1-2 hours. To make it happen, try keeping nutrient and calorie-dense sports drinks or protein shakes on hand.
Lean out and Tone
Most of you seeking to drop body fat percentage, seriously lean out and tone much like a fitness competitor, will likely be accumulating hours of exercise daily. Finding a healthy balance of protein, fat and carbohydrates is critical but typically you will cut back on carbohydrates as you inch closer to a competition date. This is called a tapering method. Carbohydrates equal fuel for the body so it is important to smartly apply the method used by many fitness competitors and models.
Healthy Average Jane and Joe
When you are seeking to merely lose a few pounds and support a regular exercise regimen, you are seeking more of a nutritional balance. The recommended ranges for the average active adult can vary dependent on needs and body type but can be summarized as: carbohydrates 45 to 65% of daily caloric intake, fats 20 to 35% of daily caloric intake and protein 10 to 35% of daily caloric intake. Being aware of your personal fitness goals can help fine tune where you fall within these suggested ratios and improve desired results and overall performance.
The biggest take away is to assess your personal wellness goals and appropriately apply your nutrition to your ideal fitness for the best results. Be smart. Be safe. Be Healthy!
– CASEY EDMONDS, CHC