A healthy lifestyle is about more than just exercise, though training in the park is a great place to start! The results you want from your training go hand-in-hand with how you eat. If you don’t give your body the nutrition it needs to get the most out of your boot camp, you could place yourself at risk of injury, muscle damage or illness. Look no further: here are 4 steps to improving your nutrition this year.
1.Plenty of Protein
These days, it seems protein shakes are everywhere you go. So what’s the fuss about? Protein is a key nutrient that your body relies on whilst training. When you work out, you create micro-tears in your muscle fibres. Your body requires protein to repair these via a process called muscle protein synthesis. Made up of amino acids, protein also helps to regulate blood glucose levels, meaning you can avoid those low blood sugar moments whilst being active. Vegetarians and vegans in particular are more susceptible to protein deficiency. So be sure to structure every meal around a great source of protein, such as eggs, chicken, tuna, beef, beans, dairy, tofu or whey.
2.Eat the Rainbow
In addition to protein, your body needs carbohydrates for physical activity. Carbs give your body glucose, which it converts into energy for your early morning HIIT session. A surprisingly good source of carbohydrates are vegetables, such as carrots, beets or broccoli, which also provide you with magnesium, iron and zinc. We’ve all heard we should eat our greens but, in fact, experts say we should be eating as many colours possible when it comes to vegetables. That’s not just for the Instagram effect, the colour of your veg can actually tell you a great deal about its nutritional value: the more colour, the greater the diversity of phytonutrients you’re taking in. We should be eating 7-11 fruit and veg a day whilst training: adding a rainbow of veg to your daily meals can help you be sure you’re getting the nutrients you need to perform at your best.
We all know that familiar mid-morning feeling when you start thinking about a snack. In terms of nutrition, snacking is no bad thing. But why not take this opportunity to give your body some vital fuel, rather than reaching for the crisps or refined sugar options? The best snacks to keep you going till lunchtime combine complex carbohydrates with protein, to fuel your body with both slow and fast-release energy. Think combos like yogurt with whole grain cereal, apple and nut butter, or hummus and chopped vegetables. There’s no need to cut the snack, just snack well!
We all have the best intentions when it comes to eating healthily, but when you’re on the go, working late or busy it’s easy for our grand ideas to go out the window. All nutritionists will tell you that the secret to improving your nutrition is forward planning. Small changes like carrying healthy snacks with you, cooking a little extra at mealtimes and freezing or storing the rest for later, taking healthy packed lunches to work rather than looking for healthy options in cafes, can all help you take control of your nutrition and support your body so that, when evening training comes around, you’re good to go.
So there you have it, 4 simple tips to improving your nutrition so you can get the most out of your exercise this year and perform to your best potential. To help you take control of how you eat and implement the ideas above, check out Reset, our 12 day training and nutrition programme. It’s available at http://www.reset-your-body.co.uk, the App store and Google Play.