A lot of my clients have one or the other piece of gym equipment at home. Either it is the exercise cycle or treadmill (these two seem to be the most popular) followed by a one-piece mini gym (this is most popular amongst single men). Women tend to use the exercise cycle, treadmill and usually also opt for aerobics sessions. Not only are both sexes keen that they should be wearing the right (fashionable) exercise gear, they are also keen that they should be eating the right food – well, most of the time at least. Sooner or later they come to me with questions regarding appropriate food for their exercise routines and when they should eat it.
First, let’s decide on the fitness equipment you have or are going to purchase for your needs…
For those of us who lead busy lives, the home fitness machines are a viable and effective solution to staying healthy. When selecting a home fitness machine, just remember the idea is to ‘sweat it out’ not have the machine sweat it out for you. Unless you know what you’re buying, I’d say stay away from the ‘As shown on TV’ home fitness equipment. Home fitness equipments come in various sizes and various prices so just select one that suits your requirement and budget.
For your exercise plan to succeed, the quantum of food you consume is vital.
Eat less and you either won’t have enough energy to complete your exercise or worse, your body might actually eat into your muscles to provide energy for your exercise. On the other hand, eating too much would be counter productive and defeat the whole purpose of exercising. Exactly how much food you should be eating depends on different factors. See another blog post on the topic.
Eat a small meal two hours before you exercise.
The food you’ve eaten needs time to get digested. In about two hours your energy levels would have peaked. By exercising at that time, you channel and utilize the energy released from your meal for exercise rather than letting it be stored as fat. If during the week you notice that your energy level drops after 10 or 15 minutes of exercising (and you’ve noticed this several times during the week), then you need to have a ‘quick energy release’ snack about half hour before your exercise. If you’re not diabetic, something like a toasted slice of brown bread with half a teaspoon of honey should do the trick or even a small apple or banana. The keyword for this pre-exercise meal is ‘small’.
Also remember to drink adequate quantities of water earlier in the day.
A half hour before you begin, drink about a cup – no more. Half hour after you exercise you can drink as much water as you like.
After your exercise routine, wait about an hour or so and have another small meal.
You need to do this to prevent your energy levels from dipping too low and ruining the rest of your day. It is vital you do this otherwise the post-exercise memory of having felt ‘low and exhausted’ might reduce your will power to continue the next day.
Always eat lightly but ensure that your daily calorie requirements are met.
Stay fit and prosper.