Fitness Questions

Good morning ya’ll!

This morning was basically a repeat of Tuesday.  I rolled out of bed a bit later, around 7:15, and spent a good bit of time getting the kids dressed and fed.  I didn’t think about my own breakfast until 5 minutes before we had to head out the door, so I made myself a small portion of  blueberry-banana smoothie using this recipe and headed out for the morning carpool.  Dennis is in Dallas on business through the weekend, which means I am definitely missing having his yummy veggie-filled eggs waiting for me in the mornings.

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I know I’ll be hungry again shortly, but at least I was able to put something in my belly.  I also forgot to make my morning cup of coffee, so I think another trip to McDonalds will be happening.  I ran through the McDonalds drive-thru yesterday for coffee and meant to put it in yesterday’s post, but somehow forgot.  However, I didn’t forget to add in the coffee question at the end… oops.  🙂

As far as my morning workout goes, well that hasn’t happened yet either.  To be honest, I’m just not feelin’ it this morning.  Maybe I will later, so there is still hope, but right now my body is just saying it’s tired, and I’ve decided to listen.  Which got me to thinking:  how many rest days are too many?  I typically take the weekends off, but I know after reading a variety of health blogs, that many people exercise at least one day on the weekend as well.  Should I be working out six days a week?  Will I lose muscle if I only work out four days?  Five days?  Should I be eating certain foods after workouts?  There are a lot of fitness questions I have, so I thought I would do a little research and try to sort through some of the confusion.  -Just a note, I am not a doctor.  I am not a fitness guru.   This information is strictly for what it is- information.  Any personal health advice should come from your own doctor.

So let’s begin shall we…

Food questions-  When should I eat, and what should I eat in conjunction with working out?  I usually just eat a couple bites of dried fruit and chug some water before heading out the door for my morning run.  This usually seems sufficient for me.  Frankly, the thought of eating anything more than that before exercise, makes my stomach turn.  I read an article on Mayo Clinic’s website which touched on this:

Before you workout-

“If you exercise in the morning, get up early enough to eat breakfast — that may mean one to two hours before your workout. Most of the energy you got from dinner the previous night is used up by morning, and your blood sugar may be low. If you don’t eat, you may feel sluggish or lightheaded when you exercise. If you plan to exercise within an hour after breakfast, eat a lighter breakfast or drink something to raise your blood sugar, such as a sports drink. Emphasize carbohydrates for maximum energy…  If you’re not a fan of eating in the morning before you work out, try a sports drink or have a bigger bedtime snack the night before. And remember, if you normally have coffee in the mornings, a cup or two before your workout is probably OK. Just don’t try any foods or drinks for the first time before a workout, or you risk an upset stomach.”

After workout-

“To help your muscles recover and to replace their glycogen stores, eat a meal that contains both protein and carbohydrates within two hours of your exercise session if possible. If you aren’t hungry after your workout, drink juice or a sports drink to provide replenishing carbohydrates.”

Good post-workout food choices include:

  • Yogurt and fruit
  • Peanut butter or meat sandwich
  • String cheese and crackers
  • Nuts and dried fruit
  • A regular meal with meat, starch, and cooked vegetable or salad

I thought the idea of drinking a sports drink in the morning, immediately before working out, was a great idea.  I may have to try that one out, since I’m not a fan of waking up ridiculously early to eat an hour or two before my morning workout.  Plus, food that early in the morning, seriously makes me nauseous.

If you’d like to read more of the Mayo Clinic article, click here.

Now, for my next question-

How often should I be working out?  For this, I found an article on CNN’s website to help clear the air a bit…

“Exercise experts say the most important message is to be active, regardless of the latest studies. How much one should exercise depends on personal fitness goals, they said…

But experts recommend that an average person stick to existing public health guidelines, which recommend that children and teenagers exercise one hour every day and adults get a weekly minimum of two hours and 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity (such as brisk walking, dancing, gardening) or one hour and 15 minutes of vigorous activity (jogging, aerobic dancing and jumping rope).

The key to exercise is that “some is better than none. More is better than some. Too much is difficult to get… Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School studied 34,000 women, with the average age of 54.   Over a 13-year period, the women gained an average of 5.7 pounds. The women who successfully maintained their weight (13 percent) exercised an hour a day at moderate intensity.

How much should a person exercise?…

The amount of time a person should exercise depends on his or her fitness goals, whether it’s for weight loss, health maintenance or performance training. And that person also needs to fit diet and nutrition into the equation.

If you take in lots of calories, it doesn’t matter how much you exercise.  It takes a lot of exercise if you don’t watch what you eat.”

So basically, from all of that, I’ve gathered that an hour a day(yes, even on weekends) of moderate exercise (with one day off), AND keeping a conscious eye on what I eat, SHOULD prevent any weight gain over time and keep my health in check.  Obviously I have some tweeking to do in the exercise department(I’ll get there!), and I’m not saying I’ll always eat healthy foods(because who doesn’t want to indulge in a donut every now and then?) But I think I’m off to a good start, and I think just being aware of how my body is feeling and responding to excercise and diet, is a good beginning point to achieving my health goals.   My goal is not to be rail thin and miserable.  I want to keep the scary diseases away, and maintain a healthy weight in the process.  And hey, I may even gain an arm muscle or two in the process- crazy right?!  haha.

Do what’s necessary to achieve your goals, and good things will happen 🙂

If you want to read the full CNN article, click here.

Hope that bit of info was even the smallest bit helpful.

Enjoy your Thursday!

Amy

 

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3 thoughts on “Fitness Questions

  1. Love this post! Those are two questions many, many people ask. I guess they’re both based on people’s preference in the long run. I, personally, enjoy working out 6 or even 7 days a week. However, sometimes I like to take 3 or 4 days off and just chill! I always eat before I work out. Especially when I was training for a marathon!

  2. Pingback: Week 2 of Run Challenge… Done! | The Deviated Runner

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