Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Nutrition Tips for Exercise--a great link

A little minor setback:  I'm laid up with pneumonia.  After racking my brain to figure out what I can do at home to make getting back to exercise easier once I'm well again, I figured my best best is to focus on good nutrition right now.  Nutrition and hydration are vital to having a good exercise experience, feeling great after exercise, and improving health.  Although this link provides nutrition for runners, honestly, I find that it's great nutrition advice for any person doing any type of exercise:

You may have to "play around" with what nutrition/hydration choices work best for you and fuel your body the best.  I usually start my morning with two big glasses of water at least two hours before I go to meet up with the girls for exercise.  It takes two hours for liquids to be absorbed down into the large intestines and then get through your body, so that's why it's so important to drink lots of water at that time.  Your body will be much better hydrated when you go to attempt exercise. 

Then about 1/1/2 hours before, I'll have something with a protein/whole grain carbohydrate.  My first choice is 1/4 cup egg beaters and half of a whole grain English muffin.  I'll take some sips of water during that time, but you really don't want a lot of stuff sloshing in your stomach when you are doing your exercise--and you certainly don't want nothing in your system, either.  You want to eat it in enough time so that it gets absorbed into your body a bit.  Some of the other women like to eat a banana with peanut butter or a little bit of whole grain toast with nut butter.  Some of them have been experimenting with shakes they make with whey powder. 

During exercise, I drink water.  Some of the women I exercise with like the G2, zero calorie drinks, especially in the warm months. 

After exercise, again, I like to have something with a little bit of protein and a little bit of carb.  It's kind of important to try to have it in the first 30-60 minutes after exercise, but I think that depends on your intensity choice of your exercise.  My first choice after intense exercise is a small Greek yogurt about 25 minutes or so after I've exercised. 

Really, nutrition is just as important as regular exercise to keep you healthy--and help you recover quicker when you are set back (like me with this pneumonia--ugh!). 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I Used to Feel Guilty...

It is a mother’s conflict:  the balance of time spent on oneself, one’s work, and  family.  Exercising/staying active can seem like a dispensable luxury.  When there are so few hours in the day to get everything done, it can feel selfish to spend one of those hours on something like an activity for oneself.  It certainly felt that way to me. 
I have been back and forth in both situations as a working mother and as a SAHM.  No doubt I will be going back and forth in those same situations in the future. Both situations are demanding.  I started to exercise when my children were little and then, out of guilt in being pulled in so many directions, I gave up exercise… until I realized that I wasn’t spending any more time with my family in that extra hour, I was spending more time feeling exhausted and going through the motions of the day.  I wasn’t enjoying each moment as it came along.  I wasn’t fully present with each conversation.  It was then that I realized that exercise for moms is not a luxury. It’s a necessity.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Running and Cross Fit

So the Tri-It Women are at it again--mixing up the routine to stay challenging.  This week we tried something that anyone can try.  Based on emails that one of the group's women had with a fitness friend out in Arizona, we created a run/exercise or run/watered-down-Cross-Fit type of work out.  We have a few outdoor running routes that we've already mapped out and have calculated the mileage.  Once you figure out a route for yourself, try our work-out on your own, mix it up with exercises that work best for you, and see what you think! 

We did the following along a 3 to 4 mile route twice this week:

Run the first mile.  At the end of the first mile, do 5 sets of 10 pushups, 10 sit-ups, 10 air squats (these can be modified to jumping air squats, etc.).  Run second mile.  At the end of the second mile, repeat with 5 sets of 10 pushups, 10 situps, 10 air squats OR mix it up with 5 sets of 10 tricep dips (great if there is a bench at the second mile), 10 walking lunges, 10 situps.  Run third mile.  Repeat 5 sets of 10 pushups, situps, air squats.  If you have a fourth mile, run it and then cool down.  The key to the exercises is that they should be done fast--as in tabata.  We were able to do the whole work out in one hour at the most.  The fitness friend from Arizona does two miles of running with 20 sets of 10 repetitions of each exercise.  We are trying to see if we can work up to that, BUT for right now, this homegrown work out is definitely enough for us! 

Have a great workout!