Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Eat More!

Everyone I know who's started running has said the same thing. I'm loosing weight even though I'm eating like a horse. Exercising makes your burn calories and work up an appetite. If you're doing intensive working out or lots of running you'll find that you're starving. Earning those big meals is a pretty damm rewarding part of a healthy life style.

I actually tried running at the same time as being on a diet with really small meals. I got unpleasantly hungry! It felt like pain in my stomach. I was also lethargic, irritable, and running became difficult pretty quickly.

Okay you shouldn't eat a whole cow, but if you're working out you can bump your daily calorie intake by 500 calories. They say the average man need ~2500, 2000 for women. But I say that's too much of an fuzzy average.Weight yourself and use an online calorie calculator. My mother even has an 'app' on her iphone that she enters everything she eats and it works it out for her!
Being a tall male who lifts weights and runs I aim for 3000 calories a day. I make sure I weight out my rice/pasta/whatever, when it's dry, and check the calories of other stuff I eat.

This all goes out the window if you don't eat the right stuff. Avoid stodgy, greasey things and junk food. They feel good at first but they bog you down and contain the kind of fats that lead to heart disease. You do need a bit of fat to live! Just keep it mainly poly/monounsaturates (fish, seeds, olive oil, vegetable oil) and minimise trans fats and saturates (margarine, cake, meat, dairy).

When you make a meal you pick your meat or fish (a little fat, protein), the right amount of carbohydrate, get your vegetables for fiber and vitamins, fruit for pudding. There's extra fat and sugar in sauces and puddings. Dairy products are your source of calcium. Keep meals varied and try to eat at the same time every day (that's a really big deal!) Just the way your parents (probably) did it for you as a kid.

Get some carb and protein into you within 45 minutes after you finish weight training. This makes sure you're muscles aren't turned into spare energy and so that there's excess protein can go into making those muscles.

If you get hungry or feel low in-between meals feel free to snack on a few nuts or seeds (I'm eating pumkin seeds right now, they're mighty addictive). Raisins are also a good choice. You could also have a banana or any other fruit. In my opinion nothing is tastier than a fresh, juicy mango (not even fizzy drinks!).

Avoid booze... if you can. Ethanol carries a lot of calories, and drinks tend to have lots of sugar.

Finally there's supplements. Especially if you're building muscle, protein powders and some fat-burning pills are a safe way to make sure you get enough calories or protein, but that's it. If you're eating your carbs and your eating your meat/other protein sources that's good enough! It's a waste of money (even though gyms and sports shops love to push them on you) if you ask me, since 3 full meals a day like your Grandmother survived on is RIGHT. Remember you can't cheat at health.

People who do alot of exercise can benefit from taking vitamin C and E. Most multivitamins tablets contain those.

If your joints or muscles ache it may be due to lack of protein or calcium.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Let's Start by Warming Up.

Research shows that warming up before an exercise makes for a safer and more effective exercise session.

Warming up is just that - making the inside of your body more warm. You should warm up until your body starts to sweat- an indication that you're core temperature has raised by 1 degree Celsius. This should take around 10 minutes of gentle cardio (running, cycling, rowing, cross-training, etc).

When I run I walk for 10 minutes first to warm up. When I work out with weights at the gym I go for 10 minutes on a tredmill or bike at a gentle speed.

Many people see stretching as a fundamental part of warming up. It's still a matter of discussion as far as proof of this goes for all different purposes. I don't think stretching before-hand will be help your running, but it may warm up the inside of your muscles for weight training. Stretching certainly isn't bad for you and if you're muscles ache from yesterday, stretching before you exercise will be a good idea.

 I'll go into more detail about stretching in another post.