We have all been there where we have forgotten to eat something and half way through a intense exercise session feel like we may pass out. Or worse when you have eat way to much, get cramping in the stomach and feel about as energetic as a slug!
I have done this so many times. Years ago when training or running races I had to take time o really listen and tune into what my unique body needed when it came to exercise. And this is what I feel is the real key to creating a healthy life – learning to tune in and listen to your beautiful and unique body.
What you need is different from what I need and its our job to learn to find out what our bodies needs are and meet them. I work with clients who have tried every diet, plan, or faddy exercise thing but never learnt to focus on what their body is saying to them. So I will be giving you my 6 tops tips for making the most out of your workout but you will need to spend some time figuring out what feels good, powerful and peaceful for your awesome body.
So here are my 6 best practices for before and after you do more intense exercise out so you can make the most of your exercise and feel your best all day long.
You may groan when you read this as you have heard it before but there is a reason us health coaches harp on about water. But lets get specific.
The most important time for you to drink lots of water is in the morning. You wake up dehydrated and your body is still detoxing from the night so we need the water to help flush out all the crappy things our body wants rid of. So if you just focus on making one change aim to drink about 1-2 litres within the first few hours of waking and ideally put in a squeeze of lemon juice too to help wake up your bowels and nourish your liver first thing. This will provide a fantastic platform for any exercise you do throughout the day.
Because when it comes to exercising you want to start fully hydrated so if you are exercising in the afternoon or evening always make sure you drink about a pint of water (or herbal tea, or fresh juice) before you even begin.
Now this is where it can get tricky and you need to listen to your own body but in general most of need something in our tummies before we do intense exercise. Not a full blown meal but something to help our blood sugars balance and to prevent that faint feeling. Eating the right amount before a workout will also help your have a better work out. You will be able to push yourself further and deeper into whatever exercise you are practicing.
So in general if you exercise in the morning make sure you eat something small before a work out, things like small glass (or even a just a few sips) of green smoothie, a energy bite, banana with a little yogurt, some oatcakes, fresh juice, fruit salad etc
If you are working out later in the day just make sure you last proper meal was at least 2-3 hours previous. For example if you do a class at 5pm then that is ages since lunch so you may want to have a small snack before your class especially if it is an intense one, but if it is a gentler exercise session just stay hydrated.
Another important thing to not is that although it is super important to drink water and stay hydrated we get most of our hydration from the food we are eating which is why it is so important to eat lots of green vegetables, fruits and other whole, 100% natural foods as refined processed packaged foods will often have things like refined salts, sugars and chemicals that will dehydrate the body and not do us any favours.
Now this only applies for during exercise that is for longer than 1-1.15 hours and when you feel like you are working out in an intense way for your body.
But keeping a good electrolyte balance is important BUT I don’t recommend all those expensive sports drinks out there. Often they are filled with junk and you can easily make your own.
Simply get a large water bottle fill it with a quarter of your favourite 100% fruit juice, add a few good pinches of quality salt, maybe a slice of lemon and fill the other 3/4 with water. Simple. Or if you like coconut water then that can also be a tasty way to keep your body balanced amidst sweating it out.
It goes without saying that keeping hydrated after your exercise is also equally important so for the following 2-3 hours especially make sure you drink lot of water, your home electrolyte drink, herbal teas, fresh juices or smoothies to ensure you replace everything you have sweated out!
After intense exercise you really want to be eating something within an hour or completing the exercise. This makes the most of you revved up metabolism and is the perfect time to replace any glycogen used up which is applicable to more intense endurance exercise sessions. This is a great time to have a proper meal like breakfast or to have a quality protein filled snack like some nuts, hummus and carrots or homemade milk shake (almond milk, banana and peanut butter is my fav!)
In the morning I tend to make a green smoothie, drink about 1/4 of it before exercising. I do my exercise, then drink the rest of it once washed and dressed but you need to find what works for you and listen to your body as it ALWAYS knows best.
When you are exercising regularly and intensely it is important that you have rest days. That you don’t do any formal exercise for at least a day, ideally two, a week so that you can perform better on the days you do train. Now this does mean you lay on the sofa all day, as true health and fitness is not gained by doing 3 regimented slots of exercise a week, it is found in creating a naturally active life. Where you walk, cycle, climb stairs, run after kids and make small active choices through out the day. But making sure you don’t over train or over work your body will actually allow you to see results much faster.
And if you want some wonderful snack idea of pre or post exercise then here are some of my favs:
Sweet Green Smoothie
Peanut Butter Protein Shake
Salted Chocolate Bites
Chilli Cherry Chocolate Bliss Smoothie
Plus I have a free bundle of recipes and eBooks I would love to give you for free just visit my website to find out more and your hands on some goodies!
Otherwise rest well, eat well and move well so that you can feel awesome inside and out!
Bio – about Kezia
Kezia Hall is a holistic health coach over at Super Naturally Healthy . She is passionate about helping you love the life and body you are in and runs a successful online eCourse called Flourish to help people eat delicious food, heal their body and THRIVE. She is passionate green smoothies and about eating cake on a regular basis.