Whether you are trying to lose weight, or just live a healthier lifestyle, you know you should get some exercise every day and pay attention to your nutrition, or what you eat. What you may not know is how closely related nutrition and exercise are. One in fact helps out the other. By eating right and working out together, you can achieve your weight loss goals much faster or just feel better overall. Let’s take a look at how nutrition and exercise combined affect your body.
For an effective exercise workout, we need the energy to get started in the first place. A healthy (and light) breakfast that combines some complex carbohydrates with lean protein will provide you with that energy. While a sugary breakfast will give you a quick burst in energy, it also leads just as quickly to a crash of your blood sugar levels, leaving you tired. Stay away from sweet cereals or breakfast treats. Instead, fix an egg white omelet and some whole wheat toast, or prepare a breakfast smoothie with low-fat yogurt and fresh fruit. You can add a scoop of protein powder for an extra protein burst.
Combining complex carbs and protein will give you nutrition that is slowly absorbed by your body and will provide fuel throughout your workout routine. Don’t forget to “feed your body” after your workout as well. Stick with fresh veggies and lean protein to help rebuild your stressed muscles. A grilled chicken salad or a piece of fish with some steamed veggies are great options. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water during and after your workout as well to stay hydrated.
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Not only does what you eat affect your workout, but exercise also influences your nutrition. Are you one of those people that crave chocolate, or sugary treats? Or maybe you self-medicate with food by eating to make yourself feel better. In either case, consuming the food will lead to the release of endorphins, brain chemicals that will make you feel better. The good news is that the same chemicals are released when you exercise.
You may have heard about this phenomenon as “runner’s high”. Thankfully you don’t have to go for a run to experience the feeling of well-being. Even moderate exercise like going for a walk will start to release these chemicals and in turn will curb those cravings for high-calorie foods.
There is another benefit to exercise…the more you work out, the more muscle mass you will build up. This in turn will increase your resting metabolism. In other words, the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn even if you aren’t doing anything at all. As a result you can get away with the occasional treat. Of course regular exercise will also make you feel better and improve your overall health.