This past week I had the opportunity to talk to a group at Endurance House in Zionsville about nutrition. Endurance House had a 5K running group that were gearing up for the Zionsville 5K in June. The leader for the running group, Sarah Hill-Abel, was a friend from Lafayette. I had met her and worked with her at Tri-N-Run up in Lafayette for several years. Both her and I had moved to the greater Indianapolis area and I was excited to work with her again when she reached out to me a month ago.
Since this running group was new to the whole running scene, I wanted to just touch on some of the basics of exercise and nutrition.
- Discussed Healthy Snacks
- Find snacks that you enjoy that pair a carbohydrate with a protein. This will help keep you feeling more full and will help to rebuild some of that muscle you broke down while exercise. It is best to have this protein after a work out and stick with carbohydrates prior to exercising.
- Bring your meal/snacks with you on the go (to work, while running errands, etc). This helps ensure that you are reaching for a healthy option. It removes the temptation to stop by the drive through or picking out something unhealthy from the grocery store.
- Have something to eat prior to working out. If it is in the morning, make that food item something light that you can easily tolerated (banana, granola bar, smoothie). Then add in some protein after the work out to help keep you feeling satisfied through lunch.
- How to Stay Hydrated
- Make sure that you have water with you. Water is going to be the best thing to use for refueling for any exercise taking < 60 minutes. Water is great because your body can easily use it and it is refreshing.
- If you are working out for > 60 minutes, then you can consider a sport beverage. This will provide carbohydrate and electrolytes, which are necessary to replenish after a long work out.
- There is water in foods that count as well. So drinking to thirst is a good way to know if you are hydrated. Don't stress about a "magical" 8 glasses as a day. Instead focus on making sure that you aren't feeling thirsty.
- Fueling for Exercise
- Eating 3 meals a day with snacks is important and necessary when you are working out. We want to make sure that you are fueled properly so that you can complete the activity you want to do (running, walking, biking, etc).
- Making these meals/snacks healthier is key. Find ways to work in plenty of fruits and vegetables. Remember to fill your plate with at least 3 food groups to keep variety in your diet.
- You will quickly learn if there are foods that you need to avoid prior to exercising. If you eat and then wait 2-3 hours before exercising that is normally enough time to cause any GI distress.
We had a great time talking about nutrition and hearing what this woman do currently to help them make healthier choices. Lots of time, being healthier and setting yourself up for success looks different for different people/families. If you hate cooking, then maybe you look to purchase pre-made food items from Whole Foods that have fresh vegetables already in those meal items. Maybe your buy your veggies cut up, because you know you would never spend the time doing that. Whatever helps you be successful in your diet journey, that is the key. Figure out what that is and try to make those chances so that you can be properly fueled for life and your upcoming run.