I have a theory… What if a vital reason you weren’t spending enough time exercising wasn’t because you were being lazy or you didn’t care, but because you were malnourished? Maybe you aren’t malnourished in the sense that your physician would be alarmed, but what if you just felt you didn’t have adequate enough energy for anything other than your normal daily activities. Exercise has been said to be “the fountain of youth” but how can something make you look and feel younger if you never find the time or energy to do it?
First we’d have to ask ourselves where our energy comes from in the first place. Energy comes from food. A lot of people claim they want to lose weight and try to starve themselves to achieve this. In actuality most people want to improve their body composition and the best way to do that is to gain muscle and leave less room for excess fat. This requires that you eat enough to energize your workouts and to select the correct foods for the job. Here is a list of things you can try eating a couple hours to an hour before exercise:
Nuts, grains, seeds
- Whole grain cereal
- Ancient grains (quinoa, kamut, amaranth, teff, millet)
- Hemp seeds
- Chia seeds
- Plant-based milk
Now during exercise we put strain on our muscles, joints, and nervous system. As a result, our bodies also require adequate nutrition after our workouts to resupply energy it’s lost and to help begin the healing process of repairing muscle. You may use the previous list of foods for this purpose, however you may want to emphasize incorporating higher protein foods such as hemp seeds and oatmeal after you workout due to it’s capacity to help rebuild muscle. Just remember to eat about 45 minutes to an hour after your workout to achieve optimal benefits. Other foods to try are:
- Plant-based protein shakes
- Sea vegetables (spirulina, seaweed, kelp)
By following this formula of supplying energy before exercising, and remembering to resupply adequate nutrition after, you may find yourself able to perform your workouts more consistently. Consistently exercising will help you look and feel younger. You will also see your energy levels heighten due to more appropriate body composition and being in better shape.
Let’s not blame ourselves for our lack of energy, or percieved inability to consistently exercise. Instead lets educate ourselves on how to properly work with our bodies to effectively supply it what it needs to function at it’s best. This way we’re able to do what we need to do to and have the energy to live the lives that we want. Thanks for reading!
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