Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Simple Steps to Exercise Recovery

I trained for a marathon last year and ran it successfully. My challenge for this year was to train and climb Mt. Rainier. However, I developed achilles tendonities during my training and discovered I had tendonitis in both my knees for the running. So now, I am just getting back into exercise and am about three weeks in to my new exercise/ training program.

One thing I need to do is to approach nutrition and fitness more scientifically. My first step to taking this approach is to learn how to fuel my body. Most importantly, learn how to fuel my body directly after exercise to help aid recovery.

Here's what I found:

  • Consume carbohydrates- Consuming carbohydrates directly after your workout helps replenish the glycogen stores in your muscles.
  • Balanced meal- You not only need to consume carbohydrates after a workout, you need to have a good balance between carbs, protiens, fats, and liquids. This provides your body with the right nutrients to not only heal, but get stronger.
  • Water- Hydration is important not just during the workout, but after. Not drinking enough fluids is an energy zapper and not good for your metabolism.
  • Antioxidants- When you exercise, you have an increased need for antioxidants. Taking a multivitamin consistently as well as eating a balanced diet with lots of fruits and veggies should do the trick.

Post meal options include meal replacement bars, fitness shakes with fruit and protien powder, and a regular meal. If you aren't hungry after the workout, it is still a good idea to consume carbs and protien. You can buy liquid protien drinks or you can drink a sports beverage like Gatorade.

I am going to take my own advice. I want to work out smart. Right now, I am craving a protien shake. I may as well take care of that. I want to be well recovered to give myself that fitness test tomorrow.

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