You need energy to exercise and energy comes from food. Make sure you’ve eaten adequately before any fitness activity and eat to refuel afterwards, says Sue Travis, RD, PhD, of the division of nutritional sciences at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.
Fitness Food: The Right Diet for Exercise
The amount of food a person needs will vary with age, sex, weight, and activity level. The rate at which you burn calories depends not only on the type of exercise you do, but also on how vigorously you do it.
Travis emphasizes that it’s important to divide your calories between carbohydrates, protein, and fat:
- Carbohydrates. Carbohydrates — sugars and starches — are broken down by the body into glucose, which muscles use for energy. Excess carbs are stored in the liver and tissues as glycogen and released as needed. It’s glycogen that provides the energy for high-intensity exercise and prolonged endurance. Some good sources of carbohydrates are whole grain breads and cereals, fruit, vegetables, pasta, and rice.
- Protein. Protein should be part of each of your major meals because it will help slow absorption of
In a three-month randomized trial, self-reported injuryrates that prevented running for more than three days were 16 percent both among the 600 participants who stretched before starting their regular runs and in the 798 who were told not to stretch.
On the other hand, stretching did appear to protect against injuries that were bad enough to send the runner to a clinician for diagnosis, after adjusting for prior illness, chronic injury, age, body mass index, and high running mileage, reported Dr. Daniel Pereles,, an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist in Kensington, Md.
Get Tips for Buying the Best Running Shoes
Pereles shared the data before his formal presentation here on Friday at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons’ annual meeting.
Most sports medicine specialists recommend stretching before any strenuous activity, particularly for older people, but scientific studies have equivocated on the injury-prevention benefit.
Dr. Edward McDevitt, a sports medicine specialist in Arnold, Md., told MedPage Today that it’s hard to imagine that stretching wouldn’t be beneficial.
McDevitt, who called
A new study suggests regular physical activity might encourage better shut-eye: People who met national exercise guidelines reported better sleep and less daytime fatigue than those who didn’t.
The research doesn’t confirm that exercise directly leads to improved rest, and it’s possible there may be another explanation for the apparent connection between exercise and sleep. Still, the findings are mostly consistent with previous research, said Matthew P. Buman, an assistant professor of exercise and wellness at Arizona State University who’s familiar with the study.
But if you think a daily walk or jog will clear up your sleep problems, that might be a bit too optimistic.
“In general, the relationship between physical activity and sleep is moderate,” Buman said.
More than one-third of U.S. adults have trouble falling asleep at night or staying alert during the day, according to background information in the study. Inadequate sleep has been linked to depression, cardiovascular disease and other health problems.
The new study, led by researchers at Oregon State University, looked at statistics from a U.S. health survey
We all do it from time to time. Some of us are even regular culprits. But when you’re faced with deadlines, or trying your best to squeeze just one more activity into the day before closing time, taking a lunchbreak can seem like something unproductive, or even a waste of time.
But believe me, there’s nothing more unproductive than a burned out employee sitting at their desk, chomping away on a sandwich while they’re punching numbers into an excel. And if that’s not enough reason to jump off your chair and get the sixty minutes you rightfully deserve, then here are 5 more:
- You’re Probably Eating the Wrong Food – Let’s face it, it’s pretty hard to steam cook vegetables, pan fry chicken, or toss a salad when you’re at your desk. Most people who skip their lunch breaks end up eating high carb foods, like sandwiches and pastries that increase their chances of weight gain. Couple that with the fact that your body is inactive for long periods of time, and it can even lead to illnesses, such as obesity, colon cancer and diabetes.
- Taking a Break Makes You More Productive – You may think that extra hour
Before you make a decision on how much exercise you need, you should have a good idea of your exercise goal or goals: Are you exercising for physical fitness, weight control, or as a way of keeping your stress levels low?
Exercise: How Much You Need
“How much exercise is enough for what?,” asks David Bassett, Jr., PhD, a professor in the department of exercise, sport, and leisure studies at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.
For general health benefits, a routine of daily walking may be sufficient, says Susan Joy, MD, director of the Women’s Sports Health Program at the Cleveland Clinic.
If your goal is more specific — say, to lower your blood pressure, improve your cardiovascular fitness, or lose weight — you’ll need either more exercise or a higher intensity of exercise. So figure out your goals first, then determine what type of exercise will help you meet them and how much of that particular exercise you’ll need to do.
Current Exercise Guidelines for Americans
According to the U.S. Centers for
Feel younger, live longer. It’s no slogan — these are actual benefits of regular exercise. People with high levels of physical fitness are at lower risk of dying from a variety of causes, according to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Physical Fitness: What the Benefits of Exercise Mean for You
There’s more good news. Research also shows that exercise enhances sleep, prevents weight gain, and reduces the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and even depression.
“One study found that when breast cancer survivors engaged in exercise, there were marked improvements in physical activity, strength, maintaining weight, and social well-being,” explains Rachel Permuth-Levine, PhD, deputy director for the Office of Strategic and Innovative Programs at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health.
“Another study looked at patients with stable heart failure and determined that exercise relieves symptoms, improves quality of life, reduces hospitalization, and in some cases, reduces the risk of death,” adds Dr. Permuth-Levine. She points out that exercise isn’t just important for people who are already living with health conditions: “If we can see benefits of
Physical activity is defined as movement that involves contraction of your muscles. Any of the activities we do throughout the day that involve movement — housework, gardening, walking, climbing stairs — are examples of physical activity.
Exercise is a specific form of physical activity — planned, purposeful physical activity performed with the intention of acquiring fitness or other health benefits, says David Bassett, Jr., PhD, a professor in the department of exercise, sport, and leisure studies at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Working out at a health club, swimming, cycling, running, and sports, like golf and tennis, are all forms of exercise.
Physical Activity and Exercise: Understanding the Difference
Most daily physical activity is considered light to moderate in intensity. There are certain health benefits that can only be accomplished with more strenuous physical activity, however. Improvement in cardiovascular fitness is one example. Jogging or running provides greater cardiovascular benefit than walking at a leisurely pace, for instance. Additionally, enhanced fitness doesn’t just depend of what physical activity you do, it also depends on how vigorously and for how long you continue the activity. That’s why it’s important to exercise within your target heart rate
If you’re going to walk the walk of regular workouts, you also need to talk the talk. Get started by becoming familiar with some of the basic terms of fitness andexercise.
Exercise and Fitness Glossary
Aerobic. Involving repetitive use of the large muscles, temporarily increasing heart rate and respiration.
Balance. The ability to maintain bodily equilibrium while standing still or moving.
Balance training. Activities designed to improve challenges to balance.
Baseline activity. Activities of daily life, such as standing and walking slowly.
Body composition. The proportion of lean mass (composed of muscle, bone, vital tissue and organs) and fat in the body.
Bone-strengthening activity. Physical activities that involve impact or tension on the bones, promoting bone growth and strength. Lifting weights, running, and jumping rope are examples.
Cardio-respiratory endurance. The ability to deliver oxygen and nutrients to tissues over a sustained period of time.
Duration. How long it takes for an activity or exercise to be performed.
Exercise. Repetitive physical activity performed in order to improve or maintain physical fitness