Exercise and working out are seemingly everywhere these days and if you don’t know someone who is about to begin working out, there’s a good chance you are thinking about it yourself. With spring in full swing, you might be feeling a little more active as spring is known to boost motivation levels as the sun pops out (kinda) and the temperature begins to rise; it just makes you want to be outdoors.
Of course, the great outdoors is excellent for exercise, especially for those who don’t have expensive or large-scale gym equipment at home such as treadmills, stationary bikes, and weights benches. Exercise is of course different for everyone and we are all at different levels, and if you aren’t used to exercising then you need to take it easy when beginning.
For example, if you are a little overweight (no shame) and want to lose a little but you have previously exercised very little or not at all, then you should take brisk walks that progress to a jog before taking up running. Sudden and swift exercise can be hazardous for your cardiovascular system and you need to adopt strenuous exercise little by little.
Also, if you aren’t used to intense exercising then you might need a little help since just limiting your eating isn’t the right way to go about losing weight and this needs to be done properly. In addition, there are certain things that you can consume before, during, and after exercise that can help you along and get your body and mind into the right place.
4 Essentials for Intake When You Begin Working Out
Vitamin and Mineral Supplements
You have probably heard of supplements and there’s a good chance that you are one of the 60% of adults who regularly use supplements as part of their diet. While there is some debate about the benefits of all supplements, most experts agree that there are some supplements that really do work and are worth taking. Vitamin D is a common vitamin that people are deficient in, especially those who don’t go outside much, while folic acid, B6, and B12 are known to reduce the risk of heart disease.
In terms of exercise, most of the things you need for losing fat and building muscle are found in natural nutrition, but getting all of them into your diet can be difficult. The Steel Supplements blog has great articles on exercise “stacks” but for the most part, Iron, Omega 3 fish oils, selenium, copper, and magnesium are excellent supplements for beginning exercise: iron helps with oxygen levels, omega 3 fish oils are excellent for suppressing hunger, selenium combats free radical damage, copper strengthens tendons and magnesium boosts energy and reduces fatigue.
Essential for life and maintaining body functions, proteins are absolutely vital for getting the most out of exercise. At their base level, proteins are found inside genes and actively work to maintain biological functions inside your cells. Protein is important when exercising because it can help repair muscle damage, reduce muscle soreness and boost glycogen: the energy storage system of your body. Luckily, boosting protein is a relatively simple affair and there are many products such as protein shakes that can be used when exercising.
Because amino acids are able to be absorbed into the body very quickly, it is better to consume them as a drink in order for them to get into the bloodstream and begin muscle synthesis processes. The reason why it is better to consume protein shakes rather than protein drinks is that manufacturers can also add ingredients that allow you to replace a meal with a shake as you seek to lose weight by staving off hunger for longer.
Electrolyte Sports Drinks
Not to be confused with harmful, high-sugar energy drinks, electrolyte sports drinks can be of great benefit when performing any type of exercise. Since exercise is defined as any repeated activity that raises your heart rate above its resting rate, you are going to perspire when exercising. Perspiration is basically the transfer of water from inside your body to the outside in order to cool it down, which obviously occurs a lot when exercising. Drinking water is an excellent way of replacing this, but drinks with added electrolytes are even better.
Electrolytes are essentially the electrically charged minerals in your body that allow it to function but they are lost through expelling water, which is one of the main reasons humans need to stay hydrated. Water takes a little time to hydrate you, but you should try to drink a glass of water 20 minutes before you exercise. Electrolyte-rich drinks such as Gatorade will instantly replace any electrolytes lost during your exercise as electrolytes mixed with sugar work a lot faster, so sipping an electrolyte drink every 20 minutes or so will help with hydration and performance.
The benefits of fresh fruit are widely known as they are an excellent source of many of the essential vitamins and minerals required for a healthy lifestyle and exercise. There are, however, many varieties of fruit available and while all of them are healthy, not all fruits are best consumed if your aim is to help you with energy and performance and you should consume different fruits before, during, and after exercise.
Before you begin working out, you need fruits capable of providing and sustaining carbohydrates while during exercise you can snack on high-energy fruits and post-workout requires that you replace the energy lost. Bananas, oats, and berries are excellent sources of carbohydrates before your workout while raisins and other dried fruits are great for snacking on during your workout. Following your workout, a high-protein, high-carb drink such as a fruit smoothie containing banana, coconut and various seeds is ideal.
Whether you have exercised before or not, or even if you consider yourself healthy, there is always room for more vitamins and minerals as it’s possible you aren’t getting enough of something. Supplements are an excellent way of boosting your vitamin and mineral levels while protein shakes can help with the effects on your muscles.
As you exercise, you will lose a lot of water and electrolyte-rich drinks can quickly rehydrate you while you workout as electrolytes mixed with sugar works quicker than water alone. Of course, natural ingredients such as fruit provide amazing benefits when it comes to exercise by transmitting carbohydrates, natural sugars, and proteins before, during, and after your workout.
If you’re determined to begin working out or to increase the amount of exercise you currently partake in, these essentials will help you improve your results!