Yesterday's London Marathon got me thinking. How do you know your fueling your body correctly, previously in my blog we have discussed times of meals and when to eat around your training - but how are you going to maximise your training with the fuel your providing your body.
How we fuel our bodies can have a huge impact on both performance and enjoyment. So before you head out on your next run or cycle, find out exactly what you need to eat alongside a balanced diet to help you hit that new PB.
Carbs are the main source of energy for our body during exercise, and can be split into two categories – simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates can be found in sweets, fruit juice and chocolate; whereas complex carbs tend to be found in pulses, fruit, veg and whole wheat breads and pasta.
Simple carbs are what’s known as ‘empty calories’, as they provide a quick burst of energy but offer very little nutritionally. For longer bouts of exercise reach for those complex carbs – they’re harder for the body to break down and so release energy at a slower, more sustained rate. This can help stop a blood sugar spike after eating, preventing those dips and peaks in energy. Don't class them as the enemy use them wisely.
Iron-rich foods such as spinach and lentils can increase the capacity of the blood to carry oxygen, helping to prevent fatigue during exercise. Vitamin C can help the body absorb iron, too – try adding a squeeze of citrus the next time you have some spinach on the go.
Milk, natural yoghurt, cheese and other dairy products are naturally high in calcium, essential for building bone health and strength. It can also help regulate muscle contractions, too. A balanced diet should provide all of the calcium the body needs, but for diets that restrict dairy, it can be difficult to get what you need. Other foods that are high in calcium include tofu and nuts such as almonds, Brazil nuts and hazelnuts.
As well as maintaining and increasing muscle mass, protein is also essential for healthy bones. Try mixing up your intake with protein-packed lentils, beans and fish as well as classic lean meats such as venison and turkey.
For those of you who are not keen on breakfast try giving this recipe a go.
Kiwi, Ginger and Banana Smoothie
3 kiwi fruit
4 tablespoons organic porridge oats
8 ice cubes
200 ml organic milk
250 g organic fat-free natural yoghurt
½ cm piece fresh ginger , finely grated
honey , optional
Smoothies are usually the easiest way of encouraging your kids to try different types of fruit. Simply decide on a good combination of flavours, whiz it all up and drink! Kids will love to get involved with making these.
Top and tail the kiwi fruit and stand them on their ends.
Slice the skin off in vertical strips with a sharp knife.
Whiz the kiwi fruit with the remaining ingredients, apart from the honey, in a blender for 30 seconds and pour into 4 tall glasses.
I never really enjoyed exercise - or sport for that matter - but Olivia has got me to finally enjoy working out. I am now even incorporating workouts at home, something that I would have never thought of doing before! Olivia provides constant encouragement both inside and outside of our sessions.
Olivia is just wonderful, she has the perfect balance between drive and motivation, and I really enjoy working out with her.
Thank you Xtra-Fit!!
I started Personal Training sessions with Olivia about a year ago and have seen a really dramatic improvement in my fitness; I have literally gone from strength to strength!
Olivia is very easy to get on with and very knowledgeable about health and fitness. Despite my defeatist attitude, she is patient, encouraging and pushes me well beyond what I think are my limits.
I enjoy being able to exercise outdoors and I even did a session in the snow; something I would never previously have contemplated. Every week is well-planned and varied in terms of focus and the equipment used. It is always hard work but hugely satisfying.
I started with Xtrafit in a bid to get stronger and more confident in the gym. I have had sessions with both Olivia and Katie; both are professional and passionate in their work. I leave the session feeling motivated and have started to enjoy exercising again.
I am currently training with Olivia; her sessions are challenging but fun. She pushes me out of my comfort zone to get the best results. I feel stronger and fitter than ever. The sessions are tailored to my goals. With Olivia’s expert knowledge: she has supported and motivated me to reach my fitness goals and start new ones. I look forward our sessions and leave feeling energised. As a nurse, I have a irregular shift pattern which Olivia happily accommodates for. I have no hesitation in recommending Xtrafit if you are looking for a personal trainer.
I started looking for a Personal Trainer a year ago, I was bored with the exercise regime I was doing and I was lacking motivation and direction.
From the start Olivia at Xtra-fit has been a great source of knowledge & motivation, and every session is varied, fun & challenging. Olivia is hugely passionate about being a PT and this comes across with every session.
She not only devises a bespoke regime to fit your needs & goals, but advises and monitors your diet and nutritional requirements. Olivia has a holistic approach which ensures I stay motivated & push myself whether I’m training with her or on my own to get the best results.
I just wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart for being so patient, motivating me and inspiring me to prove that it was possible for me summit 3 volcanoes in a week - but not without the help of your amazing targeted fitness plan that helped me with all those inclines and super long days.
I cant wait for our next fitness chapter together so that I can work on my beach bod for the Mexico trip. If like me peeps you need that push, that motivation, that dedicated tailor made fitness training to reach those specific goals - do it!! You only live once... make the most of your visit and look your best!
Marie Curie Cancer Care were also very happy with the combined £165,000 that was raised across the 37 participants on the Costa Rica Volcano Challenge to help provide terminal care for people in their homes or at the hospice to allow them to spend quality time with their loved ones at the end of their lives.
I stumbled across Olivia’s big signed truck parked outside my home one day and decided to get in touch for some PT sessions to help me get fit whilst I was recovering from a shoulder injury. After an initial assessment, Olivia and I discussed my goals and identified areas that needed the most work. She tailored some challenging training sessions, made them fun and really tried to push me when I felt I couldn’t do another rep. Her approach is professional and detailed, and I look forward to booking more sessions with Xtra-fit in the future.