How can a woman cater to her physical and mental health simultaneously? There is no denying the adverse effects that sports play in promoting the mental health and physical wellbeing. With the help of Mrs. Maya Gharios, a registered dietitian in Mount Lebanon Hospital, we will explore how you can achieve these results by combining exercise with proper nutrition.
What is the importance of sport for women?
Sports can promote physical wellbeing by reducing the prospect of developing Type II diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease. It also plays an important role in improving mental health since it helps you improve your over-all mood in addition to promoting physical fitness.
Is there a certain age preferred to exercise in women?
Exercise should be integrated in your daily routine since childhood so that it becomes and important part of their daily life as they grow up. Women should realize that the benefits of exercising are not only momentary and last even when the body is sedentary. Even if a woman had to stop exercising for a period of time, her body will burn more calories than women that do not exercise.
If women had to choose between dieting and exercise which way should they opt for?
If a choice must be made between the two then they should choose dieting in order to lose weight. The main purpose behind exercise is to sculpt the body. Which is why combining a healthy diet with exercise brings about the best results.
What is the difference between diet and eating healthy?
I use the term “diet” loosely, which is why it is important to stress that a diet does not by any means, imply food deprivation or hunger. The term rather refers to combination of proper meal planning and eating healthy which then becomes integrated into daily lifestyle. Of course, food intake should decrease if the women’s goal is to lose weight, but when you reach your target weight one needs to maintain food quantities and proper meal organization because it is important to boost your metabolism.
Is a change of diet needed when one starts exercising?
Of course certain modifications need to be made. If one exercises in the morning then they should make sure not to exercise on an empty stomach. I would recommend that they eat a banana or two dates or have half a cup of coffee. Recent studies have shown how caffeine can stimulate fat burning. Eating after a workout is also important in order to replenish the muscles, which is why I would recommend eating a piece of brown bread with light white cheese or turkey.
On the other hand if someone wanted to exercise at night, then it should be 3 hours after lunch. In this case, their lunch should include carbohydrates, proteins and a bit of fat. They should also consume a pre-workout snack half an hour before they intend to workout. This snack should constitute of any type of fruit like a banana, dried fruits or even a small amount of cottage cheese with honey. The post workout dinner should include protein, which is why I would recommend that they have a quinoa salad or a can of tuna.
How can we alleviate hunger after exercise?
It is very important to eat after exercise and focus on whole-grain foods such as toasts / crackers / cakes with light cheese and a salad.
When should we take supplements?
There are two types of exercises: fat burning exercises and muscle building exercises. People that exercise three times a week for about an hour each time, do not need supplements instead they should follow a diverse diet rich in carbohydrates, proteins, fruits and vegetables. People who undergo endurance training on the other hand, need an arrangement of different supplements to assist them in building their muscle mass. Such decisions are varies and therefore need a doctor’s consultation to accommodate each person’s need.
Would you recommend the use of protein bars?
Protein bars are very good for athletes that engage in resistance training and muscle building exercises. However, people that engage in light exercises have no need for them at all and can commit to protein consumption directly after a workout.
Should we increase the amount of water intake during exercise?
Water is very essential for the body, especially during exercise. The average amount of water that should be consumed during the day is eight cups of water. It is also important to note that if a person were to weigh himself or herself after a work out session and they found that they had lost about half a kilogram; they should be aware of the fact that they had lost half a kilogram of water and plan to make up for that loss. People who undergo resistance training however need water enriched with minerals and sugars in order to replenish storage in their muscles.
How can we counteract post-workout fatigue?
Nutrition is the key solution to deal with the post-workout fatigue. This is why I have emphasized the need to eat within an hour after exercising in order to prevent any muscle spasms. If you were short on time, I would recommend that you can eat a handful of nuts or a banana to prevent over-eating later on.
Are these instructions and tips the same for both men and women?
Yes, the instructions are mostly the same but a man performing muscle-building exercises requires more protein. Moreover, in case he has a long exercise routine he needs to consume drinks that replenish his energy. Men, as well as women, should also focus on adopting diets that are filled with proteins, good carbohydrates and healthy fats like avocados, in addition to vegetables and fruits.
What is the last advice that you give to those who follow MLH?
In order to maintain a healthy lifestyle you need to follow a healthy diet, drink plenty of water, exercise regularly, and figure out what to eat before and after exercise in order to eliminate any negative effects that might emerge after the workout.
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