Eating the Right Foods for Exercise

Eating a well-balanced diet can help you get the calories and nutrients you need to fuel your daily activities, including regular exercise.

When it comes to eating foods to fuel your exercise performance, it’s not as simple as choosing vegetables over doughnuts. You need to eat the right types of food at the right times of the day.

Learn about the importance of healthy breakfasts, workout snacks, and meal plans.

Protein is needed to help keep your body growing, maintained, and repaired. For example, the University of Rochester Medical Center reports that red blood cells die after about 120 days.

Protein is also essential for building and repairing muscles, helping you enjoy the benefits of your workout. It can be a source of energy when carbohydrates are in short supply, but it’s not a major source of fuel during exercise.

Adults need to eat about 0.8 grams of protein per day for every kilogram of their body weight, reports Harvard Health Blog. That’s equal to about 0.36 grams of protein for every pound of body weight. Exercisers and older adults may need even more.

Protein can come from:

  • poultry, such as chicken and turkey
  • red meat, such as beef and lamb
  • fish, such as salmon and tuna
  • dairy, such as milk and yogurt
  • legumes, such as beans and lentils
  • eggs

For the healthiest options, choose lean proteins that are low in saturated and trans fats. Limit the amount of red meat and processed meats that you eat.

Fruits and vegetables are rich sources of natural fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other compounds that your body needs to function properly. They’re also low in calories and fat.

Aim to fill half your plate with fruits and veggies at every meal, recommends the United States Department of Agriculture.

Try to “eat the rainbow” by choosing fruits and veggies of different colors. This will help you enjoy the full range of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that the produce aisle has to offer.

Every time you go to the grocery store, consider choosing a new fruit or vegetable to try. For snacks, keep dried fruits in your workout bag and raw veggies in the fridge.

Unsaturated fats may help reduce inflammation and provide calories.

While fat is a primary fuel for aerobic exercise, we have plenty stored in the body to fuel even the longest workouts. However, getting healthy unsaturated fats helps to provide essential fatty acids and calories to keep you moving.

Healthy options include:

  • nuts
  • seeds
  • avocados
  • olives
  • oils, such as olive oil

When it comes to fueling up before or after a workout, it’s important to achieve the right balance of carbs and protein. Pre-workout snacks that combine carbohydrates with protein can make you feel more energized than junk foods made from simple sugars and lots of fat.

Consider stocking your workout bag and refrigerator with some of these simple snacks.

If you need

any help or any advice ask one of the team today. Snacks and supplements available at reception and the gym shop.

To mark Mental Health Awareness Week, MARIANNE STOREY, CEO of Dorset Mind, explains how regular exercise can improve mental health…

Mental health AWARENESS week

People with mental health challenges need regular exercise more now than ever before. Getting active is essential because protecting our mental health is as important as our physical health. But regularly exercising when mentally unhealthy requires a level of conviction – a commitment that many of us struggle with.

An interesting study of 1.2 million individuals in the Lancet Psychiatry journal in August last year investigated the link between physical exercise and mental health. It revealed that over the period of a month, participants who exercised had nearly half (43 per cent) fewer days of poor mental health than individuals that did not exercise.

In addition, Professor Stewart Cotterill, a sport and exercise psychologist at AECC University College in Bournemouth, also highlights where you choose to exercise can be important. “All exercise can have a positive effect on your mental health and wellbeing, but getting out to exercise in and around nature can have a greater positive impact.”

When you exercise, marvellous things happen to your brain chemistry. Endorphins are released that reduce feelings of anxiety and elevate mood. Regular exercise also reduces stress, helps you think much clearer, and provides you with a greater sense of calm and increase self-esteem. The benefits of exercise are clear and enticing.

Being more active for 30 minutes a day is one small change that can have a significant impact on improving physical and mental health.

Here are five tips to get you started:

1. Make a promise to yourself – committing to invest in your health is a good place to start. Think about what you want to achieve and how you want to feel

2. Choose something you enjoy doing – if you look forward to it then you are more likely to stick to it

3. Find out what you can do for free – being more active doesn’t have to break the bank. There are lots of great coastal walks and parks – just dress for the weather and get exploring

4. Encourage a friend to join you – motivating and supporting one another will keep you on track

5. Congratulate yourself on your achievements – Enjoy how being more active makes you feel; positive, energised, healthier and in control.

Get in contact to see how we can help.

ARE YOU DOING THESE Dumbbell Exercises ??

Getting a new body doesn’t have to be complicated. Whether you’re aiming for rapid fat loss, bulging muscles or cardiovascular fitness, a pair of dumbbells will tick the box – providing you use them correctly. Increasing your dumbbell dexterity with a few extra free weight exercises will get you to your goals faster.

1. Goblet Squat

How: Stand with feet set wider than shoulder-width and hold a dumbbell with both hands in front of your chest. Sit back into a squat, then drive back up and repeat.

Why: Are you a nervous newbie or a long-time hard gainer? It doesn’t matter with this move. Goblet squats are perfect for any level. They specifically target glute activation whilst improving both hip and thoracic mobility.

2. Farmers’ Walk

How: Walk forward taking short, quick steps. Go for the given distance, as fast as possible.

Why: There’s no technique to worry about, but you’ll still supercharge your grip strength. And don’t worry, this lack of technique won’t get you injured; through a process called irradiation, this move bunches your rotator cuff, protecting your shoulders.

3. Two Arm Dumbbell Stiff Legged Deadlift

How: Lower the dumbbells to the top of your feet, as far as you can go by extending through your waist, then slowly return to the starting position.

Why: It shreds your legs into powerful pins by targeting your fast-twitch lower-body muscles. Plus, stiff legged deadlifts ensure your entire posterior chain is functioning effectively and prevents hip and lower back injuries. It’s one of the best free weight exercises to build up your lower body – injury free.

4. One Arm Swing

How: Sink into a squat and swing the dumbbell through your legs before immediately driving yourself forward, bringing the weight up towards your head as you straighten your legs. Repeat this movement, then swap sides.

Why: With proper form this swing will not only recruit muscles within your posterior chain but it will also build your grip strength, co-ordination, lower back muscles, quadriceps and shoulders. In other words, it’ll give you the momentum your body transformation workout needs. Most of these traditional kettlebell moves can be replicated.

Ask any of the Everybody’s team for a demo.

01775 768500

Deadlift mistakes and the Fix

Fix Your Deadlift

Everybody deadlifts, but not everybody deadlifts well. For every person pulling 200kg with a flat back and synced-up knee/hip extension, there are 100 other people missing 100kg or throwing out their backs due to poor technique.

By improving your deadlift mechanics, you’ll not only be able to lift more weight, you’ll be able to do it without risking injury. Here are five common problems deadlifters run into and how to fix them.

1 Can’t get into proper starting position.

  • Cause: Hamstring tightness, back weakness, poor proprioception
  • Solution: Romanian deadlifts to deficit
  • Sets/Reps: 4-5 sets of 4-6 reps with 40-60% of deadlift 1RM

To deadlift properly, the first thing you need to learn is the proper start position. Typically we look for four things:

  1. Hip-width stance
  2. Vertical shins
  3. Bar over the middle of the foot
  4. Flat lower back

Many people have trouble getting into position because of immobility, weakness, or a general lack of body awareness. An easy way to correct this problem, regardless of the reason, is to reverse-engineer a good starting position by doing Romanian deadlifts (RDLs).

RDLs allow us to work backwards with good form by starting at the top of the deadlift motion. By doing them to a deficit, we develop mobility and stability beyond deadlift depth, which will make it easier to get into proper positioning when deadlifting from the floor.

While holding a barbell, step up onto a box or step and assume a hip-width stance. Keeping your back flat, bend forward at the waist while slightly bending the knees. Maintain a vertical shin angle and let the bar travel as far down your shins as possible, then pause for 2 seconds at the bottom before lifting the weight.

While paused, pull your shoulders down and back and “show your chest to the wall.” Try to go slightly lower every day until you’re able to maintain good form with the bar below deadlift depth.

2 Your low back rounds at the start of the lift.

  • Cause: Weak spinal erectors
  • Solution: Good mornings
  • Sets/Reps: 4-5 sets of 4-6 reps

Deadlifting with good technique requires a strong back capable of maintaining stiffness when breaking the bar off the floor. The best way to target the spinal erectors for improved deadlift technique is to perform good mornings, which require the back muscles to contract isometrically while bending at the waist.

To build up the spinal erectors, pause for 2 seconds at the bottom of the good morning and “show your chest to the wall” while keeping your hips from dropping, similar to the paused RDLs from the previous example.

After the two-second pause, keep your low back flat while driving your heels into the ground and returning to the starting position. This will help you get the feel of how to set your back properly before initiating a deadlift from the floor.

3 Forward weight shift when breaking the bar off the floor.

  • Cause: Glute weakness, quad dominance
  • Solution: Barbell hip thrusts
  • Sets/Reps: 4-5 sets of 4-6 reps

If you have trouble keeping your weight back when initiating the deadlift, the cause is likely a lack of glute and hamstring strength. When your posterior chain strength isn’t up to par, you won’t be able to extend your hips and knees simultaneously, and instead will raise your hips while transferring weight towards the front of your feet.

When this happens, the bar will also drift away from your shins.

If you feel your weight moving towards your toes as you break the bar off the ground, perform barbell hip thrusts to build strength in those muscles. Stronger glutes will enable you to sit back into the lift instead of lurching forward and will allow you to lift more weight as a result.

Use back-supported hip thrusts with your back against a weight bench to increase the amount of hip flexion at the starting point of the lift. Starting from a less biomechanically advantageous position will help develop strength in a hip-flexed position, which will carry over well to the starting position of the deadlift.

5 – You hit a sticking point and your lift stalls.

  • Cause: Position-specific weakness
  • Solution: Rack pulls
  • Sets/Reps: 4-5 sets of 3-5 reps with 80-90% of your deadlift 1RM

Sticking points are points during a lift where the barbell stops moving, resulting in a miss. When deadlifting, common sticking point areas are the mid-shin, knee, and low thigh.

Regardless of where your sticking point is, you can develop the ability to push through it by strengthening your muscles through your zone of weakness. Rack pulls allow us to set the bar at the point where we’re the weakest to specifically target that zone.

To break through sticking points, set up a barbell on pins or boxes about 3 inches below the spot where your deadlift usually stalls.

When you hit a sticking point, the bar doesn’t just suddenly stop moving – it decelerates leading up the sticking point and then stops. Starting below your typical sticking point rather than at the exact sticking point will help develop bar speed through the spot where your lift grinds to a halt.

Deadlift the bar from the pins and lock out the lift at the top, but instead of lowering the bar back to the pins and starting from a dead stop again, simply touch the pins or box and then explode right back up again.

Starting from a dead standstill doesn’t make much sense if we’re trying to get through a sticking point since the bar is already moving once we hit that point during a normal deadlift. By not coming to a complete stop, we’re able to focus on improving rate of force development and bar speed through the sticking point rather than starting strength, which will keep the bar from decelerating in the “weak zone.”

Indentify Your Weak Points

Have a trained eye evaluate your technique and identify where exactly you’re falling short. Then, follow the appropriate path to correct the deficiency.

It’s not complicated – just effective. Like most things in the Gym.