I’ve talked about how important fitness is to us, and today I’d like to elaborate on how nutrition is an essential part of fitness. Nutrition isn’t just recommended for fitness, it’s an outright necessity.
- How Nutrition Helps Fitness
- How Lack Of Nutrition Hurts Fitness
- Why Exercise Alone Doesn’t Cut It
- Exercise and Diet
Eating right and exercising go hand in hand. Many people think they can squeak by with just one or the other. But this isn’t true. By only following half of the equation, and help you give your body will be minimal in comparison to what it could be; if it even helps at all.
This misconception is partly due to the fact that we like to believe that by exercising, we get a free pass to eat whatever we want, whenever we want it, and in whatever quantity. While this would indeed be nice, it just doesn’t work that way. Nutrition is important.
How Nutrition Helps Fitness
“You are what you eat.” You’ve probably heard that more times than you could count, and you may even be getting sick of hearing it. But that old saying has stuck around so consistently; because it’s true. Eating food that’s bad makes you feel bad, and eating food that’s good makes you feel good.
Foods that are high in nutrients can give you lots of energy. This can help with your career, your workout routine, chores around the house and just about every aspect of your life. This means that eating right also helps your body in many ways, not just appearance. As your body gets healthier, the newfound energy and enthusiasm will really get you moving, helping to keep you even healthier. Good health habits tend to bring more good health habits. As you continue to eat right, your body will work more effectively and you’ll be at much lower risk for various diseases and illnesses. When you eat right you have more energy to exercise. Understanding how nutrition works will help your energy.
How Lack Of Nutrition Hurts Fitness
Your lack of nutrition by consuming the wrong food hurts you in so many ways, and exercise isn’t enough to keep up with the damage. Even if you look good on the outside, there are some aspects of your health that happen inside your body; the only way to fix things like this is with good nutrition. Take your blood sugar, for instance. Do you think any amount of push-ups or jogging can balance your blood sugar? It can help, but it won’t fix the fact that you’re eating too much sugar and carbs.
Eating wrong can damage your heart, slow down your entire digestive tract, and hurt the inside of your body in so many ways. Bad nutrition also leads to very low levels of energy. Even if exercise could be used to outright counteract bad eating habits, you’d be hard-pressed to find the motivation to work out that much while running on zero energy.
Why Exercise Alone Doesn’t Cut It
The belief that you can counter eating more and more bad food by just substituting more and more exercise is dangerous. Making a car run faster and faster on the wrong kind of gas isn’t going to help anything… it’s going to make things worse. The same goes for your body. You load up on foods that can spike your blood sugar and/or give you low energy, and then you go and perform activities that require high amounts of physical effort? This can be seriously dangerous.
If you watch athletes who are about to run a marathon, you’ll see them loading up on good carbs and healthy foods. You’ll never see someone who understands about sports nutrition chowing down on greasy foods they picked up from a drive-thru before performing such physical feats. Doing so would be insane. It’s like putting diesel fuel into a car that doesn’t take that kind of gas, and then expecting it to drive fine in a cross country trip. The wrong kind of fuel is only going to result in “your car” breaking down. Your body needs the right kind of energy and nutrients in order to perform the way you want it.
Exercise and Diet
This doesn’t mean if you’re out of shape, that you should never work out. But you need to focus on eating right and exercising at the same time. Some parts of your diet can be taken “one step at a time”, but not these two. Nutrition and fitness go together, without exception. If you’re going to go out and run for the first time in years, don’t do it with a double-cheeseburger and bacon slowing you down and causing fluctuations in your energy. Instead, load up on some good cards and protein. You can find these in things like vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, lean ham, skinless white meat chicken, and so on.
What you drink is also important to nutrition. You might be tempted to drink some soda or coffee for “energy” during your workout. No, absolutely not. Caffeine can dehydrate you quickly, and that energy boost is a false one that will send you crashing down in a short time. Drink lots of water, even take a bottle with you. Staying well hydrated is essential. By working on improving your nutrition and your level of exercise at the same time, you’ll make both tasks much easier.
Do you account for a nutrition as a part of the puzzle in your health?