As we all know, the benefits of regular exercise are bountiful. Exercise boosts your overall health and reduces the risk of developing diseases like type 2 diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Exercising can have immediate and long-term health benefits — Especially the types of varied routines we do at BootCampSF. And in addition to the physical advantages, working out also plays a huge role in our mental health and overall quality of life.
But exercise is only a slice in the overall fitness pie. Let’s take a look at why diet plays such a tremendous role of any fitness regimen.
Muscle Break Down
Muscles break down to be 25% protein and 75% water — the rest would be carbs in glycogen form. With this in mind, staying hydrated is vital for good health as is eating enough protein. If you don’t consume enough protein, your body has a difficult time building new muscle. So the best way to stay fit and get results is to include plenty of foods that contain protein in your diet like lean meats, nuts, and fish.
Avoid Processed Fats
Be kind to your heart and vascular system and stay away from processed fats whenever possible. The trans fat in hydrogenated oils make it tough for your heart to pump enough oxygen-rich blood into muscles during workouts. These fats also are linked to the increased risk of heart disease.
Not All Fat Is Evil
Don’t forget about good fat because, yes, some fat is even healthy for you. Fat is an important energy source and vital to keeping your muscles moving smoothly and you need it to build cells. Go for monounsaturated fats such as those found in olive oil, avocados, and nuts, and the omega-3-rich polyunsaturated fats found in salmon flax and canola oil.
You shouldn’t worry about refraining from all carbs. Instead, be mindful of the type of carbs your eating. Snacks loaded with refined sugar and with little fiber are obviously not your friends. This is because the body digests them rather quickly resulting in a brief boost of energy immediately followed by the infamous sugar crash.
Choosing what might be referred to as “slow carbs” is going to be your best bet. These include fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grain breads. The reason they are referred to as “slow” is because they contain fiber. Fiber makes your body work harder to absorb carbs. This creates the long-lasting energy boost needed for endurance during challenging workouts.
Diet and Excercise: The Killer Combo
Just like exercise, healthy eating plays a significant role in how we feel both emotionally and physically and is key to overall fitness. Eating well allows us to lose weight, reduce body fat, reduce our risk of illness, and feel more confident. A healthy diet and a challenging exercise routine are the perfect combo to help us look and feel our best. Combining the two of these is the best way to get in shape and feel great.