Did you know that, to get the most out of exercising, there are some really simple things that you can do afterwards? I have four pieces of advice (or strong suggestions...) that I give at the end of each of my fitness classes - so much so that regulars say them along with me. Thought I would include them here.
1. Have something to eat
2. Stay hydrated
3. Keep warm
4. Stay mobile
Over the next weeks, I'll be exploring these in more detail - and today will start with the first: eating after you have exercised.
The current guidance suggests that eating up to approximately 30 minutes after a work-out is beneficial for a variety of reasons, mainly so that you can replace the energy you have burned and help your body recover. That's why protein and carbohydrates are useful. I usually have a sliced banana with plain yogurt and ground almonds. It looks a bit sloppy but it's filling and easy to digest, so I'm not woken up by a rumbling tummy early the next morning. Have it with some water and you are doing your body a good turn. Just a small snack is enough - you don't need another meal! And bear in mind that this is after an hour of quite high-intensity cardio and conditioning work and general leaping around - so you might not need the same amount after a gentler class. Some people recommend chocolate milk as a post-class drink, and the evidence suggest that's fine too. However, I'm not a fan of processed foods and drinks, especially energy drinks, as I believe there is unnecessary sugar and salt in them. Also, they are usually highly packaged, so can be a bit wasteful. At my monthly 'Mind, Movement. Meditation' sessions, there is always time to eat and drink after the movement bit, and it's usually something worthy and filling! Here's a link to the recipe I used last Saturday (it's in the May 2016 blog collection).
The main thing is to look after your body and treat it respectfully.
Next week, I'll look at hydration and why it's so important. Until then, here's a picture of a beautiful peony in my garden!
SUGAR-FREE FLAPJACKS (OAT BARS)
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 15-20 mins
Makes 16 squares
200g porridge oats
100g dried stoned dates, chopped
30g desiccated coconut
50g walnuts, chopped
30g pumpkin seeds, plus extra for sprinkling on the top
30g sunflower seeds, plus extra for sprinkling on the top
3 tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 ripe bananas, mashed
Preheat oven to 175C and grease a 20cm square baking tin.
Gently melt the butter and honey either in a saucepan or in the microwave. Leave to cool.
In a large bowl, mix the oats, dates, coconut, walnuts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds together.
Add the vanilla and mashed bananas to the melted butter and honey, and then pour into the dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly.
Press the mixture firmly into your tin and sprinkle over the extra seeds.
Bake for 15-20 mins until golden on top and it’s coming away from the sides of the tin.
Take out of the oven and, while it’s still warm, use a knife to score where you will cut. Leave in the tin to cool before cutting.
It might sound like a strange question but it's a really important one. Commonly, people fit into two fitness categories: the tortoise or the hare. I'm very much a tortoise and have seen the benefits of taking things slowly and surely (despite my innate desire to go hell for leather at new things!). My fitness philosophy comprises three main points and I use them during all my classes and mini retreats:
Everyone knows it's important to keep hydrated during exercise. At my Clean Well-Being classes, there are regular water breaks to make sure everyone stays properly hydrated and can get the most out of the class.
2. Mindful movement
Long gone are the days of 'no pain, no gain'! I use the phrase 'soft limit' to describe how to listen and respond to what your body is telling you. If your body can move only up to a certain point or at a certain speed, don't force it beyond this point, get frustrated, and possibly cause injury. Go as far as is comfortable - and rest when you need to.
3. Sustainable exercise
At Clean Well-Being classes, I recommend gradual improvement and a long-term focus, rather than pushing yourself as hard as you can at the first class... and aching for the next few days! Treat your body kindly and with respect - that way, you will see the most sustainable results.
A very short and simple blog this week – just something I have been thinking about while stuck in numerous traffic jams…
Working hard on something we don’t care about is called stress.
Working hard on something we love is called passion.
Does this ring true with you? Certainly does for me.
Thanks for all your comments about my blogs so far - I love receiving them and hearing what you think!
And finally, here's another picture from my garden looking lovely to boost well-being on a rainy day.
When was the last time you did something that pushed your normal boundaries? And how did you feel about it? I was thinking about this at the weekend, waiting backstage to perform in my first ever ballet show in front of hundreds of people (yes, I am guffawing at the unlikeliness too!). My heart was beating fast, my hands were shaking and I was feeling nervous and excited at the same time. The performance went really well and we all felt fabulous when it was finished – the sense of achievement was immense! I was wandering about afterwards feeling very pleased with myself, walking a bit taller and smiling a bit more than normal. My sense of well-being was pretty good and the feeling has lasted for a few days (definitely not turning into a dance diva though!).
So what about you? Would you like to stretch yourself a little bit outside of your normal sphere of activity and reap the well-being rewards? I’d love to hear about what has worked for you in the past (doing more of what works, less of what doesn’t work) and what you plan to do from now on. Well-being is a bit like a boomerang: what you throw out, you inevitably get back.
(Apple blossom is just starting to emerge!)
Hi, I'm Joanna from Clean Well-Being.
|Fitness and well-being provider||
Clean Well-being blog