Running at the fitness club

Eating before a workout? You should.

Running at the fitness clubPeanut butter and jelly. Movies and popcorn. Moon and stars. Workouts and food? Who would have thought that the latter would go hand-in-hand? Well, we assure you it’s the truth. Today’s post is another extension of advice as we continue to count down the days until the Birmingham Heart Walk.

The #BhamHeartWalk will be taking place on June 22 in the Uptown Entertainment District. Two routes will be available: a FREE 5K and a one-mile route. Whichever challenge you decide to face, food will be a necessity before and after.

The Birmingham Heart Walk is June 22 at the new Uptown Birmingham, anchored by the Westin Hotel and adjacent to the BJCC.

An American Heart Association article equates your body to a car—you need the right foods and fluids to keep running. “Your body is your vehicle, so you got to keep your engine—your heart—running when you work out. That means fueling up your tank with the right foods and your radiator with the right fluids, using with right amounts at the right times.”

If you think that eating before a workout could make you sluggish, you’re right—but only if you eat the wrong things. Popping a few potato chips in your mouth before a run for example is not advised. Instead, go for some healthy carbs like whole-wheat toast or some low-fat yogurt. And don’t forget to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

If you’re going on a long run or extended workout, be sure to stop every now and then to drink some water. The AHA article calls this “making a pit stop.” “For longer, high intensity vigorous workouts, eat 50-100 calories every half hour of carbohydrates such as raisins, an energy bar or banana.”

After a free 5K on June 22 (or any other workout) you’ll need to “refuel your tank.” You’ll need carbs and protein to help build and sustain your muscles and again, you’ll need to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate—and if you’re unsure, hydrate some more!

According to the folks at The Mayo Clinic, food can greatly affect the outcome of your workout. “Eating and exercise go hand in hand. When and what you eat can be important to how you feel when you exercise, whether it’s a casual workout or a serious athletic competition.”

The article goes on to say that it’s best to eat large meals three to four hours before your workout, so plan ahead! Eat small meals two to three hours before exercise, and eat snacks about an hour before.

Being healthy isn’t about exercising constantly and eating nothing. Being healthy is about exercising and eating in the right way. It’s a balancing act that can make or break your workout. We hope to see you at the #BhamHeartWalk, and don’t forget to bring along your water bottle and healthy snacks!


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