While the old saying, "You are what you eat," is true to a certain extent, perhaps "You are what you eat and do" is a better reminder to achieve a healthy balance. When it comes to your nutrition and exercise habits, remember that your body needs fuel, and eating a varied diet is essential to your overall health.
It's also true that the more you exercise, the more you need to eat. But that doesn't mean every long walk should be followed by an ice cream sundae.
What should you eat or drink when exercising? What about snacks? Wondering how to eat healthy and exercise when your schedule is crazy? Find out with our weight management tips below.
What Should You Eat or Drink When Exercising?
Water is at the Top of the List
Proper hydration is essential to your overall health, and when you increase your activity level, you need to increase your fluid intake. Sports drinks boasting extra electrolytes can help serious athletes stay in the game, and sometimes even a casual workout requires a little extra replenishment.
If you use sports drinks, be smart.
- Read the label.
- Watch the calories and sugar content.
- Look out for ingredients you may not need.
Remember: water is the most essential thing your body needs before and after exercise.
What about Healthy Snacks?
Nature offers some great prepackaged options. Apples, bananas and oranges come in neatly wrapped, easy-to-carry packages, and offer some essential nutrients. Real food is always best for your body, no matter what you're doing. Why feed your body junk when you're exercising to stay healthy? Nuts, carrots, grapes, and other natural snack items are hard to beat.
How Can you Eat Healthy and Exercise When Your Family's Schedule is Crazy?
Busy Families Need Creative Fitness Solutions
When you spend a lot of time in the car, eating on the go may be your only option. If you pack and take along healthy snacks or sandwiches, you're eating "fast food" that's for you. The busier your schedule, the harder it is to make time for exercise. Get creative. Can you walk instead of driving to one of your errands? Can your kids walk or bike to school once a week? Can you set an example by biking to work, or offer to help coach your child's team, so you're all involved in the activity?
Make Exercise and Fitness a Priority
If you exercise and follow a good overall fitness program 80 percent of the time, you don't have to worry too much about the other 20 percent. Your goal is to improve your exercise and fitness habits - not to achieve perfection.