Nourishing Your Fitness Routine
by physio, Caitlin Mari Oliveros, PT, PF1, BSPTS1
Whether you’re heading off to a Pilates class, soccer game, or physical therapy appointment, it’s always important that you hydrate and fuel your body properly before exercise. This includes making sure you are getting enough fats, proteins, and carbs.
Fat plays an important role in our health. Many vitamins require fat to be absorbed into the body.
Our favorite snacks high in fat: nuts, nut butter, guacamole
Eating foods rich in protein can help you build muscle before your workout.
Our favorite snacks high in protein: Greek yogurt, nuts, and smoothie with protein powder
Consuming carbs before exercise ensures that the muscles receive adequate amounts of energy
Our favorite snacks high in carbohydrates: popcorn, granola, brown rice, sweet potatoes
Just like movement, nutrition isn’t one size fits all
When it comes to diet, there is no one size fits all. It is also important to note that other factors, like genetics or the presence of a chronic condition, may be more influential in how effectively a certain diet can work for an individual. If you nourish the muscles you are trying to strengthen, you can bulk up.
Hormones & metabolism also play a role
For women with naturally slower metabolisms or hormone imbalances like PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), fitness and weight loss might look different. “Whether she eats small-portioned meals and does high-intensity circuits regularly, she may still not reach her physical goals (and may even worsen her symptoms). This is because her body requires a specialized type of diet and exercise regime to achieve the same goals that someone with a faster metabolism or without PCOS can do away with more easily. In other words, awareness of one’s body’s needs, and catering to them, are more valuable than lessening one’s caloric intake.
Why consistency is important for progress
Depending on an individual’s goal for working out, reaching that goal will depend on one’s motivation and consistency. When it comes to exercise, it doesn’t matter if you decide to work out in the morning or the night, or on a specific day of the week. In my experience as a physical therapist and pilates instructor, it does not matter which days a client does their exercises- but how frequently in a week they do it. If you are a person who struggles to keep a set schedule with workouts, but still manages to exercise 2-3x every week, then your efforts are still worth it.
In addition to moving regularly, it is also important to ensure good form & high-quality movement during your workouts— give yourself time to rest and recharge, as well, to maximize the effects of your weekly routine!
When and what you should eat?
2-3 hours before exercise
Stick to balanced meals that contain carbohydrates, proteins, and fats
1 hour before exercise
Stick to light snacks that are easy to digest and contain both carbs and protein
Our favorite eats near our Manhasset Office:
“I order from the location in Roslyn, it’s my go-to” – Physio Kate
For the best coffee & treats
Our favorite eats near our Greenwich Office:
“Myrna’s lunch meal with lamb gyro, rice, a Mediterranean salad, and pita bread + hummus make me feel fueled for the rest of my day, but also so delicious” – Physio Caitlin
“For a sweet treat or midday pick-me-up every now and then, the chocolate croissants at Raphael’s are the best!” – Physio Caitlin
“You can’t go wrong” – Physio Kat
“for their fresh smoothies and juices as an non-caffeinated afternoon pick me up…also for their crepes!” – Physio Kat
What are some of your favorite ways to nourish your fitness routine? Want to talk to one of our physios about how to balance exercise and food? Schedule a FREE 15-Minute consult.