How a Nutritious Diet Can Improve Your Physical Performance

How a Nutritious Diet Can Improve Your Physical Performance

Nutrition strongly affects your physical performance, whether you’re a dedicated athlete, weekend warrior, or just trying to get out and exercise more. Your body does a lot throughout the day, and the food you supply it with helps it to function properly, whether you’re hitting the gym or simply performing your daily tasks. The more demanding you are on your body, the more attention you’ll have to take on what you are fueling it with. If you are looking to improve your physical performance, a nutritious diet is a great first step.

What does a nutritious diet consist of?

Think of your body as if it were a motor vehicle – gas is the primary life source for a car, and it won’t be able to function without it. However, cars also need the necessary oils, fuels, electricity, etc., in order to run the way they’re supposed to. Much like your car, your body needs a consistent mix of proper nutrients in order to function at its peak performance. There are two primary categories for nutrients: micronutrients and macronutrients.

  • Micronutrients: Micronutrients consist of vitamins and minerals. Some micronutrients –  such as a sodium/potassium pairing or calcium/magnesium pairing – help with regulating the actions of each other. Other micronutrients are only beneficial to your body in trace amounts, such as chromium, copper, and selenium. Most athletes will flock straight to B-complex vitamins as they help to increase energy; however, it is important to also fuel yourself with a healthy mix of A, C, E, and K vitamins in order to keep your body functioning the way you want it to.
  • Macronutrients: Macronutrients consist of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, fiber, and water. The first three of those macronutrients assist your body in creating energy.  Carbs are used first, since they are the ones that burn the quickest, and are therefore helpful for short-burst activities or endurance training. Your body uses proteins second. Proteins contain 20 essential amino acids, referred to as the “building blocks of muscle.” They help in strengthening your most important muscle – your heart. Finally, fats are used last. Your body stores them as a reserve fuel supply. However, they also serve a lot of important duties in the body, such as managing inflammation, producing hormones, lubricating joints, and promoting strong brain health.

How physiotherapy can help with your nutrition intake:

If your nutrients aren’t properly balanced, your physical function can be impaired. For example, neglecting to eat carbs before an endurance event will cause your body to burn fat as a substitute for fueling your energy. Your body may even start burning protein, which can deprive your muscles of the strength they normally have. Comparatively, if you have an overload of calcium intakes, but you’re lacking Vitamin D, the calcium won’t make its way to your bones or tissues. Consulting with a physiotherapist can help you understand how much you should be ingesting of each nutrient, and when more or fewer intakes of a certain nutrient may be beneficial.

A healthy balance of nutrients can help enhance healing, function, and overall comfort. For example, omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin C both help in reducing inflammation, which promotes faster healing. Certain amino acids can also aid your body in synthesizing proteins. Eating the right amount of carbohydrates at the right times can help give you the energy you need to improve your physical performance.

Our trained physiotherapists can help assist you in how to properly fuel your body with the nutritious diet you need to train for an event or compete in a physical obstacle. Call us today to schedule a consultation and get started on your holistic plan toward peak physical performance!

 

Sources:

http://www.apta.org/PatientCare/Nutrition/

http://www.apta.org/Blogs/Pulse/2017/12/Nutrition/

3 Secrets to Completing Your Cardio Exercises – For Those Who Can’t Stand Cardio

We all know that cardio takes time. In fact, one of the most common complaints we hear from patients who come to us for physiotherapy exercises is that there simply isn’t enough time in their busy days to complete cardio workouts. Other times, whether there’s a time constraint or not, many people report a lack of self-motivation simply because they can’t stand the thought of doing cardio. Luckily, a physiotherapist can help you incorporate cardio into your exercise routine in ways that you may actually find fun – or, at least more bearable. If you’re a cardio hater, have no fear – you’re definitely not alone, and there are a few secrets for completing cardio in ways that you may not have considered. Call NRG Athletes Therapy Fitness today to find out more about how you can successfully implement these tricks!

 

  • Small doses.

 

Time is a big barrier for cardio. Even the thought of doing a half hour or more of cardio can be overwhelming for those who work full-time and have additional responsibilities. That’s why it may be better to split up your cardio into small doses. You can still shoot for a half hour of cardio a day, but breaking it up into three 10-minute doses can make it seem more doable. Wake up 10 minutes earlier and begin your day with a brisk 10-minute walk or jog before getting ready for the day. Take 10 minutes of your lunch break to walk to a cafe to grab lunch. Jog down the block for 10 minutes after you get home, while you’re waiting for the dinner in the oven to be ready. By splitting it up into three different sessions, it will seem as if you aren’t using up as much time – just remember that high-intensity matters in small doses, so do your best to get the best results!

 

  • Try something new. 

 

If you are doing something you enjoy, sometimes you’ll be able to complete your cardio exercises without even knowing you’re doing so. For example, cardio can be accomplished through:

  • Hiking
  • Mountain climbing
  • Biking
  • Swimming
  • Dancing
  • And more!

These activities get your heart rate up and allow you to get the cardio you need, but they’re not repetitive or boring. There may be a physical activity that you love doing in your spare time that you didn’t even know counted as cardio. Your physiotherapist can help you narrow down what activities count as cardio, and how often you should be doing them in order to see the best results.

 

  • Track your progress. 

 

 

There are numerous apps you can download for free on your phone that are designed to help you track your cardio progress. Even the Health app that comes pre-downloaded onto every iPhone keeps track of the number of steps you take, the miles you run or walk, and the stairs you climb in a day. Some more advanced apps can even monitor your heart rate or track the speed in which you complete your daily cardio exercises.

If you find cardio boring, there are some more engaging apps such as Ingress, Pokemon Go, or Jurassic World Alive that still keep track of your mileage while also drawing you into an exciting virtual world. What better way to complete your cardio than by playing a game? You may not even notice how much cardio you’re completing!

Contact us!

If you’re looking to add cardio back into your daily exercise routine, give our office a call today. Our physiotherapists are equipped to help you achieve your optimum level of physical fitness, and they can help you incorporate cardio into your routine in a way that works for you. Schedule a consultation with one of our physiotherapists today to get started on creating a personalized exercise plan that you won’t dread completing!

 

Sources:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/vary-cardiovascular-workouts/art-20308360

http://www.apta.org/PTinMotion/News/2018/11/13/HHSPAGuidelinesRevision

6 Ways to Prevent Injuries While Strength Training

One of the most common pieces of advice given to people in strength training programs is simply to “not hurt yourself.” Whether it’s a recovery program from a previous injury or surgery, or you’re simply trying to improve your physical performance, it is a common phrase that you’ll hear. While it may seem easier said than done, an NRG Athletes Therapy Fitness physiotherapist can help you gain strength by recommending ways to maximize your training, in addition to providing injury prevention treatments. Listed below are some tips for preventing injury while strength training:

1. Always get a physical.

Physicals help to determine where your body’s level of physical performance is. Many people, especially as they hit middle age, still feel like they’re 25 and ready to take on the world. However, that is not always the case. For example, if you haven’t gone on a run in 5 years and you decide to start training as a runner again, you need to prepare your body for the physical exertion you are about to make. If you jump straight into a training program, you can risk serious injury or health reactions. Your physical will let you know where you should begin in your training program, and will give you some dieting and light exercise tips to condition your body for the training it is about to embark on.

2. Warm up your body beforehand.

Before you begin any workout or exercise regimen, it is important to make sure you stretch and warm up your body. Your physiotherapist can provide you with routines to prepare your body for weightlifting, such as utilizing resistance bands or light weights. Stretching and cardio are also important beforehand. A proper warm-up is essential for optimum performance, as it helps to loosen up your muscles, get your blood flowing, and keep your muscle cells oxygenated.

3. Build from the bottom.

Sometimes, you have to start off slow. Even if you were a champion athlete at some point in your life, any period of inactivity will un-condition your body quicker than you realize. It may be tempting to begin where you left off, but your body won’t be ready for that. If you overexert yourself in the early stages of a new program, there’s a very good chance that you’re going to injure yourself. Start from the bottom and build up from there. This will help you create a baseline for where your training started, and it will make it easier to track your progress. A serious injury at the start of a new training program will be even more frustrating than starting at the bottom will be.

4. Fuel yourself correctly.

Proper nutrition is key in keeping your muscles healthy and strong while strength training. Your physiotherapist will likely suggest eating a nutritious meal a couple of hours before working out. He or she can provide you with the proper amount of protein, carbs, fruits, and vegetables your meals should consist of in order to allow for peak performance. It is also to make sure you stay hydrated while training, drinking a 16-ounce glass of water a couple of hours before your workout, as well. Staying hydrated even when you aren’t working out will also help prevent your muscles from tightening up, and will provide you with more energy during the day.

5. Listen to your body.

A small amount of soreness when you first start training is normal, but if you are experiencing severe pain or discomfort make sure you consult with your physiotherapist. You know your body well, and you can tell when something doesn’t feel quite right. If you feel as if the training program is moving too quickly for you, it is okay to switch to a lighter weight or even take a break for a day. Trying to push through pain can result in serious injury.

6. Get assistance from a physiotherapist.

Your physiotherapist will act as your guide throughout your training. He or she will analyze your form to make sure you are performing correctly and avoiding injury. A physiotherapist will be there with you every step of the way, encouraging and supporting you as you reach your goals. If you’re ready to start a strength training program and want to maximize your results, working with a physiotherapist can give you a boost. Contact NRG Athletes Physiotherapy Winnipeg, CA to schedule a consultation today, and we’ll get started on helping you take your physical performance to the next level!

Sources:

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