By Andrea Holwegner, Health Stand Nutrition Consulting Inc.
This year’s nutrition month campaign, “Stay Active, Eat Like a Champion” reminds us of the important role healthy eating plays in an active lifestyle. Why not try our three tips to get you started?
1. Decide to be active TODAY
Make physical activity a priority today, not tomorrow or next week. Being active does not have to mean going to a gym or being part of organized sports. Anything that gets you moving will help build a healthier you. Even 10 or 15 minutes is better than nothing, so spend a coffee break climbing the stairs in your office building, or go for a quick walk around your neighborhood while dinner is in the oven. Remember that health is a whole package of physical, mental AND spiritual wellbeing, so plan a variety of enjoyable activities that you know you will look forward to. Sign up for fun classes such as dancing, swimming or martial arts. Join teams that will appeal to your social side, or that your whole family can enjoy as a group. When you have finished reading this article, we challenge you to think of something you can do today to get your body moving!
2. Don’t downplay the importance of nutrition
Would you plan a road trip and decide to leave your gas tank empty as you leave the city? Would you bring your camera to your best friend’s wedding, and load dead batteries into it? Probably not! So why take the time to be active if your body is running on empty? Being well-nourished will let you push yourself harder, focus better, and get more enjoyment out of physical activity. It will also speed your recovery time, improve your energy afterwards, and maximize results. Eat nutritious balanced meals each day, and be sure to include snacks, especially on days that you are more active. Prioritize hydration and think of ways to remind yourself to drink fluids regularly throughout the day.
3. Keep it simple
Unless you are a competitive athlete, you don’t need a highly specialized diet plan, nor do you need a pile of supplements in order to be active. Eating a variety of nutritious foods that provide protein, carbohydrates and essential vitamins and minerals, will provide you with optimal health and energy for exercise. Supplements and special powders or portions are more likely to have an effect on your wallet than on your fitness, and some may even be harmful to your health! Remember that if diet pills and fat burners worked, celebrities wouldn’t be spending thousands of dollars on fitness, personal chefs, and cosmetic surgery to achieve their ideal body type. To look and feel yourbest, make a commitment to yourself to “stay active and eat like a champion”! What are you going to do today to get started?
Reference: Dietitians of Canada National Nutrition Month ® www.dietitians.ca/eatwell