As the winter months are finally giving way to more daylight many of us will resolve to get in shape for the summer and exercise more. A major part of any exercise routine, cardio workouts are used to increase the heart rate and keep it elevated for a period of time which has a whole host of physical and psychological health benefits. The best thing about cardio is that it takes so many forms such as jogging, climbing, swimming, tennis or football (to name just a few) so everyone can find something they genuinely enjoy.
Eat for Exercise
If you are planning to start an exercise regime that is heavy on cardio, it’s important to make sure you are giving your body everything it needs to perform to its full potential. Just a car engine that needs fuel, your body needs quality nutrition to see it through periods of strenuous activity. It’s also important to make sure that you eat sufficiently after your workout to help your muscles recover and prevent fatigue so make sure you have meals planned for both sides.
Get those carbs
Carbs have been getting a bad rap from anyone who is currently dieting, but the truth is that we need them as part of a daily diet to give us energy. An hour or two before you set off, go ahead and enjoy some healthy carbs to supercharge yourself for maximum performance. Eat some fruit or have a healthy sandwich on wholemeal bread and don’t worry too much about the calories – you are more likely to burn off more if you have the energy to really go for it. There are so many ways for you to get your carbs as they as usually part of any normal meal – just aim for the healthy ones (whole grains and fruit) as opposed to high sugar or fatty alternatives such as crisps or chocolate.
Don’t forget your proteins
Although carbs are an important ingredient to an active diet, cardio exercise still uses your muscles which need protein to recover and repair. For meals before and after your cardio get some lean proteins involved though nuts or even in the form of a healthy rice milk shake. If you need something quick and easy, you can also try a whole host of protein bars that are available, although we like our own Trek Protein Flapjacks the best because they are vegan friendly and really tasty too!