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Fitness

Friday Fitness Freak

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If you’re making a bit of a determined effort with your health and fitness, one of the things that you’ll be thinking about is what you’re eating.

Diet plays a key role in health and fitness. There’s lots of different theories about the how, what, and when of food, but is accepted that all of your hard work in the gym can quickly come undone if you’re not keeping control of your diet.

Emergency snacks are often wear even the best of intentions can be led astray. When you’re hungry, it’s hard to make a disciplined choice about what to eat. If you’ve just finished exercise, or if you’re travelling, or if it’s late at night and you’re walking past a food van — when you let your stomach do the thinking, you could be throwing a whole week of disciplined training out the window.

The solution is preparation. If you’ve always got some relatively good snacks with you, you’ll have gone some way to removing the temptation to make bad choices. We call these power snacks.

Whether you’ve got them in your gym bag, in the rucksack you take to work, or just buried somewhere in one of your coat pockets. When your body starts sending you signals that it needs food, you need to have something within easy reach that is broadly on your diet plan.

Here’s some suggested power snacks that might help you fend off the hunger pains.

Nuts

  • They’re easy to eat, and you can generally buy them in handy snack-size bags.
  • Nuts have a good shelf-life, they’re still good even if they get buried at the bottom of your gym bag for a few weeks.
  • If you’re getting technical, some nuts are better than others, but try and mix it up to keep it interesting.
  • Avoid anything that looks like it’s been roasted, salted, or flavoured. Ideally, you’re looking for organic nuts that are full of goodness.
  • Try and put nuts such as almonds, Brazil nuts, or walnuts at the top of your shopping list.

Protein Bars

  • You need to do your research on protein bars — some of them are just sugary chocolate bars in a fancy wrapper.
  • You don’t want to be eating protein bars every day, but they’re not a bad option in an emergency and go some way to helping your body to quickly refuel.
  • Your research is probably going to indicate that the best choices when it comes to protein bars will be the most expensive and the least tasty. These are the sacrifices we make.

Dried Fruit

  • You don’t want to eat too much dried fruit — it delivers a pretty significant sugar hit — but dried fruit can be a relatively healthy snack to keep you going until you can get to some proper food.
  • Figs or prunes are a good choice — giving you some tasty fibre alongside the sugar.
  • Dried fruit is designed to be stored for extended periods of time, and is robust enough to survive banging around in your gym bag for a while. It’s also generally available in handy snack-size portions.

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Fitness

Friday Fitness Freak

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Image sourced from stock photo library
Image sourced from stock photo library

Surviving Winter

While things are warming up south of the equator, much of the northern hemisphere is already feeling the chill from the long winter months ahead.

Here’s two simple tips to help you survive the long, cold, and dark winter.

Stay away from the sun-beds
Although they’re tempting, it’s best to avoid UV solariums as they’re really not very good for you — they’ve been shown to cause long-term damage to your skin and are potentially carcinogenic.

Stock up on supplements
Taking a Vitamin D3 supplement can help keep your body stay healthy if you’re not getting the required levels of Vitamin D from sunlight.

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