Running and Swimming – For generations, but even more so in the past few decades, running has been a popular exercise choice.
The simplicity and minimal reliance on equipment and facilities are only part of the reason.
For many runners, the stress-reducing meditative aspect of running is its primary appeal. But there’s no getting around the by-product of impact and sheer force on the lower body joints.
The right shoes can help, and so can backing off on mileage and frequency if you’re overdoing it.
But swimming as a cross-training activity is the option many marathoners choose as their race day approaches. Why? Because the biomechanics are very different than running and the stress on the joints is minimal. This allows you to keep pushing your stamina up while giving the lower body connective tissue a break.
Fruit and Cheese – Lots of qualities make this pairing a perfect snack. Fruit is sweet, packed with fiber, vitamins and minerals, and fills your belly. But a single piece of fruit usually has only about 70 to 90 calories.
So cheese, being primarily fat and protein, is a nice complement to the nutritional offerings of the fruit and will keep you satisfied longer. It also balances out the micronutrient combination of the fruit with calcium, vitamin D and other nutrients specific to dairy. And they just taste great together.
Strength Training and Pilates or Yoga – While lifting weights, using machines, bands or bodyweight to strengthen and balance muscle capacity has no equal, it does create a condition that needs to be addressed for optimal wellness.
Bearing load on muscles shortens the muscle-tendon chain and can begin to limit range of motion at the joints if not balanced with flexibility work.
Yoga is unmatched in its therapeutic benefits for preserving elasticity and freedom of movement. Pilates has similar benefits and focuses on core stability and dynamic balance.
The combination of strength work and either of these great disciplines greatly enhances the functional capability of the body and lets you get the most practical value out of your training.
Nuts and Veggies – Like fruit, but to an even greater extent, veggies are packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber, but not a lot of calories. So adding nuts to veggies has a similar effect as the fruit and cheese combination mentioned above.
The fat, protein and fiber combination also helps to slow the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream and when hunger does approach again, it’s much more gradual.
One more benefit is that nuts are a heart-healthy fat. Some of my favorite combos are baby carrots and roasted, unsalted almonds; mixed veggies with a nut assortment and pecans or walnuts on salads.
Want more useful information on how to eat well and get in shape? Contact Dan at http://trivalleywellness.com/