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Nutrition for Fitness Training - Part 2

by June Kaminski, MSN

Fitness training is an important part of life for the entire family. Adequate nutrition provides the fuel for sustained effort and injury prevention for any program of family fitness. Learn some important tips to keep your family healthy as you develop your level of physical fitness together.

Fitness training is an important part of life for the entire family. Adequate nutrition provides the fuel for sustained effort and injury prevention for any program of family fitness. Learn some important tips to keep your family healthy as you develop your level of physical fitness together.

Energy Needs


Your family's energy needs vary depending on each member's stage of development, lifestyle, and metabolism. On the average our energy needs are high in early life, particularly during times of rapid growth. By the age of 30, energy needs begin to decline. Active children and youth have a particularly high energy requirement, primarily from complex carbohydrates, bountiful in whole grains and cereal foods.

Energy needs tend to decrease with age, particularly when the lifestyle is sedentary or only mildly active. Reduced physical activity, a loss of lean body mass, and increased or continued high food intake result in a higher percentage of body fat, a positive caloric balance, and weight gain. To prevent weight gain and achieve optimal health, it has been suggested that approximately 2,000 kcal/week should be expended in physical activity (ADA/CDA, 1998).

What to Eat before Working Out


Eat a small high complex carbohydrate meal two to four hours before your exercise session or fitness activity, (target for 100 to 200 grams of carbohydrate for sufficient energy). Within half an hour of your session, drink 8 to 12 ounces of fluid, which may be mixed with a mild carbohydrate.

During Your Workout

Consume fluids at regular intervals, at a minimum of every thirty minutes of activity. If your digestion can tolerate it, you may also wish to eat a high carbohydrate whole grain snack for long bouts of exercise.

After Your Workout


According to the ADA and CDA, (1998) "Carbohydrate consumption after exercise ensures repletion of muscle glycogen. Research shows that muscle will replete glycogen stores to a higher degree when up to 600 g easily digestible carbohydrate is consumed within the first several hours after exercise. The athlete should begin eating high-carbohydrate foods as soon as possible after physical exertion. Blood glucose, insulin, and glycogen synthetase levels will remain elevated to promote glycogen synthesis and replete the muscle reserves".

More Sites to Explore


Net Sweat.com has been dubbed the "Grandmother of all fitness links sites." A comprehensive directory of links to sites focused on general fitness, the fitness industry, knowledge and guidelines, motivation and inspiration are offered.

Cyber Diet is a wonderful resource, packed with information, areas to interact with like-minded people, articles, assessment tools, nutritional outlines, and fitness primers.

ivillage.com: Fitness and Beauty offers a superb resource for mothers and other women for achieving health, fitness, and a youthful radiant glow. Loads of topics geared for the contemporary woman.

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