Whether you hit the gym first thing in the morning, or like me, end your day with a long distance run, it is all too easy for us to counteract our workouts by our actions throughout the day. Keeping your metabolism running after a morning workout, as well as setting up your day with healthy choices before an evening workout, is simpler to achieve than you may think. Changing our eating habits is not the only factor that changes our bodies however. Switching up your workout routine will give your muscles a challenge. Sticking to the same workout regimen day in and day out, not only allows us to be complacent, but forces our muscles to be as well. Balancing both a healthy diet and a diverse workout routine will kickstart your metabolism and get your body into ideal shape.
Bright and Early: Our mothers were right when they told us “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”. If morning workouts are your choice, eating breakfast is especially important. Breakfast gives us the fuel we need to start the day as well as the energy we need to keep our metabolism up and running. Eating a breakfast high in protein and fiber is a great way to gain energy and start your day. If you are like me, trying to balance a healthy breakfast while also making breakfast for your children can be a challenge. There are many new options available to satisfy both your own needs as well as giving your kids a well balanced breakfast. One of my favorite choices is Flapjacked, a protein pancake mix that is packed with healthy grains like quinoa, and low in sugar, avoiding a mid-morning sugar-crash. You can also try Greek yogurt (pre-portioned cups make it easy to grab on the go) topped with fruit and a drizzle of nut butter or a high-protein smoothie. If your morning workout usually consists of a run around your neighborhood, try switching it up and practicing yoga. There are many videos available to download online and no equipment needed. Yoga helps create a long, lean body with the added bonus of relaxation and meditation that can help you clear your busy mind before you start the day.
Mid-Day Boost: Although it may be hard to take time out of your busy day, or sacrifice your lunch hour to workout, it is a great option for people who want to maximize their morning snooze and take care of errands after work. Rather than running to the nearest gym and walking on the treadmill, try taking a class. Classes are usually about 45 minutes and will give you a great workout from a guiding instructor. I love spin classes for a great full-body workout and maximum calorie burn. Always make sure to keep healthy snacks handy after your workout as well. It is so easy to slip into the pitfall of overeating after a rigorous workout, especially if you are going back to work at your desk. Come to the day armed with a healthy, protein-packed snack or lunch. For lunch, try a veggie or turkey burger over greens with a light balsamic dressing. Or opt for a protein smoothie, like Growing Naturals Brown Rice Protein Powder blended with a banana, almond butter, almond milk and ice for a filling meal-replacement.
Night-Time Nourishment: The last thing we usually want to do at the end of a long day is hit the gym. For many of us, however, this is the only time we have to workout. Instead of heading straight for the elliptical, try grabbing the ballet bar instead. Programs like Physique 57 have produced at-home workouts inspired by ballet bars. These programs combine isometric exercises and stretches to lengthen and sculpt your muscles and create a lean and long body.
Mix up your workout and fuel your muscles right to get the most out of an active day.