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If following this training program, then you may have discovered that the increase in exercise has been accompanied by an increase in appetite. I call this the runchies.
Not all food is created equal when it comes to refueling after exercise. Of course you could indulge in cookies and other sweets — after all, you are exercising so you can afford the extra calories, right? — but they aren’t the best choice. Instead choose foods that help you stick within your calorie allowance, fill you up, and provide clean and healthy refueling of the engine.
In the 15 to 60 minutes immediately following a workout, your muscles are primed to receive nourishment to start the repair process. It is optimal to eat (or drink) your recovery meal right away, within the first half hour after the workout is complete.
Here’s a short list of wholesome, low-calorie, post-workout foods:
—Protein shake or smoothie.
—Nut butter spread on whole wheat toast or a small bagel accompanied by a banana or citrus.
—A few nuts mixed with raisins or other dried fruit.
—Hummus and carrot sticks or celery.
—Rice and beans rolled into a tortilla.
—Oatmeal with fruit and nuts.
Remember, the higher quality the food, the better and faster your recovery, so stick to whole, unprocessed (and organic) foods such as vegetables and fruits, whole grains and beans. The antioxidants found in plants reduce the oxidative effect of exercise on the body, decrease inflammation, and help flush lactic acid, which is what makes muscles sore. Plants contain up to 64 times the amount of antioxidants than meat, fish, dairy, and eggs.
Part of exercise-induced munchies may be that you are thirsty. Make sure to hydrate before, during, and after your workout. This is especially important if you are doing an intense workout.
Water, of course, is the best drink. Coconut water is a close second as it naturally replenishes electrolytes lost during exercise.
Stay away from soda and sugary sports drinks. Caffeine can also cause dehydration, so pay attention to rehydrating after that morning cup and after a sweaty workout.
The fine print: You should consult your physician or other healthcare professional before starting this or any other fitness program to determine if it is right for your needs. Do not start this fitness program if your physician or healthcare provider advises against it. If you experience faintness, dizziness, pain, or shortness of breath at any time while exercising you should stop immediately.
WEEK 7 (of 12): Beginners' 5K Training Schedule
Monday, Oct. 17: Walk or cross train (30 minutes)
Tuesday, Oct. 18: Run (25 minutes)
Wednesday, Oct. 19: Run (25 minutes)
Thursday, Oct. 20: Run (25 minutes)
Friday, Oct. 21: Rest
Saturday, Oct. 22: Walk or cross train (30 minutes)
Sunday, Oct. 23: Run (2 MILES)
WEEK 7 (of 12): Beginners' 10K Training Schedule
Monday, Oct. 17: Walk or cross train (45 minutes)
Tuesday, Oct. 18: Run (35 minutes)
Wednesday, Oct. 19: Run (35 minutes)
Thursday, Oct. 20: Run (35 minutes)
Friday, Oct. 21: Rest
Saturday, Oct. 22: Walk or cross train (45 minutes)
Sunday, Oct. 23: Run (4 MILES)