EXERCISE & NUTRITION (HEALTHY INDIVIDUALS)
Exercises are energy consuming activities and need to be supplemented with well balanced nutrition for fitness. The calorie requirement of a person varies on a number of factors like physical activity level, height and weight, presence of any disease condition, special conditions like pregnancy and lactation.
The following tips should be kept in mind while exercising :
Maintenance of proper fluid intake
- Exercise produces a lot of heat which is eliminated from the body through perspiration. The evaporation of sweat from the body surface cools the body and helps in maintaining the body temperature. During humid climates the rate at which sweat evaporates decreases and therefore more sweat drips off the body without transferring heat from the body to the environment. A proper and adequate fluid intake is necessary to ensure proper functioning of the thermoregulatory system and avoiding dehydration.
- A minimum of 8 – 10 glasses of water is required by a normal individual. During heavy physical activities, the requirement increases substantially. There are a variety of sports drinks available which can be consumed to meet the fluid requirements.
Pre exercise meal
- A pre exercise meal should be eaten 3 – 4 hours before performing exercises. This meal not only prevents hunger before and during exercises but also maintains optimal levels of blood glucose for the exercising muscles.
- This pre exercise meal should preferably include more of carbohydrates and less of fats as it slows down stomach emptying time and takes a longer time for digestion.
- If continuous exercises are performed for durations more than an hour then consuming a sports drink containing carbohydrates is advised instead of water alone to maintain proper blood glucose levels and avoid fatigue.