Before you jump into any sports or exercise plan, keep the basics in mind to reduce the risk of injury.
Starting a new exercise routine can be exciting and one might be tempted to do everything at once. But fitness isn't something that happens overnight. Before you jump into any sports or exercise plan, keep the basics in mind to reduce the risk of injury. Start with assessing your current fitness levels, and what your final workout goal is. You can then move to warm ups, hydrating properly, and knowing when you are overdoing the workout (a common problem among newbies). Here are some questions I frequently get asked:
Why it is so important to do a warm up before a workout? I find them boring. Is it okay if don't do them?
Whether it's weight training, cardio or any sport, a warm up is highly recommended. Warm ups prepare the body for more rigorous activity. A proper warm- up will increase the temperature of the muscles and elevate metabolism. It eases the contraction and relaxation of the muscles, leading to more flexibility thus minimising the chances of possible injury. It also prepares you psychologically. It should be designed in such a way that it stretches out your muscles and allows your joints to move through their complete range of motion and should ideally be done at least 15-20 minutes before your workout.
I am a marathon runner and I run for hours a day. How much water/fluid should I drink to stay hydrated?
Fact: Dehydration can cause a negative impact on your sports performance. Some of the symptoms of dehydration are nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, heat cramps and heat stroke. There are two ways to determine your fluid status:
. Monitor your bathroom breaks: How often you are heading there is an indicator.
. Weigh yourself: Do this before and after your exercise/practice routine. Weight you have lost during exercise (in ounces) + fluid you consume during exercise (in ounces) = fluid (in ounces) you should drink to stay hydrated.
One can take in fluids in many forms like water, fruit juices, coconut water or sports drinks.
You should drink at least four litres of fluid every day. Since you are involved in long-duration workouts, you are prone to heavy, repeated sweating and will tend to lose electrolytes (sodium, potassium and magnesium). You can replenish this by having salty fluids, like tomato juice, orange juice, grape juice, potatoes, bananas, spinach, canned soups and beans.
One has to understand that once the race starts, hydration becomes important, particularly if it is a warm day. Practice drinking while you run - keep sipping every 15-20 minutes during your race. In between all this you should also be careful of not having too much water during the run as it could lead to bloating as well as make you want to use the washroom. However, a much more serious problem can also occur - hyponatremia is what happens when the salt content of the blood becomes diluted and may impact the function of the muscles, heart and brain. To avoid this, runners should have electrolyte replacement drinks instead of only water. In fact, runners are also advised to familiarise themselves with replacements as, sometimes, a new drink might taste different and not suit your body, so it is important to be able to tolerate the drink while running. If you are unable to do so, then it is advised to carry your own.
Are low-carb/no-carb dinners the solution for weight loss? Why are they recommended by health gurus?
Many health gurus recommend no carb diets as they shows quick weight loss results. I would not recommend "no carb' dinners or diets as they lead the body to break down lean muscle mass which, in turn, can slow metabolism. This may be one of the reasons lost weight tends to bounce back after you change diets again. In fact, with 'no carb diets' you tend to deprive your body of essential nutrients, which is not advisable especially for teenagers or growing children. It can also lead to headaches, fatigue or irritability. The best thing one can do is opt for complex carbohydrates and lean protein. Ideally, one can have 200 gms carbohydrates per day and will still lose weight with smart choices.
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