Monthly Archives: May 2012

Blueberries and Exercise Recovery

 

A recent study published in the Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition, found that eating blueberries can accelerate muscle recovery after strength training exercise. The study found a faster recovery rate in the intervention group when they consumed a blueberry smoothie before and after exercise. The placebo group was given an antioxidant supplement. The group of athletes consuming the blueberry smoothies showed a faster rate of decreased oxidative stress on the body.

I’m excited to share this information with FM readers for multiple reasons. One, is that this study goes to show that a food you might not directly associate with fitness has been found to directly affect exercise recovery. Efficient recovery is important because the quicker we recover, the quicker we can practice/train/workout at a high intensity. The more often we do this, the quicker our improvement in our craft. You might not know exactly what foods help you reach the goals you have.  However, what we do know (and continue to find out) is that different fruits and vegetables help us meet many fitness goals we have, whether we know it or not!

This is also a great study because it shows that when looking for nutrients, it’s always better to get them through real food, rather than through supplements. If you’re looking for more vitamin c, eat fruits and vegetables that have it, etc. Sometimes we take supplements (like multi-vitamins) because we have trouble meeting the nutrient goal we may have.  For example, I believe Whey protein is very beneficial for post workout recovery, but I wouldn’t advise for it to take the place of protein coming from whole food throughout the day. Getting our nutrients from food is always the best bet. The fact that this study shows more of a benefit in this specific situation from the actual blueberries than from an antioxidant supplement, helps support this idea.

I like to tell people that a good fitness and nutrition plan literally makes your life better. Here we see that in addition to all of the health benefits we have heard about blueberries, they can also help us in fitness recovery! Stay active and eat right. You deserve it.

Reference:

Mcleay, Yanita et al., 2012 “Effect of New Zealand blueberry consumption on recovery from eccentric exercise-induced muscle damage.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. N.p., 2012. Web. 27 May 2012. <http://www.jissn.com/content/9/1/19/abstract&gt;.

Living healthy doesn’t have to suck. In fact, it shouldn’t.

 

Not the most academic sounding article title; I know this. But I feel that it gets right to the point. You often hear people complain about needing to lose weight, or become more active. They make it sound like shedding a few pounds, or eating better is going to be a total bummer. “I’m going to hawaii in a couple months, ughhh, I need to only eat lettuce and run on the treadmill every day” may not be too far from what we have heard people say. It’s like people think that in order to live a healthier life, they have to stop enjoying it.

 

I disagree.

 

First, we need to get it out of our head that living a healthier life has to suck. It doesn’t. If you go about it the wrong way, maybe it will. Just don’t go about it the wrong way. Simple as that. Okay, maybe it’s not so simple. But you get my point. Once you start to think a bit more positively, you’re much more likely to meet your goal/s.

 

No one said you had to be starving all day to drop a few pounds. Or that food couldn’t taste good. No one said the only way to get more fit was to spend hours on the treadmill. If someone did tell you that, you should start listening to someone else. Eat foods that fill you up but will still help reach your fitness goals. Basing your meals around veggies, fruits, lean meats, nuts/seeds, some dairy etc will keep you from being starving all day. Look up and try different “clean eating” recipes. You can enjoy your food just as much as before. If done right, you’ll STILL consume less calories than if you ate packaged/starchy/fast food all day.

If you don’t like running on a treadmill, don’t run on a treadmill! Some people like it and they make it work for their goals and that’s awesome. But if you are one of the people who has the look on their face like they would rather sit on a fire place than run on a moving rubber platform, then do another activity you enjoy! Work on your garden, take the dog for a walk, throw around the frisbee, go on a hike. There are so many things out there than get you moving and are also enjoyable.

 

Exactly how you go about these two things takes some tweaking over time, to figure out what works best for you. My point is, for now, the excuses that many people make, don’t even make sense. “I can’t eat right because I don’t like salads” or “I can’t get in shape because I don’t like running” are just excuses. No one said that was the only way to your goals. If you don’t like it, don’t do it. Find something you like and do that.

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