The idea that we should be cutting out, or at the very least cutting down, on foods like pizza and chips and similar fatty bites is certainly not new. A worrying statistic is that most people living in England weigh more than is healthy – a shocking 30 per cent of children aged between two and 15 years old and 61.3 per cent of adults are either overweight or obese, according to the latest government figures.
Encouraging people to take part in physical activity and to be more active in general is top goal for health professionals. Current, government guidelines suggest adults aged between 19 and 64 should be active daily, engaging in at least two and a half hours of moderate-intensity activity during the course of a week. Increasing the amount of exercise undertaken is important, but it is also essential to get a grip on eating habits at the same time.
You are what you eat
Professional athletes will spend a considerable amount of time planning their diet and monitoring their food and drink intake, the main reason being that what we eat has such a huge impact on our bodies. In essence, a healthy diet can be seen as the foundation layer for a healthy lifestyle and an effective exercise regime.
Carbohydrates are an important source of fuel for the body, while protein plays a vital role in muscle recovery. Making sure you have a balanced diet and adapt your intake to reflect your lifestyle can be difficult, one reason why products such as whey protein powder has become so popular.
Don’t forget the water
Most of us don’t drink enough water during the day and quite often, even if you are aware of what you should be consuming, it takes a conscious effort to remember to keep topping up. Water is needed to help the blood to carry nutrients around our body and it plays a vital role in many of the body’s chemical reactions. When you’re thirsty you know your body wants a drink but unfortunately you’re already dehydrated by this point.
The NHS recommends that everyone should be consuming at least one and a bit litres of water per day, but this amount can increase considerably depending on a number of factors, including how much you’re sweating, your metabolism, the weather and how much you’re exerting yourself. Muscle tissue is made up of about 75 per cent water, so it’s obvious how important it is to stay topped up before, during and after a workout.