Articles from December 2009

Nutrition and It’s Role in Health and Fitness

Food is more than just energy; it is the fuel source for our bodies.  The purpose of food is to provide our bodies with the nutrients we need – not just for fuel but for every aspect of our well-being.  Nutrition is an often-overlooked aspect of overall fitness, one that should be given a great deal more attention.

Improving your nutrition can have a significant impact on everything from your level of energy to your mood.  For women over 40, nutrition can be a key component in continuing to be young and active and vibrantly alive.  The key to good nutrition is balance.  The nutrients we need include energy nutrients, like carbohydrates, proteins, and fats and vitality nutrients, which include water, vitamins, and minerals.  It is through eating a balanced diet that we give our bodies the balance of nutrients we need to be at our optimum health.

Having good nutrition begins with being willing to pay attention to what you are eating.  It often means eating more meals you prepare at home and less at restaurants or fast food diners.  Good nutrition is probably the most important aspect of good health for women over 40 and probably the area we focus on the least.  Eating well takes time – something we never seem to have enough of.

To help you start better nutrition habits, I’ve developed both a meal plan and some healthy cooking tips that will make it easier for you to incorporate good eating habits into your daily routine.  I know you can’t manufacture extra time, but you can spend ten minutes the night before packing a healthy lunch of carrots, a turkey sandwich, and hummus instead of finding yourself at the vending machine grabbing a candy bar the next day.

You can prepare meals in advance and have them waiting to be microwaved for the night’s dinner.  You can carry a water bottle instead of drinking soda or coffee all day.  When you add up the amount of money spent in restaurants and on fast food, you will see that you have a budget for buying prepared healthy foods instead (already-prepared chicken breast, bagged vegetables, etc.).

As we age, our metabolic rate slows.  We gain weight more easily and have a more difficult time losing or even maintaining a healthy weight.  More weight tends to gravitate to the belly area, increasing risks of diabetes.  We are more likely to suffer from chronic ailments and are more susceptible to stress.  Eating a well-balanced diet and focusing on good nutrition will help improve your energy, your mood, and your outlook.