Round-Up: 12 Pre-Workout Snacks

A round-up of bars, bites, muffins, toast, and even cookies  to help power you through your next work-out.So you want to have healthy eating  and  exercise habits,  but  don’t know how  to integrate  both into your daily life?  A good place to start is focusing on proper fueling before a bout of exercise  and smart recovery afterwards.  Today’s post emphasizes the importance of pre-workout nutrition with a myriad of  snacks my colleagues helped me ’round-up’. (Stay tuned for more on post workout foods.)

While most attention regarding exercise pays close attention to strength, speed, flexibility and stamina,  we need to support all of these components with good nutrition. Studies are consistently proving, we perform best with some carbohydrates on board.  While I don’t recommend eating a meal just before  exercise, snacks  are a different story. A snack of about 100-200 calories (of primarily carbs can be consumed  just minutes prior to exercise) and will provide energy to focus on correct technique, push intensity, and help you persist through a vigorous energy expending workout.

There are an infinite number to foods to enjoy before physical activity. The key is to select food/foods based  on your preferences, and on the intensity and duration of your activity. Experiment with a variety of foods/fluids to determine what works best for you. Some simple ideas, include a banana, oranges slices, a couple of fig newtons, 1/2 jelly sandwich. You can even make your own energy snacks with a few ingredients. Find inspiration below with this  round-up of  bars, bites, muffins, toast,  and cookies all created to help power through your next work-out

No Bake Granola Bites via Lauren Sharifi of Bite of Health Nutrition

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No Bake Protein Energy Bites via Tawnie Kroll  of Krolls Korner

Peanut Butter Yogurt Bars   via Hungry Hobby. These are super easy to make and especially nice in the summer, because you don’t have to turn on your oven.

Cashew Cookie Hemp Energy Bars via Kelly Jones of EatRealLiveWell 

Sweet Potato Toast via Family Food on the Table

Avocado and Hummus Bagel via No Excuses Health

No Bake Peanut Butter Cherry Trail Mix Bites via Bucket List Tummy 

Snack Bar Madeleines via Queen of My Kitchen. 

10 Minute Healthy Energy Bites via Nourish Nutrition .

 

PB & J Sweet Potato via Jessica Cording Nutrition Oatmeal Peanut Butter Protein Balls via And a Dash of Cinnamon

Soft Baked Zucchini Cookies via yours truely. I posted this back in April, but some of you may have zucchini to spare now, so I’m including it  in this round-up.

Please let me know what your fav pre-workout foods are in the comment section below. Have a terrific day!

 

 

How Periodization Helped Me Reduce my Fit Age

Do you do the same exercise rountine day in and day out?  I was once guilty of this, until I learned how to periodized my training and I believe it’s helped me reach my fit age, 25 years younger than my biological age!

It  refers to cycling various aspects of training during a specific period, and the aim is :

1. to peak for your most competitve events

2. to avoid injury from too much training.

3. to make measurable progress.

Because  I have few events that I train for, I periodize my training  primarily for the last two points . Let me step back and review how I developed my present fitness… Twenty-five years ago, before the birth of my children, I ran daily. It was monotonous, the same distance and same pace e-v-e-r-y-d-a-y.  By the time I  turned 35 years old, (and in-spite of being slender),  I  was beginning to notice fat where I once had muscle.  Like most women, I complained to my husband *sigh*. He clamly explained I was experiencing age related muscle loss or sarcopenia, and he reassured me it was reversible! That was music to my ears!  The  solution, he promised, was strenth training.  I immediately started lifting; my routine was  light weights and 100’s of reps. Sadly,  I was spending long hours in the gym, until my knight in shining armor once again saved me from myself : ( .  He taught me the basics of  periodized, high volume resistance training (volume=total amount of weight lifted per session).  I began to learn a variety of different exercises using weights that  fatigued my muscles faster (with only 5-6 reps and 5 sets).  I  also use  nutrition to maximize my strength gains which   includes eating  regular meals containing 20 to 30 gram of protein about every 4 hours. My muscle tone is now better than it was when I was in my twenties. I have gradually progressed to using less machines and more free weights and body weight exercises such as chin ups, pull ups and dips. ( As I have increased my strength, I have thought about more powerlifting, but feel I need to work on technique before going there.)

Periodization generally  looks at a big picture: the whole year. However,  I focus on a shorter period, a mesocylce,  where I try to exercise a baseline with interment intensity of training  and distances somewhat dependent on my work/life schedule demands for that particular week or month. There are times when I’m not working out my hardest,  but  keeping a  baseline of activity gives me a break and allows me  to gear up for more challenging activities when they arise.  Right now my baseline training  looks like this:  2- 4 mile run daily, 2 days/week weight training, and trying  to incorporate  a new activity (yoga) several times a week to increase my  flexibility  and enhance my  core strength. My goal is to eventually be  able to pick up the pace and caliber of  increased demands and   higher volume goals (powerlifting?) and also take on new challenges that may comeup unexpectedly.

Periodization has helped me reach my fitness goals  and it keeps me energized. I believe  it has also  helped me reduce my fit age by allowing me to be consistent with activity by  allowing for adequate rest necessary to avoid injury and  keep me from burning out.  I like the flexibiltiy it offers so I can take advantage of runs that are purely for fun and enjoyment. Here’s a snippet of one of those spontaneous runs that occured Sunday when we experienced a rare March snow on the coast of North Carolina. Enjoy!

 

 

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