by Lisa Bruno
Maintaining a fit physique is 50 percent your workout and 50 percent what you eat. Some people may workout every day, but come home and eat foods that lack in nutrients and are high in useless calories. Finding out how you can feel energized, full, and satisfied is the key. There are a variety of diets, detoxes, cleanses and more that are pushed your way to try out, promising a flat belly, a weight loss of 20-pounds or some other magical result. But the truth is, the magic is in simplicity. Finding a challenging workout and clean diet that suits you, will garner your best body and give you longevity in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
The more you enjoy a workout, the more you will gravitate to attend it. The same rings true for eating well. Yes, it’s that simple. Find your workout and nutrition mates that support your body and taste buds, and you’ll slowly be able to make lifestyle changes that will help you sculpt your perfect body.
But do not get discouraged if it is taking some time to fall in love with a class or style of workout. Just like finding that perfect mate, finding your perfect fitness and nutrition mate is a journey too! We put together a guide on how to experiment and sample different workouts and post-workout nutrition that’ll get you on the road to putting all the pieces together to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Know yourself. Find your workout.
Some of us like to be pushed in a fitness class, having an instructor yelling your name, and motivating you to do 3-more reps, while some of us prefer something that de-stresses them from their workday, like hot yoga. Whatever it is, find your fitness self, venture into a studio or gym in town that offers you the chance to experiment.
At Work it Out, our studios are designed to merge a spa-like feel, with killer workouts. We host fifteen classes a day that vary from traditional spin classes, that we call Ride, all the way to high intensity interval training, toning, and circuit style workouts. We know that we are catering to a diverse clientele in Hoboken, therefore, we need something to appeal to everyone’s taste. For us, our motivation tactics are in the format of our classes and how they connection great music with the perfect exercises. We look to create a workout that is much more than just repetitions, but rather an experience that keeps your body working, but your soul engaged through music and motivational instructors.
There’s also other studios in town, like CrossFit (there’s a few in town to sample) and Intrepid, that have a whole different ambiance—more rugged, all about that in your face motivation, along with a style of workout that some people may love, and it varies day to day depending on what you sign up for. For someone in a high stress job, or needs something with a lower impact, Hoboken has a variety of different yoga and pilates studios that offer styles that you can incorporate throughout the week.
Start snacking based on your workout.
Once you have uncovered your fitness mate and have stayed motivated and consistent, add in that other secret sauce—nutrition. But don’t try and change every single meal. Start small, start with your snacks.
Many people frown upon the term snacking. Typically its connotation is focused around indulgent foods like chips, cookies, cheese, guacamole and more (or maybe that’s just our preference!). But snacking can actually be your perfect test moment to trial healthier foods. If your daily diet is not always exactly how you want it to be, start by making a small change to your snacks.
For many of us, packing breakfast and lunch for work, and cooking dinner after a long day is far too time consuming. But what if you just thought about a few small items you could throw in your bag and walk out the door, no prep required? Here are our main items to have with you throughout the day that will keep you fueled and energized for your perfect workout.
First and foremost, a water bottle to keep you hydrated throughout the day. You do not need to lug it back and forth during the week, maybe keep one at your desk at work. Then you can fill it up throughout the day. Ideally, the water bottle would be at least 32-ounces so you know that you fill it up twice, you are getting your minimum amount of water for the day 64-ounces. Brands such as Nalgene, Sigg, CamelBak, have all been tested and given thumbs up.
Next up, get fresh pre-workout snacks that you can fuel up with before a workout session, whether you take a class, or run in the morning or night. Our go to snack is a fresh piece of fruit like an apple or pear, and a handful of raw almonds. You can also purchase 100-calorie packs of nuts that help you with portion control. The two of these items combined is the perfect combination of complex carbohydrates that your body can fill utilize, plus fiber and protein to help fuel you through an intense workout and power up your muscles. This also gives you the chance to experiment with different fruits and nuts to see what you like to eat and what you find satisfying.
Once you have gotten that workout over with and you are on your endorphin high, don’t forget to replenish your body. If you took one of the following classes, follow these recommendations to fuel up in all the right places:
Did you spin your heart out? These heart-pumping workouts like our Ride and Blended Ride classes need true, healthy carbohydrates and hydration. You can do this through a grab and go bar, like Luna or Cliff bars, or if you worked out in the morning a small bowl of oatmeal with raisins, plus a low or no calorie drink with electrolytes (smartwater or low calorie sports drink).
Threw some weights around in a CrossFit or HIIT style workout? Because your heart rate is raising and dropping throughout the entire workout, complex carbs and protein should be your food of choice. This could include a whole piece of fresh fruit plus one hard boiled egg for protein, a piece of Ezekiel bread that boasts 4-grams of Protein and only 15-grams of Carbohydrates, plus a tbs of almond butter for an additional protein pump.
Stretched, Lengthened and Toned? If you are taking a yoga or pilates class, your muscles are being pulled in a variety of different directions, here’s your chance to refuel them and try out different types of post-workout smoothies that incorporate anti-inflammatory ingredients, to lessen any soreness you may experience. Drink a smoothie that includes berries, such as raspberries that are lower in sugar and high in antioxidants. Another key ingredient to combating soreness is potassium. Bananas are a great source of this nutrient, as well as some dairy and non-diary items like Greek yogurt and soy milk. If you are on the run, grab the Soy Me Gusta at Re-Juice-Nation on Newark Street. They combine your choice of berries, plus soymilk, a banana and a protein powder.
The moral of this whole story is to start experimenting and finding your fitness voice, than slowly incorporate more healthy snacks. By doing this, you’ll start to change your mindset. Fitness will become fun and something you look forward too, and food will start to become simpler to choose.
Lisa Bruno is the co-founder and director of business development at Work it Out Fitness Studios<http://www.workitoutgym.com> in Hoboken. Bruno is an avid fitness and nutrition enthusiast (and has been since a very young age). She holds a bachelor’s degree in Food & Nutrition and is currently pursuing her certification as a Registered Dietitian.