Our bodies need fuelling, we all know that. But getting the balance right when exercise is part of the picture, is another story. Not that I've ever been an athlete, and nor will I be, I have recently started to do a little more and I'm finding it challenging to get the calories right.
This last few weeks I've added cycling to my walking regime and I'm loving it. I'm finding though that I need to be careful about what I eat and when.
Starting out with my natural homemade muesli with yoghurt, berries and honey, I get a good start. With my cycling to date mostly happening in the morning, I'm all set in terms of calories I need to sustain a ride. Given I'm not long been on my new supplement regime for my vitamin and mineral deficiencies, I'm very careful not to overdo it. And, I carry a protein bar with me just in case I need extra fuel.
The Map My Ride app I'm using measures the distance, speed, calories burned and the route of my workout, so I know exactly how much fuel my body has burned each time. What's been interesting is that I've burned anywhere between 200 to almost 600 calories on different rides, and this equates to a light or main meal. With this in mind, I'm aware that I'm burning up a lot of calories some days.
What I've noticed a couple of times in the evening is that my anxiety has snuck back in. At first I was taken aback. A little disappointed, I was upset to think that I was feeling this way when my new supplements had been working really well. The first time this happened, I was baffled and couldn't work it out. I sat quietly for a moment, and then it came to me. I'd had my longest ride that day, burning 574 calories, but I'd eaten a smaller breakfast that day, and had only salads with a small amount of protein for lunch and dinner. No wonder I got the shakes and felt wobbly and anxious; my body was running low on fuel.
I'm learning about the importance of balanced meals containing protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats that sustain me. And, I'm making sure I remain aware of how my body is feeling, so I can have snacks if I need them also.
With a system that has been out of balance for some years due to all kinds of crazy post menopausal symptoms, and major stressors, I do find it easily gets out of whack. I'm guessing this is something that will change over time as my body heals and becomes stronger.
This week I put together a meal plan I'll pretty much stick to each week. These days I find I mostly eat the same meals every week so having it mapped out makes it easy. I know what I need to get in, and what I'm going to cook each day. As I age, I find this planning far more appealing than I ever have. When dieting years ago, I detested following the plan exactly, but I love the simplicity now. Anything to make life easier I say.
Over the coming months I'm looking forward to becoming fitter and healthier.
Question: What challenges have you faced when it comes to fuelling your body for exercise? Let's know in the comments, I'd love to hear.
Hi, I'm Kathryn.
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