back to my publications list
This article appeared in the West Australian newspaper, Mind & Body lift out on on May 25 2010.
For those of you who completed the Run for a Reason, Congratulations. For those of you who didn’t – there is always next year!
Recovery is all about replenishing the body with all the nutrients that have been used up during exercise. It is also about allowing the immune system to bounce back from the damage and challenges caused by the stress of an exhaustive event. It’s time to revitalize and refresh the body for the next phase.
Now is a good time to splash out and enjoy some of the foods and drinks that don’t mix well with exercise. After the event it is essential that you reward yourself for all the great work you have done. Including some foods that are higher in fats and slightly more indulgent is all right, but be careful not to over do it. With all the hard work you have done over the past few months, you don’t want to lose any benefits and good habits you’ve gained. The rewards don’t have to be food based either - try and use non-food incentives like clothes shopping or pampering.
If you’re planning to reduce you activity level (let’s hope not!), you need to modify your diet too. Your appetite and food volume have been developed to match a higher level of activity, so it’s important to try and sense your hunger and fullness feelings, and be aware of when to eat and when to stop. If you don’t need the extra energy, it will only be utilised for weight gain. Changing habits and cutting back the amount of food eaten is not always easy. Be conscious to reduce the size of meals or cut out some snacks. If you are not training, snacks that were eaten before exercise should be the first to go.
Continue with the positive changes you have made to your activity and diet over the last few months, as it’s easier to maintain than it is to start again. Eating highly nutritious foods, packed with vitamins, minerals and plenty of protein will allow the body to fully recover from the event, and maintain your health for the times ahead.