By Dana Ryan, Ph.D., Director, Sports Performance, Nutrition, and Education, Herbalife Nutrition
Having a regular exercise routine makes it a lot easier to maintain a healthy lifestyle: you can plan your workouts, prepare with good nutrition, and engage in a post-workout routine.
Any form of exercise benefits your body, and you don’t have to be an elite athlete to experience those benefits. Just moving your body impacts your muscles, lungs, heart, and brain — in other words, your entire body.
“The moment you decide to get up and move, your body is working. Any movement positively impacts your health,” says Dana Ryan, director of Sports Performance, Nutrition, and Education at Herbalife Nutrition. “Exercising for two weeks can increase muscle, improve mood, health, brain, and leads to better sleep.”
Exercise demands more from your body, so you should fuel your body before, during, and after every workout.
Here are tips for supporting your health, preventing injury, and ensuring your best recovery every time you’re active.
1. Prepare for your workout
Your workout starts before you even get moving. Whether you’re hopping on an exercise bike, joining a fitness class, or going for a walk, preparing your body from the inside is extremely important. In addition, transitioning from sitting to exercising demands a lot from your body, so you need to support this transition with good nutrition.
Prep before you break a sweat with a pre-workout drink — but not just any drink. Consuming caffeine and nitric oxide precursors before exercise can help you get ready. A great way to get these is by drinking Herbalife24® Prepare, one of the three sports nutrition products included in the Herbalife24 Trial Pack.
It’s not uncommon to want to forgo your warm-up but starting your workout “cold” can lead to injury. About 15-30 minutes after your pre-workout drink, begin warming up your body. This allows your body to start increasing your oxygen circulation and core temperature. Take 5-10 minutes to do light stretching and then begin moving.
As your oxygen and blood begin flowing more, it helps your muscles safely transition from rest to exercise more efficiently to maximize your workout.
3. Fuel your workout
As you increase your intensity during your workout, your body needs more fuel. While carbohydrates have gotten a bad rap, the body needs them for fuel. During high-intensity interval training, you spend time in an anaerobic state when your body doesn’t get as much oxygen as it needs, so your body can only use carbs to produce all that energy.
Staying hydrated by drinking water during your workout is a good idea, but if your workout is high intensity or exceeds 30 minutes, sports drinks that deliver carbs and electrolytes (that you lose when you sweat) can support your top performance.
A good option is Herbalife24® CR7 Drive, formulated with 320mg of vital electrolytes to enhance hydration, brain-fueling glucose, and an easy-to-digest carbohydrate blend to help fuel your active lifestyle.
Toward the end of your workout, you need to give your body time to slow down. Reduce your intensity gradually, restoring normal breathing and heart rate slowly so you won’t feel dizzy or lightheaded. Then stretch your muscles to lower the risk of injury, promote blood flow and reduce stress on the heart and other muscles.
As part of your post-workout routine, provide nutrition for your body for recovery*, specifically with protein. For example, Herbalife24® Rebuild Strength comes with 24 grams of protein per serving, along with branched-chain amino acids to support muscle growth* and L-glutamine to promote immune function and muscle repair*, which makes it a great post-workout shake supplement. Also, while you are producing energy, your body also produces free radicals, but you can consume antioxidants to combat damage from these free radicals by adding a handful of berries to add to your protein shake.
Combine nutrition with exercise
“Nutrition is never separate from workouts,” adds Ryan. “Consuming protein and other nutrients, combined with strength training and other forms of exercise, helps you build muscle and stay active at any age.”
Incorporating exercise and healthy nutrition into your daily routine is essential as you begin your new journey to a healthier lifestyle.
For more helpful tips on how to get started visit Herbalife.com where you can find helpful articles related to exercise, proper nutrition, and recipes.
* This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
About Dana Ryan, Ph.D.
Dr. Dana Ryan is the director of Sports Performance, Nutrition, and Education at Herbalife Nutrition. In her role, she is responsible for helping establish the company as a global leader in sports nutrition. Her primary focus is supporting Herbalife Nutrition-sponsored athletes around the world by developing nutrition and sports performance programs as well as designing and managing sports clinical trials. Dr. Ryan has worked with members of the LA Galaxy, Flamengo, FC Barcelona Liga in Ecuador, football players training for professional football, and other athletes in support of their nutrition programs.