Fuel to Move!
Registered dietitians are typically known as the “food and
nutrition experts.” Here on the blog, topics usually center around food, nutrients,
weight, eating habits, etc. But did you know that dietitians have a knowledge
about exercise as well? I do want to be clear though, that registered
dietitians are not exercise experts. We are not exercise physiologists,
personal trainers and those of the like. But we do have a general knowledge of
physical activity and understand the importance of implementing physical
activity into a person’s life to not only achieve and maintain a healthy weight
but attain an overall sense of wellbeing.
There are many different types of exercises. Examples
include but are not limited to: aerobic, strength training, low intensity, high
intensity, stretching, interval and circuit training. As a clinician, it’s
important to assess your patient or client’s current views towards exercise,
current exercise habits and his/her attitude towards increasing physical
activity (if deemed appropriate). Promoting increased physical activity should
be in line with the person’s ability and affinity as well as within their
desired schedule. Keep in mind we want to work within our scope of practice so
if a patient/client is wanting a specific exercise regimen, it would be best to
refer them to a local exercise specialist to meet those needs.
One of the best ways we can help our patients/clients as
they embark on an increased physical activity journey is to educate them on how
to properly fuel their body for that exercise. A simple education on pre and
post exercise foods will be immensely helpful to them. Here are a few tips to
communicate to them during this time.
1) Overall, it’s important to utilize the “buddy
system”- that being carbs + protein. Balanced meals and snacks will help keep a
person fueled and satisfied not only through an exercise period but the rest of
the day as well.
2) Pre Exercise: Utilize the “buddy system,” but focus
more on the carbohydrates. Examples of good pre exercise snacks include a banana
with 2 TB peanut butter, ½ cup grapes with one stick of string cheese, or a yogurt
parfait with fresh berries and granola.
3) Post Exercise: Utilize the “buddy system,” but focus
more on the protein. Examples of good post exercise snacks include 1 piece of fruit
with a handful of nuts, whole grain wrap with turkey/cheese/veggies, or 1 piece of
whole wheat toast with 2 scrambled egg whites.
Again, these are just examples and the specific amounts of each
food will be determined by you (the RD) for each patient/client to help meet
their individual estimated needs and health goals. Remember to be specific and incorporate
his/her personal food preferences to ensure compliance and sustainability! Head
on over to the recipe page for an example of a great pre OR post exercise snack!
Posted by Lindsey Davis