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6 Healthy Eating Tips for Active Adults
By: Meri Raffetto RD

For active adults itís important to make sure you are getting the proper nutrition for your pre-meal and post-meal workouts. Here are 6 healthy eating tips to keep you on track!

Adequate Carbs!
With the latest low carb trend it can become difficult, to say the least, to figure out what you should be eating especially if you are active! The truth is, when you exercise your muscle burns a type of carbohydrate called glycogen for fuel. To keep these important fuel levels optimal for peak performance, we must eat a diet rich in whole grains, beans, potatoes, and other high-carbohydrate foods. You canít produce optimal glycogen stores with a high protein low carbohydrate diet. Go for the whole grains such as 100% whole wheat breads, brown rice, quinoa, or millet. Limit the Ďwhiteí refined products.

Yes it is true, active people need more protein than the average person. It is especially important after our workouts to repair muscle damage. Include lean meats, fish, soy, and eggs. Active people need about 3-4 three-ounce servings a day.

Eat Your Fruits and Veggies!
When you exercise, you breathe harder taking in more oxygen. While you need oxygen to support life, it can become unstable in the body. Unstable oxygen can oxidize and damage your muscle cells which can bring on inflammation and soreness. You can protect yourself from oxidation by eating healthful amounts of antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables. Eat at least five fruits and vegetables a day!

Drink, Drink, Drink
The more you exercise, the more you sweat. Replacing these fluids is vital for peak performance and endurance. During long workouts you may need a sports drink that contains carbohydrates and electrolytes. Drink at least 8-10 servings of fluids/day.

Fueling Before A Workout
This step alone will not only lengthen your workout but it will also increase your performance which is key when training for an event. If you donít eat before exercise you will likely feel light-headedness, fatigue, and nausea. In addition, your body turns to muscle protein for fuel because it doesnít have enough carbohydrate. By starting your workout well-fueled, your body will burn a combination of the carbohydrate stored in your muscles and stored fat. Eat 2-4 hours before a workout or event. Choose a high carbohydrate, low fat, moderate protein meal or snack. Drink at least 10 ounces of water to help offset sweat loss during your workout.

Fueling After A Workout
It is important to consume calories and fluids during the first half hour after you exercise for optimal recovery. If you arenít hungry right away a quick snack will do. Drinking a sports drink or 100% fruit juice will do the trick! Donít forget to eat a meal later with protein to repair muscle damage.

© Meri Raffetto, 2004

About the Author

Meri Raffetto is a Registered Dietitian and a recognized professional in the area of nutrition and wellness. She has developed online weight management programs to help people get off of diets and get into way of life. For more information or to sign up for our free newsletter, visit

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The Power of Stretching    - Dave Snape


Your muscles ache from a good stretch. This is quite
normal and is part of the process. Stretching has
seemingly been with us and particularly with athletes
since the beginning of time.

A very key point to good stretching is to hold the
stretch for at least seventeen seconds. This is a
pearl of wisdom gleaned from a ballet teacher a few
years back. She said that any stretch under 17
seconds was just not effective.

The 17 second rule is exceeded in the high intensity
Bikram's yoga where stretches are held for about 30
seconds. Don't forget the high level of heat that is
used in Bikram's to extract that last little bit of
stretch out of your muscles. An interesting twist that
is not necessary to gain benefits from stretching. But,
it can't hurt, right?

So what kind of benefits can you expect from
stretching? That's an easy one. Have you ever seen the
movie, Blood Sport? Did you know that Frank Dux could
truly stretch his body to the extreme. The actor that
played him was quite elastic as well.

Great elasticity is also something you might see in
well trained Spetsnaz (Russian) agents. They often work
out with Russian kettlebells too. They are for superior
strength gains and the ability to withstand ballistic

Why are stretching and flexibility considered important
to these people? Stretching gives one the ability to
have explosive power available at one's fingertips
without the need to warm up. Of course most of us are
not martial artists or agents. But, you'll be happy to
know there are plenty of other benefits.

Let me give you an example. After learning to sit in
the full lotus position for long periods of time, my
ankles became very flexible. One day I was walking
along and my left foot fell into a pothole. This mishap
pushed my ankle sideways to about 90 degrees from it's
normal position.

Amazingly, this didn't even hurt, not one bit. If my
ankle hadn't been so flexible, I may have suffered a
sprained ankle. At the very least, it would have hurt
for days.

Key point: stretching helps you to avoid injuries.
Not only that but if you do have a muscle, tendon or
ligament injury it should heal faster, theoretically

Stretching actually grows the ligaments, tendons and
muscles being stretched. They really grow longer over

Check with your physician before undertaking any type
of exercise, including stretching.

Here is some good instructional material on stretching:

Dave Snape

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