Health Watch – Healthy New Habits: Fuel for Exercise

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

How are you doing with your New Year's resolutions? If you’ve already fallen by the wayside or if you never made any, it’s not too late to try to make a new start, pick up a good new habit — or lose a bad habit. This week on Health Watch, we have a few suggestions to help you.

If you're trying to exercise more this year, are you giving your body the fuel it needs? Lona Sandon, a registered dietitian at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, says it’s crucial to eat before and after exercise. Exercising on an empty stomach can force your body to use muscle protein as fuel, which could result in muscle loss and a slower metabolism. Eating carbohydrates about 30 minutes before exercise will delay fatigue and result in a more effective workout. Then eat something high in carbohydrates and moderate in protein 60 to 90 minutes after exercising. That can help you repair muscle tissue broken down by exercising.


January 2006

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