Overcoming Post-Workout Fatigue

Tired African American man bending over outdoors(BlackDoctor.org) — Feeling a little tired after a workout is to be expected, but something’s not right if your workout leaves you feeling totally exhausted. If you’re experiencing post-workout fatigue, it’s worth your while to take a look at your workout as well as your lifestyle to reveal potential causes.

Start Out Slowly

It can be tempting to go all in when you decide to start working out, but this may not be the best idea. This is one of the worst things you can do if you are worried about fatigue. For instance, don’t try to jog 4 miles, when the most you’ve done before is walk 2 miles. Consider walking at first, and then when you get used to that, build that up to a short run. Over time, add more distance or time to your run until you get where you want to be. Doing too much too soon can make you feel more tired than usual after your workout is complete.

Examining Your Fuel Quality

In theory, eating less should go hand-in-hand with a workout regimen designed to help you lose weight. While this is a common misconception, the truth is that exercise actually increases your body’s need for food. The more fuel you burn, the more fuel you will need to keep going. If you haven’t eaten enough of the right things before your workout, you are bound to feel wiped out after you exercise. You may even feel sick. In reality, you should eat a variety of foods, as different foods bring different nutrients to the table. Lean meats, fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains are essential to a healthy body. Healthy bodies are capable of doing more exercise.

The Importance of Hydration

Hydration is one thing that many people fail to consider. Not only is it important during and after your workout, but it is important before your workout, as well. Water makes up 60 percent of your body’s total weight, and every bodily system depends on it. A lack of water can lead to dehydration, which can be very draining on your energy. If you find that you are extra tired after your workout, try to drink more before, during and after you exercise.

Rest Is Important

While intense training may leave you feeling weak, rest can make you strong. Don’t overdo it when it comes to exercise, as this is a surefire way to end up exhausted when all is said and done. While it may feel like you are pushing your body in a good way, you may be over-exhausting yourself. When you do an extremely intensive workout, give your body time to rest up and refuel the next day. If you must exercise, do something light to give your body time to recuperate.

Medical Issues

If improved nutrition, rest and hydration don’t do the trick, consult your doctor for more information. He may be able to identify a nutrient deficiency or other medical issue that is preventing you from having enough energy, getting you back on track in no time.

What’s The Difference Between Good Fat & Bad Fat?

tape measure, water, and vegetables(BlackDoctor.org) — All fats aren’t bad, and in order to lower your cholesterol levels and cut down your risk of heart disease, it isn’t necessary to eliminate all dietary fats—just the bad ones. Good fat actually reduces high cholesterol and keeps your heart healthier.

The Bad Fats

• Saturated fat. This type of fat (along with trans fats) is what leads to high cholesterol caused by diet. This is an unhealthy fat found in animal products like beef, lamb, pork, butter, cheese, cream and other whole-milk dairy products. Certain plant oils, like coconut oil, also contain saturated fat.

• Trans fats and hydrogenated fats. Trans fats and hydrogenated fats are dietary fats created when processed; fattening ingredients like margarine and shortening are made. Many processed foods, commercially prepared baked goods, and fried foods contain trans and hydrogenated fats, which when ingested lead to high cholesterol.

• Cholesterol. Cholesterol is actually a fat-like material that we get in our diet by eating chicken, beef, pork, eggs, and whole-milk dairy products—many of the same foods that contain saturated fats. Limiting intake of foods with high cholesterol content boosts heart health and lowers cholesterol.

The Good Fats

• Polyunsaturated fat. This unsaturated fat is found in healthy, cholesterol-lowering foods like flaxseeds, sunflower seeds and walnuts. Omega-3 fats are a type of polyunsaturated fat. You can bulk up on this good fat by eating fish two to three times a week; try great sources like salmon and mackerel. Plant oils are also a good source of polyunsaturated fats (sunflower, corn and soybean oils).

 Monounsaturated fat. This unsaturated fat is found in certain plant oils, such as olive and canola oils. You can also get this good fat in your diet by eating nuts (such as pecans, almonds and hazelnuts), seeds (including pumpkin and sesame) and avocados.

Making Changes to Your Diet

If you have high cholesterol, make these smart and delicious changes to your meals to satisfy your heart and your appetite.

• Get butter out of the pan—Cooking with canola, olive, soybean, flaxseed or sunflower oil instead of butter or margarine is a good place to start switching from bad to good fats in your diet.

• Ditch the beef—Replace beef burgers with grilled turkey burgers; replace steak with lean skinless chicken breasts.

• Choose fish—Salmon is a healthy, rich and delicious alternative to meat, especially for people with high cholesterol.

• Snack crunchy, not greasy—Snack on nuts instead of potato chips; apples and carrots also make great crunchy snacks.

• Add avocado. It’s a satisfying meat alternative for sandwiches and wraps, and a tasty topping for salads.

• Slim down your dairy—When drinking milk or eating dairy products like cheese and cream, look for low-fat or non-fat versions.

 Enjoy egg whites—The yolks contain a lot of cholesterol, so to enjoy a delicious dish without them; whip up an egg-white-only omelet. Add some fresh herbs, vegetables, low-fat cheese or avocado for an even better taste.

Know Your Limits

The American Heart Association recommends that less than 7% of your daily calorie intake be from saturated fat, with less than 1% coming from trans fats. And even good fat can be harmful if not monitored—you can’t just eat all you want. Total fat consumption each day should be 25–35% of your total daily caloric intake or lower.

Cholesterol intake should be less than 300 milligrams per day for people with healthy cholesterol levels. But for those with high cholesterol, less than 200 milligrams of cholesterol should be your daily limit.

If you have high cholesterol, start reading labels; it’s the only way you’ll ever know what you’re eating. Avoid saturated and trans fats as much as possible because your body doesn’t need them, and experiment with healthy recipes and exciting new flavors to satisfy your taste buds as you lower your cholesterol.