The blooming of trees and the chirping of birds signal the arrival of spring. It’s a great time for outdoor activities. But before stepping into the great outdoors, make sure your body is fueled with the right nutrition to put a spring in your step.
Complex carbohydrates: Whole grain breads and pastas or rice take longer to digest than simple carbohydrates so you have sustained energy release from these foods that will help keep you active throughout the day. Carbohydrates to avoid include cookies, cakes, doughnuts, pies, jellies, and other processed foods.
Proteins: Your body needs protein to repair damaged tissue. It is an important building block for the muscles, cartilage, bones, skin, hair, and nails. Interestingly, unlike carbohydrates and fats, your body has no way to store protein. Healthy sources of protein include fish, poultry, eggs, nuts, and beans.
Good Fats: Although fats are sometimes given negative publicity, the truth is not all fats are the same. The fat present in red meat and dairy foods which is responsible for clogged arteries is known as saturated fat and should be avoided or minimized. Fats present in olive oil, fish, almonds, peanuts, and walnuts are good fats as they are the predominant energy source when performing low-intensity, extended-duration physical activities.
Stay Well Hydrated: Even a slight amount of dehydration can have a significant effect on your athletic performance. Always carry a bottle of water with you and drink from it at regular intervals before, during, and after sports or any type of physical activity. If your spring activity lasts longer than an hour, a sports drink may help replenish lost electrolytes.
Dr. Ho is a foot and ankle orthopedic specialist who places a strong emphasis on customizing his care for each patient to ensure successful outcomes. He provides all treatment options including preventative care, conservative management and operative intervention. Call (630) 323-6116 to book your appointment.