Melissa Tucker, a training coach and one of Canada’s foremost global fitness competitors, is a member of our team of PURICA Ambassadors committed to providing you with healthy eating and training tips. Here are some of Melissa’s answers to frequently asked health and fitness questions.
- When is the best time to work out?
There’s no right time to exercise. It depends on the individual. You need to listen to your body. Some people feel rough in the morning, whereas others can hop out of bed and do a 10 mile run. I will say if you are new to fitness, you are 80% more likely to build a lasting habit if you workout at the beginning of your day rather than after work when you’re bagged from your day.
- Can I have a snack before exercising?
You can have a small snack before your workout, such as a piece of fruit or a pre workout Branch-Chain Amino Acid (BCAA) drink. Stay clear of snacks that are high in sugar, including soft drinks. You might get a quick energy boost but it’ll probably be followed by a sudden energy slump. You also don’t want to exercise for two to three hours after a heavy meal. If you exercise straight after a large meal, you’re likely to experience nausea, stomach cramps and discomfort.
- Should I warm up before exercise?
Warming up is essential before exercising. Without a warm-up, your workout won’t be as efficient as it could be and you increase your risk of injury.
Eight to ten minutes will warm up the muscles and get them ready for higher-intensity activity. Start with slow, gentle movements, such as walking, and gradually build the intensity, increasing your walking pace to a light jog. You want to send oxygen to the muscles, where it works with glucose to produce energy but doesn’t go into full aerobic exhaustion.
- What’s the importance of strength training?
Strength training burns calories, builds and strengthens muscle. The benefits of strength training include increasing bone density, strengthening joints, and improving balance, stability and posture. Strength-training activities, such as weight lifting, involve short bursts of effort that support functional fitness during everyday tasks and increase your resting metabolic rate. The more muscle mass you have the more calories your burn at rest and during exercise which mean you can consume more healthy calories without weight gain.
- Should I have a rest day?
I encourage you to do a minimum of 20-30 min of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every day. Whether it’s gardening, walking to work or going for a bike ride. Only 15 % of adults and 7% of children in Canada get the recommended 150 minutes of exercise each week. Our bodies are built to move and we need to give them movement on a daily biases.
It’s important to rest when you do vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, such as running or weightlifting. The body repairs and strengthens itself between workouts, and over-training can weaken even the strongest athletes. The key here is to listen to your body and schedule 1-2 days of full rest and support recovery with proper sleep, water and nutrition.
For more information, check out www.melissatucker.com or email PURICA Ambassador Melissa Tucker at email@example.com. And for regular healthy eating and training tips, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/puricawellness and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/puricawellness
*A note on vegan and vegetarian options: At PURICA, we’re committed to empowering you with the best in whole foods, supplements and positive lifestyle solutions. We support all athletes and active living people whatever your dietary preferences, although we will always do our part to raise awareness about the benefits of vegetarian or vegan options.