Are you Staying Properly Hydrated During Exercise?

Many exercisers know that they should stay hydrated when exercising, but three questions often asked are how much, when, and what? This article is meant to inform the reader of the current recommendations that address these very questions. In answer to the first two questions, here are some general guidelines to follow about fluid replacement from The American College of Sports Medicine and other such societies:

Before Exercise:

  • Consume about 15-20 fl. oz. of water, 2 to 3 hours before exercise (to allow for absorption)
  • Drink 8-10 fl. oz. of water 10-15 minutes before exercise (to ensure that you begin exercise in fluid balance)

During Exercise:

  • Consume between 8 and 10 fl. oz. every 10 to 15 minutes during exercise
  • If exercising longer than 60 minutes, drink 8-10 fl. oz. of a sports drink (with 6-8% carbohydrate) every 15 – 30 minutes.

After Exercise:

  • Weigh yourself before and after exercise.
  • For every 1lb lost, replace with 20-24 fl. oz. of water.

Water and Sports Drinks Photo

In answer to the third question, it can be both a sports drink and water. And this, of course, depends on the situation. If you are an athlete or individual who works out intensely for 60 minutes or more, then a sports drink with at least 6-8% carbohydrate, like Gatorade, can be beneficial to replenish lost fluid, electrolytes, and carbohydrates. It also can help improve performance during these longer bouts of intense exercise. For the average population however, a sports drink is not necessary because the stores of fluid, electrolytes and carbohydrates in one’s body are usually not completely spent during a standard workout. Therefore, consuming water before, during, and after exercise is all the average person needs to keep their body hydrated. For the athlete or avid exerciser, a sports drink to stay hydrated would be beneficial for intense exercise events lasting longer than an hour, as stated previously, but up to that point is not really necessary.

If you’d like more advice on exercise hydration and nutrition, let us know! We’re here to help!

What are your favorite ways to stay hydrated? Do you have a preferred sports drink or do you just stick with water?

There is Not Only One Way to Approach Eating, Diet & Nutrition-Finding the Program That Works for You!

Here's what 500 calories of food looks like! Each of these is 500cal!
Here’s what 500 calories of food looks like! Each of these are 500 calories that you could easily eliminate!

By Rita Larsen, R.D., Professional Dietary Counseling, Elite Sports Clubs

Many people will be confused in the thought that there is only one way to approach a new eating plan. If they do not follow it, they are sure to be a failure. Truthfully, diet and related eating plans will work in your favor almost every time as long as you have created enough change. This change will come through a number of situations, such as exercise, a new eating plan, or an alteration in the eating schedule. Let’s examine this idea a little further.

Experts suggest that any time there is a desire to change the quantity or quality of the foods we are eating for the ultimate “body transformation” it is possible to do with minimal changes to your current program. For example:

Weight loss occurs with the reduction of 500 calories at the most for a day. It does not need to be any more than that. If this is true, find the food in the least important spot; as a snack in the afternoon of a bag of chips or a candy, and eliminate it. It could be all that you need to do!

Next, plan to regroup the foods that you are eating into a new “schedule”. Eating earlier in the day works the best! If you cannot do this, then divide the foods evenly throughout the day so that it will make sense for your schedule. Never too much at any one time is a good guide!

Finally, plan to put a little more exercise in the works! Another 60 minutes per week will help your program a great deal. Most of the time, people have a harder time taking time for exercise than any concern with the exercise. Allow yourself the chance to do something new for you!

Ideas: Plan the food in a way that works for you!

  • Cut one food item out that doesn’t even mean anything!
  • Add just a little more exercise a week!

WHATEVER PLAN YOU COME UP WITH SHOULD BE THE ONE THAT WORKS ONLY FOR YOU!

Rita is available for one-on-one consultations and also offers group programs to help you reach your weight loss goals, starting with an easy approach to eating as mentioned above! Get started today by letting us know a little more about you and your goals!

This Week is National Women’s Health Week!

National Women’s Health Week, which runs May 12th -18th, is a campaign by the Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health to raise awareness about women’s health issues. NWHW promotes 5 steps for women to improve their physical and mental health, including preventive health screening, healthy eating, sleep and stress management, and regular exercise. The health club is a safe, social, and supportive environment providing numerous resources to help women get active and adopt healthier habits.

May is Exercise is Medicine Month: How to use exercise to prevent disease

May 1st embarks the first day of the month-long journey known as Exercise is Medicine® Month. This is the time for you, your family, co-workers, friends and others to advocate and promote physical activity as a lifestyle change.

Exercise Is Medicine Logo

There is no question that regular physical activity is one of the best things you can do to keep your body healthy and strong. In fact, a large body of research confirms that performing moderate-intensity physical activity on a regular basis can help you live longer and reduce health problems. In fact, people who exercise can avoid many common health issues, including obesity and high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Exercise also strengthens the muscles and bones, which can reduce your risk of osteoporosis as you grow older, and may even lower the risk of many diseases, including diabetes, stroke, heart disease and some cancers. Regular physical activity improves sleep, increases energy, lowers stress levels and helps you maintain your independence. As a healthy adult, the key for you to maximize the benefits of exercise is to find activities you really enjoy and to follow a well-designed program that you can stick with over the long-term.

Getting Started

  • Talk with your healthcare practitioner before starting an exercise program and ask for specific programming recommendations.
  • The goals of your program should be to improve cardiovascular fitness, increase muscle strength and endurance, and improve range of motion.
  • If you are new to exercise, choose low-impact activities such as walking, cycling or water exercises, which involve large muscles groups and can be done continuously. Fitness classes geared toward beginners also are a good choice. If you’ve been fairly active until now, however, you can choose from a wide range of activities, including running, swimming, boot camp classes and sports like tennis or basketball. The key is to find something you love so you’ll stick with it over time.
  • If your fitness level is low, start with shorter sessions (10 to 15 minutes) and gradually build up to at least 30 minutes on most, if not all, days of the week. If you are trying to lose weight, try to increase the amount of time you exercise to 60 minutes per day—research suggests this will help you shed unwanted pounds.
  • Perform some type of strength training and whole-body range-of-motion exercises two to three days per week. This could include circuit training, high-intensity interval training, traditional strength training and even yoga.
  • End each session with stretching exercises for the whole body. Consider taking a yoga or tai chi class for both flexibility and mind-body benefits.
  • Closely monitor your intensity level and stay within your recommended target heart-rate zone. Take frequent breaks during activity if needed.
  • Wear good-fitting, activity-appropriate shoes and comfortable clothing, and don’t forget to drink fluids before, during and after your activity to avoid becoming dehydrated.

Exercise Cautions

  • If your fitness level is low to begin with, start slowly and gradually increase the length and intensity of your workouts.
  • Stop exercising immediately if you experience any pain or shortness of breath. Contact your physician if you experience chest pain, labored breathing or extreme fatigue.

Your exercise program should be modified to maximize the benefits while minimizing your risk of injury. Consider contacting a certified fitness professional who can work with you to establish realistic goals and design a safe and effective program that addresses your specific needs.

(From Exercise is Medicine®. View original resource.)

Using Rates of Perceived Exertion to Help You Determine Your Exercise Zones

Everyone is unique when they exercise and the use of standardized formulas to determine your target heart rate zones can often lead you to exercise at either higher or lower than your actual effective rate. By combining the “Rate of Perceived Exertion Scale” with “Target Heart Rate Zones” you can more effectively estimate how hard your heart should be working while you are exercising.

Exercise can be divided into three different intensity zones:

  • Zone 1 Light Intensity Zone (heart beating at 60 to 70% of Heart Rate Max)
    Helps in weight control, improves endurance, and improves aerobic fitness.
  • Zone 2 Moderate Intensity Zone (70 to 80% of Heart Rate Max)
    Improves aerobic fitness, improves endurance, helps in weight control, accustoms your body to exercising at a faster pace, and begins to raise the speed that you can maintain without building up lactic acid.
  • Zone 3 Hard Intensity Zone (80 to 90% of Heart Rate Max)
    Increases muscles’ tolerance to lactic acid and improves hard, short effort ability.

There are tests available that can accurately determine your heart rate ranges but they can be beyond the reach of many people. So, how can you start to figure out your heart rate ranges and then begin to vary your workouts to achieve the results you want?

While you are exercising, picture a scale from 0 to 10 and ask yourself “how hard am I working?” Use the following descriptions to figure out how hard you are working and then convert that number to a %. For example, if you choose level 6 it roughly corresponds to 60% of your heart rate max. Measure your heart rate at that point and plug your number into the ranges above. It’s a start at heart rate training.

If your answer is 0 to 5 you may not be working hard enough to accomplish your goals or you are just beginning an exercise program.

Perceived Exertion Chart

Level 6: This is the feeling you might get when you are walking somewhere and are very late for an appointment. You know you can maintain this level for your exercise session. Your breathing is somewhat deep and you are aware of it.

Level 7: You are exercising vigorously. There is a definite feeling of fatigue, but you are quite sure you can maintain this level through your exercise session. Your breathing is deep. You can carry on a conversation but you would probably prefer not to.

Level 8: You are exercising very vigorously. There is a definite feeling of fatigue. You think you can maintain this pace for your exercise session but you are not completely sure. You can carry on a conversation but you definitely don’t want to.

Level 9: You are exercising very, very vigorously. You can’t maintain this level for a whole exercise session. Your breathing is labored and you can’t carry on a conversation. Be cautious before trying this level and have a significant aerobic training base.

Use these ranges as a guideline and get to know YOUR BODY and YOUR HEART as you workout. If you need additional help measuring your ranges, or would just like some advice on exercises for each zone, visit us in the Fitness Center! One of our certified personal trainers would be happy to give you advice on how to use the fitness center equipment or our training services to better reach your goals.

Prepared by Anne Tremel
Certified Personal Trainer
Exercise Is Medicine Program Director
Elite Sports Clubs-Brookfield
www.eliteclubs.com