Fuel Forward

Ever feel like the energy fuel tank is on empty? Wake up tired, go to work tired, go home tired, and the cycle repeats day after day, making you think you’re in the movie Groundhog Day. Most people at some point in life may need to make minor adjustments to what you eat and your physical activity routine to help your mind and body feel better. Eating foods like whole grains, fatty fish, fruits and vegetables, helps provide steady consistent levels of energy thoroughout the day. Carbohydrates like whole wheat bread, brown rice, oatmeal, and quinoa are the preferred choice of energy, so try to include these at meal and snack times. Your body absorbs whole grains slowly, which keeps blood sugar and energy levels stable, minimizing feelings of tiredness and lack of concentration. Fatty fish like mackerel, albacore tuna, rainbow trout, and salmon are foods that are full of omega 3 fatty acids, which have been found to help with mood and depression, so get happy and add some to your meal. Also, fruits and vegetables are full of fiber, which helps maintain energy levels throughout the day.

Eating before exercise can improve performance, meaning you can walk, run, dance and swim with more energy than if fasting, making your body burn more calories. Physical activity has many benefits for mood and energy. It has the power to improve communication between brain cells by strengthening the signals, helping to increase your ability to learn new things. Exercise can help you get deeper sleep, which gives the mind and body adequate time to rest, recover and make you feel rejuvenated.

It was once thought that nerve cells could not regenerate. Through research we learned this is not true and they can, in fact, regenerate and one of the best ways is through exercise. Exercising one hour a day can help you lose weight, reduce blood pressure, improve heart health, and reduce stress and anxiety. Make physical activity a regular part of your day by maximizing efforts on simple everyday tasks like cleaning, shopping, and spending time with family. Clean surfaces and walls with wide strokes and substitute squatting for bending to reach low surfaces to gain strength and power in your lower body. Park further away from the door when shopping or take two extra laps around the inside perimeter of the store before picking up needed items. Make family time extra special by planning a day at the park to ride bikes, fly kites or simply walk and enjoy nature and the beauty it provides. Fuel forward with these small changes to your diet and physical activity routine and see it make a huge impact on every aspect of your life and those around you.






Posted: June 2, 2021

Category: Fruits & Vegetables, Health & Nutrition, UF/IFAS Extension, WORK & LIFE
Tags: Blood Pressure, Exercise, Fruits And Vegetables, Healthy Eating, Heart Disease, Ocextension, Performance, Physical Activity, Power, Rest, Sleep, Strength

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