Half (49%) of the adult population, that's 20 million of us, have no idea about what we should be eating to fuel our chosen exercise according to an NOP poll* out today, commissioned on behalf of new book, Fuelling Fitness for Sports Performance. Half of respondents (49%) were unaware that eating a small carb snack 30 minutes before exercise was likely to improve performance, forty eight per cent don't eat anything at least two hours before exercising and over half (58%) stated that they'd never thought about the best way to refuel their bodies once they'd finished their exercise.
Although half of respondents (48%) were making New Year's resolution to take up exercise, one in three one in three admitted that they didn't expect their fitness resolutions to last past February, with 'lack of motivation' being an overriding expected reason for failure - not surprising - given their lack of knowledge on what to eat to fuel their workouts.
Other key highlights from the research showed that:
1 In 2004, 50% of women and 35% of men did NO exercise at all
2 People in Newcastle currently spend the most time exercising per week (38 per cent exercise for more than four hours a week) and people of Birmingham exercise the least (17%)
3 People in Norwich thought that they were most likely to increase their exercise levels in the New Year (44%)
4 Out of all the regions, it was Scots (46%) who were in the majority admitting that they had no idea about what they should be eating to fuel their sport, gym sessions or exercise classes
Dr Sam Stear, author of Fuelling Fitness for Sports Performance, who commissioned the research, commented: "It is worrying that so many people do not know what to eat to fuel their exercise. Without enough carbohydrates to fuel their exercise, they will get light-headed and give up too easily, which leads to lack of motivation and the inevitability of giving up on exercise goals".
FUELLING FITNESS TIPS FROM Dr. SAM STEAR
All carbohydrates are eventually digested or converted into glucose to provide the body's primary energy fuel. If you don't eat enough carbohydrates, but continue to exercise, you will soon become sluggish and dizzy and that's certainly not going to help you keep motivated to exercise!
This is a common mistake. Without enough carbohydrates to fuel your exercise, you will get light-headed and give up too easily, which leads to lack of motivation and the inevitability of giving up on New Year resolutions.
A high-carbohydrate snack 30-60 minutes before exercise, containing 50g of carbohydrate, such as a jam sandwich, banana or sports drink, is generally found to be beneficial. David Beckham keeps jelly babies in his pocket and Madonna likes to fuel her dance routines with a slice of toast and strawberry jam.
Make sure that you restock your glucose stores two hours AFTER exercise. Recovery from exercise is the most important aspect of exercise. If you are planning on exercising every day, make sure you eat a small snack (as mentioned above) after your exercise session.
Remember to replace the water and salt lost through sweat too. You need to drink about 1.2 litres of fluid for every kg of body weight lost during exercise - so remember to weigh yourself before and after your exercise.
To keep you motivated, keep imagining how you will feel when you've accomplished your work out. Team-up with a friend, colleague or neighbour so you can help motivate each other - especially for those days you just don't feel like it!
Change your exercise routine regularly - try another activity or simply a different route for your
walk, jog or cycle - to stop you getting bored.
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Set aside a specific time of the day to be active. And, if your hectic life means the only way you'll
fit in some activity is by getting-up earlier, then don't despair, as the benefits will soon outweigh
the initial shock!
The book, Fuelling Fitness for Sports Performance is based on the latest scientific evidence and is the first nutrition guide from the British Olympic Association (BOA). It is designed to help anyone who exercises on a regular basis to improve their performance through their diet. It includes information on nutritional and hydration strategies, dietary supplement issues, meal ideas and carbohydrate, protein, fat and micronutrient requirements. The book is available to buy from your local bookshop or directly from the BOA via their online store www.teamgbolympicstore.com <http://www.teamgbolympicstore.com> (RRP £14.99).
For more information or to request a copy of the book, please call Gemma Griffin on 0207 153 5609, email@example.com or Jane Morgan on 0207 153 5606, firstname.lastname@example.org
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