Move May

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I’m moving every single day this May to conquer cancer! Workout to Conquer Cancer is one of Canada’s largest online fitness challenge fundraisers and brings together communities of cancer survivors and hundreds of others who have been impacted by the disease. Funds raised stay right here in B.C., fuelling the work of scientists and clinicians as they continue to advance research, enhance care, and improve the lives of people facing cancer today.

Whether you are taking part in this month-long fundraiser or just looking for some tips on how to eat to fuel your workouts, I’ve got you covered!

Pre-workout foods

Aches and pains are a normal part of a successful training program and any new fitness routine. For muscles to strengthen, they must experience an increase in stress (that “burning” sensation) over what they are used to experiencing. Following the stress or “burning” sensation, delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) begins. DOMS is the result of the injury to the muscle fibres and connective tissue. So, how can we ease these aches and pains? Embracing more anti-inflammatory foods may help! One easy way of doing this is to try to eat more fruits and veggies at every single meal and snack. The kings of anti-inflammatory nutrients are dark green vegetables - try incorporating more dark leafy greens, Brussel sprouts and broccoli into your day.

Eating during exercise

For moderate activity over an hour, like hiking or biking, eat protein and fibre rich snacks to keep you going! Some of my favourite, easy to pack snacks are: trail mix, whole food nutrition bars, like KIND, Larabar, or Hornby Organic Energy Bars and raw fruit and veggies. It is also important to keep hydrated during these long bouts of moderate intensity activities. Water will always be a great choice; however sports drinks can be beneficial if you are sweating profusely for longer than 45 mins. And if that’s the case, aim to sip on a sports drink every 10 to 15 minutes.

Post-workout meals

Eating within 30 minutes post-workout is important to restore glycogen levels and provide amino acids for muscle repair and growth. This is especially important for anyone planning on working out on back-to-back days - I’m talking to you, my Workout to Conquer Cancer friends! Typically, you want both protein and carbohydrate rich foods for optimal recovery. And think food first over supplements! Here are some examples.

  • Bowl of muesli with Greek yogurt and berries,

  • Tuna on a fibre-rich cracker (Wasa or Ryvita),

  • Fruit and nut butter - apple with peanut butter,

  • Hard boiled egg with a side of fruit,

  • Hummus and whole grain pita

Enjoy this early summer sun and get moving! To learn more about the BC Cancer Foundation, visit www.bccancerfoundation.com

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