Nutrition or Exercise: WHere to Start?
If you’re looking to lose weight, bulk up or simply get healthier, there needs to be a balance between nutrition and exercise. But where should you start? Tackling both at once can be a daunting task and often lead to you throwing in the towel all together. So here are the reasons as to why you need to start with one and why exercise should be your first step!
Exercise releases endorphin’s as well as adrenaline, serotonin, and dopamine. These feel good hormones mentally prepare the body, leaving you wanting more and motivating you to make nutritional changes. Start with exercise and work on 4 aspects of fitness which we refer to as the FITT principles-
Increase the frequency of your training. Start with 1-2 days a week, see how you feel after 2 weeks and bump it up to 3 when you feel you’re up to it.
Increase the intensity of your workout. Whether that be increasing the amount of repetitions, performing supersets or decreasing rest time, this is one area that will maximise your fitness gains.
Working out for longer periods of time will improve fitness. The intensity needs to remain high and the workout time needs to increase to benefit here.
Incorporate different types of training into your program. This helps to keep training exciting and motivating and pay particular attention to weaknesses. These are often the exercises or skills that you do not like to do (sled pushes, burpees, battle ropes!!).
Once you have given exercise a trial run over a 4-6 week period, slowly increasing the frequency, intensity, time and type, your body will be shouting at you. Craving nutrients!! This is a natural response to exercise and the beauty of the human brain is that it knows when it needs to be fuelled and will show signs as to what your body needs in terms of macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fats) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals).
Same as exercise we need to start with small changes and slowly change the way we perceive food. Simple changes can be made weekly or fortnightly such as eating breakfast, not skipping meals, portion sizes, decreasing processed and sugary foods and increasing vegetable and protein intake.
Whether you want to start with nutrition or exercise, you need to start small and slowly build towards your goals. We don’t want to shock the body but gradually make nutrition and exercise a habit. Start with exercise, listen and feel the body, then begin to make nutritional changes.