Fueling your workout

Fuel your motivation, and your muscles, with the following strategy

Feel that, the growing in your stomach after a work-out? That’s hunger, the honest-to-goodness kind, not the I’m-bored-so-I’ll-eat-ice-cream variety. It’s a good thing, and you earned it. Now, however, what you do about that hunger can make or break your weight loss goals.

The temptation, especially when minding calories, is to hang on to hunger until mealtime rolls around. Good intention, but wrong approach, says Boston-based sports nutritionist Nancy Clark. Hunger denied becomes hunger magnified.

If you get too hungry, you’ll have no desire to nibble on carrots; you’ll want carrot cake. While you may have burned off 300 to 400 calories during exercise, you can easily end up eating 500 or more calories to tame your appetite. Better to nip that hunger through strategic snacking.

Snacking after a workout does more than tame hunger: Research shows that eating the right foods helps repair muscle tissue, replenish depleted energy stores and prime you for your next exercise session.

Eating before exercise has its place, too. Your blood sugar goes on the upswing; you’ll have more energy, a better mood and get more out of your workout. Besides, exercising while hungry is just no fun, so you won’t feel inspired to keep exercising week after week.

Time it right

Whether to snack before or after a workout depends on how your schedule synchs with daily meals. If exercising first thing in the morning or after work, a pre-workout snack provides fuel for soon-to-be-working muscles. To avoid feeling full and possibly experiencing stomach cramps, allow 30-60 minutes between snacking and working out.

Post-workout, eat or drink something within about 30 minutes. Aim for about 200 calories per snack.

Choose food wisely

For a pre-workout snack: Your body quickly breaks down carbohydrates into glucose, the body’s fuel of choice. Grab fruit, grains or vegetables — something easy on the stomach.

For a post-workout snack: On the heels of exercise, your body craves carbohydrates to replenish energy stores and protein for repairing and building muscle tissue. Try apple slices with peanut butter or string cheese; fruit with greek yogurt; fruit and nuts.

With any snack, drink a tall glass or water for adequate hydration! Drink water throughout your workout, as well.


Julie Cantrell is owner of Hood River Curves.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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