How To Make Exercise and Diet Work Better For You
Whether you’re a newbie at working out or an almost-pro, the goal is to get the most benefit out of how much (or little) you work out and eat right to aid your body in exercising and recovery. We spoke to Zoe Modgill, Fitness Trainer and Founder Stronger with Zoe & Studio 60 by Club Xcell, on moderate workouts and eating better for beginner, intermediate and advanced exercisers.
Well begun is half done: Beginners
“When you’re starting, it’s always important to be safe. The risk of injury is higher, so go easy and don’t get carried away. Understand techniques and posture, and of course, take the time to understand your body and what it is capable of. Once the basics are mastered, you can start to challenge yourself,” says Zoe. The goal at this stage is to get your body moving and used to working out.
Must-do exercises: Basic cardio like walking/running/spinning or dancing + strength training like pilates and yoga + using your bodyweight, experiment with squats/pushups/lunges and planks. Frequency: “4-5 days a week is more than enough.” Beginners can give themselves a day of rest in between, or at the very least, try to alternate the workouts – one-day cardio and the other, strength training. Remember that the body changes when it’s resting.
Zoe is our goddess. She says, “Diets that cut out or stop certain things aren’t the best solution to long-term healthy habits and weight maintenance. Treat your body with respect, with healthy choices that will leave it nourished and healthy.” And that, of course, includes organic fruits and vegetables free of chemicals and pesticides.
What to eat: An all-around diet of protein, fats, and carbs is a must. Remember to eat something light before a workout, like a banana and some protein after. What’s the secret? Portion control and balance. Try and often eat small meals throughout the day.
Cheat Day: Treat yourself to your favourites from time to time; this is what will keep cravings under control.
Power through the middle: Intermediate
Zoe says that once you’ve mastered the basics and can work out well for about 30 minutes comfortably and understand your breathing patterns, you’re in a zone where you have to start pushing yourself.
Must-do exercises: “Intensify squats/pushups/lunges and planks. Add weights, add plyometric (jump) movements and variations. Work on the speed and duration of the exercise. Under supervision is always the best way.”
Level up: with weight training, different variations of intensity and duration. Now your goal should be to master a skill so that exercising constantly remains a challenge and engaging and doesn’t become a chore.
“The harder you work your body, the more you need to ensure you fuel it right. Exercise increases the appetite.” And when you’re fueling up, ensure that you’re eating produce free of adulterants and full of natural nutrients. (Hint: it’s organic)
What to eat:
“Make sure you consume enough protein for good muscle recovery and get good energy from sources like sweet potatoes, lots of veggies and fruits.” What’s the secret? Try and often eat small meals throughout the day.
Cheat Day: As before.
The Power Zone: Advanced
“An advanced-level exerciser has honed certain skills and can boast of good stamina and endurance, and works out at a weight load capacity that still works you out. Exercise and challenging the body is a constant process, and the best thing to do is keep at it,” says Zoe. She adds that keeping the body agile and strong is paramount.
Must-do exercises: “Weightlifting, high-intensity training, functional running across long distances, yoga and kickboxing – in good amounts. At this point, you’ll know your weaknesses well, and overcoming or bettering them is the goal.”
“Keep challenging yourself.” So like the Olympics – higher, stronger, faster.
“At this point, people like myself really do begin to pay more and more attention to fueling their body to look or perform a certain way.” Organic fruits and veggies are a big part of keeping your eating clean and healthy.
What to eat:
“High protein diets are essential, and ensure fast muscle recovery and keep lean muscle intact. Carbs fuel us – so choosing them wisely is super important.” What’s the secret? “The more lean muscle you want to preserve, the more you need to think about your sugar and salt intake.”
I Say Organic Bonus!
Exercises everyone should be doing: “Cardio for 20 mins + squats/pushups/lunges and planks” Zoe’s easy portion control guide: Protein the size of your palm + carbs to fit a cupped handful + veggies to equal the size of your fist + fats the size of your thumb.
While taking foods, it is essential to bring organic and freshly sourced foods, to keep them healthy and get all the beneficiary nutrients in the body. Get your hands on organic fruits and vegetables online and help your body absorb all the nutrients.
P.S: This interview was taken in 2017