I’m looking to learn a bit more about nutrition, but with so many books on the store shelves, how do I know which one is the right one?
Good question! It’s hard to sort through all the clutter as you peruse the book store shelves, but there are a few things you can do to narrow down the list. First of all, find out as much as you can about the author of a particular book, either by reading the back of the book or by going to their website. Does the individual have nutrition credentials? You’d be surprised how many so-called experts write books about topics they have little to no knowledge of. I would also recommend reading the books reviews on Amazon.com or some other similar website. You’ll typically see commentary from consumers as well as experts, so you get varied opinions about the premise and basic contents of the book. It’s also helpful to read a passage or two—do you see anything that sounds too good to be true? This is almost always a red flag for misinformation. Lastly, and maybe most importantly, seek out a nutrition expert and get their recommendations. Most experts stay fairly well-read, so they’ll have a lot of insight into the best books out there!
How come I never see anyone else doing a warm-up prior to working out?
That’s a great question, and one that’s relatively easy to answer. Most people simply don’t make time for a warm-up. Lots of folks just want to “get in and get out,” and don’t really consider the benefits of properly preparing the body for exercise. Let’s highlight a few of these benefits, so you have justification for incorporating it into your workout. 1. Increases the temperature of your muscles and joints, which makes movement more efficient and reduces the risk of injury. 2. Causes blood vessels to dilate, which shuttles oxygen and nutrients to the muscles, allowing you to achieve peak performance . 3. Prepares you for exercise mentally, heightening your senses and allowing you to focus and concentrate on the work at hand. There are lots of other benefits, but no matter why you do it, a simple fact remains. You will feel better and perform better if you include a warm-up in your exercise session. Take five minutes, and do some light cardiovascular exercise, along with a few basic bodyweight strength exercises. Try the elliptical or some fast walking, and throw in some lunges, push-ups, squats, or planks. And don’t forget, it’s best to try and mimic your actual workout if possible!