Guess who’s starting to workout today? That’s right…yours truly. I’ve always liked to stay active, I even jump on the treadmill a couple times a week. However, for some reason every single autumn I gain a ridiculous amount of weight. You know how most people have their weight fluctuate between 5 or maybe 10 pounds? Nope, not me. Mine swings a whooping 20+ pounds every year. No matter how hard I try, I can’t keep it off.
So here I am…announcing my plan to workout online with the hopes it gives me added accountability so I won’t slack off. The mantra I’ll shout to myself every time I pick up that dumbbell, go for a run, and do those crunches is:
I AM DOING THIS! I AM GETTING A BODY I CAN LOVE!
Yup. That’s my pre-NYE resolution that I will honor everyday.
Binge eating habits aside, I have a feeling that in order to maintain a healthy weight, my first goal should be gaining some upper body and core strength. Since I’m no Olympic athlete, I’m totally expecting sore muscles tomorrow. To nurse my poor muscles back to life, here’s a list of 10 fantastic foods that help ease muscle soreness. Recovery foods are important for any workout plan…cause who wants sore muscles for days? Not me!
Pineapple is one of my favorites. It contains an enzyme called Bromelain, which helps digest protein, reduce inflammation, and ease joint pain. Bromelain also aids in wound healing, angina, and muscle soreness.
Did you know that chocolate milk contains all the same carbohydrates and proteins as Gatorade? Well, it does! The caffeine in chocolate also widens and relaxes your blood vessels so that your blood can distribute oxygen more effectively through your muscles. Chocolate milk will also keep you from feeling deprived on a diet.
Nuts are a good source of Omega-3 fatty acid, protein, zinc, potassium, magnesium, and other vitamins/minerals. Grab a handful of walnuts, brazil nuts, almonds, pumpkin, and sunflower seeds to snack on after your workout. Just make sure they’re not overly salted and that you eat them in moderation!
Ginger has long been known to reduce swelling and inflammation. It contains gingerols, which is a very potent anti-inflammatory. Did you know that ginger is used as a pain killer in some parts of the world? So cool! An added perk is that this tasty root is fairly inexpensive at the market! ;)
Salmon! Another staple at my house. It’s a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids and lean protein (Omega-3s fight inflammation and soreness). Make sure to buy salmon that was caught wild…sometimes farm raised salmon are deficient in Omega-3s.
These little guys are packed with antioxidants that protect your cells. The antioxidants will neutralize free radicals, which can cause inflammation, premature aging, and increase your chances of heart disease/cancer. You get the most bang from your buck from blueberries but any darker color berry is great (cranberries, raspberries, blackberries, etc).
Manuka honey from New Zealand is made from bees that feed on Manuka flowers. This ‘wonder’ honey contains carbohydrates necessary to rebuild muscle fibers AND it has anti-inflammatory properties. Sounds like a win-win to me.
Post workout cramps and soreness often come from a lack of potassium. What better way to get your potassium fix than the classic banana? It’s an easy snack for those on the go who don’t want muscle soreness!
As with ginger, turmeric is often used as a pain killer in eastern medicine. Turmeric contains a chemical called curcumin, a powerful anti- inflammatory. It fights cancer as well as giving you antioxidants that are vital for fighting inflammation, soreness, and muscle recovery.
Cherries are high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory goodness. Now this one I had never heard before – so here is a quote I found on the web about it — “cherries may not only help control inflammation but can help reduce delayed-onset muscle soreness and expedite recovery following exercise”. I’ll definitely be having some cherries (which is one of my mom’s favorite snacks).
**Each photo was found online…except for the awesome intro graphic I made :D**