Common sense – RIP?

Monday, September 28th, 2009 | Gym, Sports & exercise, Uncategorized | No Comments

Every now and then I am asked by people who exercise at gyms how they should eat before and after training.

This wasn’t a problem before, because we all had something called Time – time to prepare, time to relax and time to enjoy.

For Homo omnistressens there is never enough time and so it is easy to cut down on ‘less important stuff’ such as preparation, relaxation and even enjoyment, just in order to keep up the high pace of living that is associated with leading a full life. Multi-tasking knows no bounds, as anyone who habitually showers, shaves, pees and exercises at the same time will testify.

The practice of Yoga has been around a lot longer than our modern civilisation, and so there is every reason to accept that most of what works in yoga is based on sound empirical experience. For example, not eating for two to three hours before practice and for at least 30 minutes after practice provides us with a reliable benchmark from which to proceed in our own lives.

Those in the habit of stuffing themselves full before rushing into the gym and then popping a couple of energy bars directly afterwards could try not doing this for a week or so, just to see what the difference is. Try and eat at least a couple of hours before – or if you really must eat then try to eat something light at least an hour before. Afterwards sit down for 10-15 minutes and drinking some warm green tea – not coffee or iced drinks – and try to observe your body as it calms down.

As for what to eat – I find the old adage of ‘a little of everything’ works pretty well (except it is getting harder as portions get larger!). I’ve met fit and healthy people from all walks of life who were on every imaginable kind of diet or on no diet in particular. Quite honestly I could never really see much difference between them.