Exciting! You’ve started your couch to 5K journey! Whether your goal is to lose weight, improve health or get fitter, you’ll need to fuel your body. Here we round up 5 simple kitchen rules to help you achieve your goals.
When starting a new activity, there are two prongs for success. Firstly, a structured plan to get you going. Secondly, you need to make sure you're fuelling your body with the right things. When you begin the much-loved Couch to 5k plan, your diet choices will help you get moving.
What is Couch to 5K?
Couch to 5K, or C25K, is a 9 week running plan designed for beginners. It was developed by a new runner, Josh Clark, who wanted to help his mum start running. It consists of 3 runs a week, interspersed with rest days. It’s one of the most popular activity plans for beginners and is even recommended by the NHS in the UK.
1. Drink plenty of water
Our bodies are around 60% water. Water is essential for exercise as it regulates your body temperature and lubricates your joints. It also helps transport nutrients to provide you with energy and keep your body healthy. When you’re following the Couch to 5k plan, your hydration needs will increase. You’ll be expending more energy and sweating more. Therefore it’s essential that you drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
When you are exercising more your body needs more water.
2. Don’t race to buy expensive sports products
There are thousands of sports nutrition products designed to help you perform. From energy drinks to protein powders; the choice is endless. Studies have shown that these sports supplements provide minimal benefits for average gym-goers. So, rather get all the nutrients you need through a healthy, balanced diet.
To find out the best choices when it comes to nutrition as well as appropriate portion sizes download our helpful guide Eat Fit.
3. Don’t reward healthy progress with unhealthy food
Rewards are an essential component of habit formation. To make running a habit, it’s essential that you reward your hard work with something that makes you feel good. However, try to avoid unhealthy snacks. This is particularly important if your goal is to lose weight as most people tend to overestimate the number of calories burned through exercise. This can lead to overcompensation. Opt for a healthier alternative instead, such as this homemade lower-fat chocolate “ice cream”.
4. Don’t ditch carbs completely – keep it balanced
Carbohydrates are a great source of energy for your Couch to 5k training sessions and are important for recovery too. Reducing carbohydrates can aid weight loss but it’s important to nourish your body properly. Too little can leave you feeling lethargic which can make exercising difficult. Everyone is different, so it’s important to listen to your body. With DNAfit Health Fit you can get an insight into how your body responds to carbs.
Foods in the shape of a heart illustration
5. No need to overdo the protein
Protein helps our muscles recover and get stronger, but don’t think that muscle aches necessarily means that you need more protein. Muscle soreness is a natural part of exercise and recovery. Seasoned athletes need quite a bit more protein for muscle repair and growth. But, for a newbie, consuming extra protein could mean extra calories with very little benefit.
To find out the best choices when it comes to your nutrition as well as appropriate portion sizes download our helpful guide Eat Fit.
Good luck on your Couch to 5K journey
Taking on a new fitness programme is no easy feat. But with a solid plan and the right fuel, you’ll be there in no time!
Knowing your genetic predisposition to certain foods can further assist in diet choices that support your new Couch to 5K running programme. With Diet Fit you get amazing insight into your nutritional choices for better results.
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