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Nutrition for Fitness Training - Part 1

by June Kaminski, MSN

Fitness is an important part of every family's healthy lifestyle. In order to enjoy your chosen activities with zest and less chance for injury, it is important to consider your nutritional needs for training.

The State of Becoming

It is a fact that more and more people are becoming concerned about their health, and are seeking ways to enjoy fitness, health and well-being while still fulfilling their multiple roles and responsibilities. Parents of young children have a special challenge in trying to find time for their own fitness and nutrition. The current U.S. statistics exemplify why this is important for us all, regardless of lifestyle or workload

Some Facts

  • 34% of the American adult population is overweight
  • Next to smoking, weight-related conditions are the second leading cause of death in the USA, resulting in 300,000 deaths/year
  • Poor diet and lack of exercise are associated with the top 10 causes of death in US, including the top four: Heart Disease, Cancer, Stroke, and Diabetes.
  • Only 8% of Americans are getting the amount of exercise recommended for minimal health benefits and 29% of Americans are sedentary
  • At any one time 45% women and 24% men are trying to lose weight
  • Only 12% of Americans had 80% or above scores in the USDA "Healthy Eating Index"
  • Less than 33% of Americans are eating the suggested number of food servings from the 5 major food groups on a daily basis
  • Only 23% of Americans eat the 5 servings of fruits and vegetables recommended each day
  • Individuals are most likely to underconsume fruits, vegetables and grains


  • Include flexibility, aerobic (cardiovascular) and strength training exercise in your regime
  • Increase your intake of monounsaturated fatty acids (olive, safflower and peanut oils)
  • Increase your fiber intake by eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and dried beans to lower LDL cholesterol and for sustained energy and vitamins
  • Keep your fat intake to 15-30% of your daily calories
  • Decrease your intake of high sugar foods
  • Increase your intake of Omega-3 fatty acids (but do not supplement - eat fish instead)
  • Decrease your sodium intake (<2400 mg/day)
  • Balance exercise with a moderate food intake to maintain or reduce your body weight. (BMI 19-25)
  • Don't go ultra low-fat. Less than 15% fat may decrease HDL cholesterol and increase triglycerides.
  • Be flexible. Consider the balance of foods you consume over a week instead of single meals or single days - consistency is what is important.
- Source: American Heart Association

More Links to Explore:

JanaTrains offers fitness, exercise, nutrition, strength training, motivation and general health tips, primarily for women. Jana, a certified trainer outlines the essentials about getting and staying in shape and how to have fun while you do it!

Nutristrategy features nutrition and fitness tips and articles on their site, as well as details about their instructional Software. The software outlines strategies to reach your goals in a healthy way whether your fitness choices are aimed at weight loss, cardiovascular fitness, strength training or body building

Fitness Jumpsite is a comprehensive directory that offers knowledgeable links to websites devoted to health, nutrition, and fitness of body, mind, and spirit. They also include a special section on fitness for kids.

SELF Workout Slideshows is a must-see site, devoted to Health, Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness. Their Workout section includes guidelines and tips on healthy workouts for power, strength, and disease prevention.

Next Article: Nutrition for Fitness Training, Pt 2

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