Fitness and Nutrition - The Importance of Nutrition When You Exercise

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Fuel

The food that we eat is fuel for our bodies. If we fill our bodies with food that contains mostly empty calories with little nutrients, the performance level of our bodies will be substandard. The majority of Americans tend to be overweight whereas others are underweight which suggests that we lack balance in our diet and nutrition levels. Both of these conditions can affect fitness level. The amount of calories consumed does not necessarily constitute proper nutrition. A person who consumes less calories may actually be eating more nutritious food.

Growth

Good nutrition is important for the growth and development of healthy bones and muscle. Proper nutrition is especially important for growing children. A child that is not getting proper nourishment may be sluggish and lack energy. Poor nutrition can leave you feeling tired most of the time. A person who feels physically tired doesn’t have the energy to exercise any more than necessary. The chronic fatigue leads to more of a sedentary lifestyle which in the long run affects physical fitness.

Fitness

The human body was not designed to be sedentary. It was designed for movement. Long before various modes of transportation was invented, the primary mode of travel was walking. Our bodies are actually very flexible and versatile vehicles but they need fuel and exercise to keep them physically fit. Regular exercise helps build stamina and endurance but if the body is running on a diet that is poor in nutrients, it will run out of steam quickly.

Balance

Our bodies need a balance of carbohydrates, protein and fat to provide the energy necessary to carry out our daily tasks, exercise and maintain physical fitness. When dietary balance is not maintained, nutritional deficiencies can occur. People who tend to consume a lot of high fat foods may find that they are gaining weight because they are taking in more calories than they can burn. A lack of energy may lead to lessened physical activity thereby decreasing the overall level of fitness.

Individual Needs

Although everyone needs balanced nutrition to maintain health and fitness, variations in diet are often determined by the needs of the individual. Men typically require more calories than women to maintain their body weight. Metabolism tends to slow down with age therefore it is not necessary to consume as many calories to maintain weight. Active individuals require more calories than those who are less active. The bottom line is that proper nutrition and exercise are necessary to maintain a healthy body. If you want to improve your fitness level, start with a balanced diet that ensures proper nutrition.