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Sep 2014
Why Do We Go To The Gym?
When we want to get in shape, the first thought that usually enters our head is “hit the gym!”But is this really the answer or is there something we’re missing?Let’s face it, there are lots of people who work really hard for weeks, months or even years and sure they may get fit, but often they don’t really change shape.So why do we see this time and again, and what is really stopping us from getting the look we desire?Well there are a number of angles to approach this from… we can look at the types of exercise we are doing, the frequency of our workouts, are we giving ourselves adequate rest between workouts etc. But these are relatively small issues that may need to be tweaked along the way.So what’s the big issue? If there was one big, glaring problem that really stands between us and our goals… what would it be?Well you’ll be glad to know, the answer is pretty straight forward. The answer lies not in exercise but in how we eat.Nutrition is the single biggest factor behind getting the shape we want.The importance of what we eat and when we eat before, during and after exercise, and on our rest days cannot be stressed enough.“You are what you eat!” – “You cannot out-train a poor diet!” – “Six packs are made in the kitchen, not in the gym!”These are sayings that we are all familiar with, and there is an incredible amount of truth in these.In the case of what we should eat… well it all comes down to balance.If we achieve the correct balance of the big food groups (or macronutrients) in our diet, we dramatically increase our chances of getting the shape we want. The macronutrients are Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats.Drinking enough water is also highly important as this helps keep the body functioning properly and will aid the digestive process.In the case of when we should eat, again we have familiar sayings like “little and often” – “ breakfast is the most important meal of the day” and again there’s a lot of truth in these.We should aim to eat 5 to 6 meals a day as in the following example:Breakfast > Snack > Lunch > Snack > Dinner…Eating within 30 minutes of waking and thereafter every 2.5 to 3 hours will get you started the right way and keep your metabolic flames burning throughout the day.Also, eating at optimal times before and after exercise is crucial.To be at your best, you should have a meal 1 hour before exercise, and it must be a meal that is easily digested such as a meal replacement shake.After your workout, it is very important to eat within 30 minutes (the metabolic window.)If you fail to time your meals properly, you can cause your body to shut down processes like the “fat burning effect” and even put your system into lock down or “fat storage mode.”Now I’m guessing this is the opposite of what most people are looking for!If we want to get into shape, we need to look at our diets… it’s that simple. In fact, it is so important that we can apply Pareto’s Law and conclude that getting in shape is about 80% to do with nutrition and 20% to do with exercise.That being said, exercise is a good thing and you’d be well advise to take some but when it comes to getting into shape, exercise, in itself, will only take you a small part of the way.For more advice on exercise and nutrition, please contact info@MonklandsWellness.com
108-112 Deedes Street
North Lanarkshire
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01236 753252
Premises GPhC Number: 1042188
Superintendent Pharmacist
David Deary (2223257)
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