Winter and Nutrition
Written by Bob Sciascia
on Sunday, February 28, 2010 11:09:27 PM
Time to work hard! It is cold out. Time for the strenuous training; but DON'T over train, Listen to your body, joints, muscles etc. Here is some information on training and mainly nutrition. Eating right and proper breathing can be the difference between exhaustion after 30 minutes, or feeling fresh after 2 hours.
We train lighter in the Hot summer months due to minimizing creation of too much Chi and Pao or Fire energy; we focus on Zuan (Drilling, Water) in hot months to nurture the kidneys and keep hydration. Summer is time for less Meat and more fruits and Veggies; especially Melons! MMM! Winter is time to train hard, push strength and work hardest intensity; though being careful of injury or overtraining. Do your Qigong as well and you will be warm in just a sweater as your friends freeze bundled in jackets.
Winter is also a time for more lean meat eating (if you are not vegetarian), whole grains, supplemented with the rainbow variety of colors of fruits and Vegetables. Fats should come from nuts, olive oil and cold Ocean Fish oil.
Limit Alcohol and Sugar. Both place your blood glucose levels in disarray. Alcohol is the athlete's worst enemy: it wrecks your glucose levels, places fatty deposits on the liver, and slows your metabolism for OVER 36 hours.
Limit processed food. Lunchmeats cause gout, contain a day's worth salt and much bad fats. The closer to its original form, the healthier food is for you.
Red meat should be limited to once every two weeks; once a week if you are healing any injuries or feel weak. Your meat should come from Cold Ocean fish, lean skinless Chicken and lean pork if your religious beliefs permit.
Eat your 4-6 servings of Fruits and Veggies. Don't stick with iceberg lettuce. Eat a variety of each choosing different colored fruits and veggies. This will ensure you receive the variety of Vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants.
Carbs (grains, bread, potatoes, rice, sugar, fruit etc...) should be whole grain and as low on the Glycemic Index as possible ( http://www.glycemicindex.com/ ). This keeps you fuller, keeps blood sugar levers in check, gives steadier and longer energy, far far less likely to be converted to fat, and prevents sugar crashes.
Be sure to eat some low Glycemic Carbs 60 minutes before training and immediately after. This will not go to fat, instead will fuel you during your training and repair your body after workout. Some lean Protein should be eaten within an hour of training that involes medium or higher muscular intensity. The carbs and protein after your training ensures quick recovery and prepares you for your next workout.
Your body is a temple and becomes what you put in it. Do more research. Ask questions. Eat this way and you will feel full yet light and energetic. You will actually consume MORE food by volume; but it will be less calories, little effect on blood sugar, nutritious and increase mood.
Some words on body fat reduction: Notice never did I use the word "Diet." Why deprive your body of food. Eat the correct food and you get more food with fewer calories. If you are trying to lose body fat, reduce the carbs and increase the veggies. Work on some strength training followed with cardio. This builds muscles which burn calories all day. Running after strength training also maximizes fat burning. Your glycemic stores in your muscles are depleted so your body is forced to burn fat and muscle-though since you are strength training your body will trigger only fat burning! There is no thing as "Spot Reduction" so doing 1000 crunches will not burn fat from your abs nor will doing 1000 dips burn arm fat. It will just add strength and muscle to that area. The synergy of nutrition, overall strength training and cardio burns fat.
Great thing Kung Fu covers Strength Training, Cardio and extra such as flexibility, polymetrics and stability! Again, be sure to follow the low Glycemic and protein rules before and after training even if you are trying to reduce body fat. The goal is health, not depriving the body of nutrients and much needed preparation for next training session.
On breathing: listen to Sigung. Typically long deep breaths are best. Inhale by expanding your belly slowly drawing energy from the DanTien (2 inches below the navel) and not puffing your ribcage. Usually you will inhale through your nose, exhale through the mouth; tongue at the roof of the mouth right behind the front teeth. Usually you will deeply inhale on: rising, expanding limbs distancing from the core. Exhale on strikes, lowering the body, and compressing limbs into the core. If an exercise has 2 parts, you are usually breathing in as your do the move, exhale as you finish and return to posture or neutral posture. Ask Sigung or one of your instructors if unsure. Talk to a Senior about meditative deep breathing and its benefits. It will help you for life.
I have been fighting 5 kidney stones the last year from too much Caffeine years ago; yet I am training hard in between the sickness. This is thanks to this way of eating. I have stayed lean and muscular after not being able to leave bed for 4 months at one time. When the stones are in safe places; I come to class with full strength and cardio after a week of catch up. I am 36 years old.
As always, check with your Dr. before starting any of these exercises to make sure everything is on the up and up. Good luck and stay healthy.