The term "Super Food" gets thrown around a lot in the fitness community. But what exactly is a super food? And what on earth makes them so special? Well, in this post we are going to list five of the super foods, and tell you what makes each one so special!
There are three key principles that make up a healthy diet; variety, balance, and moderation. First off, a healthy diet must have an adequate amount of variety. This means the food you are eating needs to come from multiple sources. Many people get stuck in a routine of eating the same foods over and over again, and while they may be healthy foods, you could be missing out on key nutrients. For example, eating a certain vegetable every day is great except you are neglecting your body of key nutrients which may not be found in that vegetable but are in another. Also, by making your diet more diverse you will continue to be interested in eating and will be more likely to continue healthy eating habits.
The second key principle of a healthy diet is balance. Balance means that you are receiving the proper nutrients from all the major food groups. This ensures that the individual is getting the proper amount of nutrition they need which is found uniquely in each food source.
The third and final key principle of a healthy diet is moderation. No matter how perfect a diet is, it can still be harmful and cause weight gain if it is eaten in too large of a quantity. And on the flip side, no matter how great a diet is, if the person is not eating enough then that person will not benefit fully from the diet. Also, moderation means that each meal must contain the proper amount of food from each food group. You should not eat meals that are super high in protein but lack an adequate amount of carbohydrates, for example. Also, by eating in moderation, you are allowing yourself to not have to completely eliminate any one type of food, meaning you can still eat foods in which you enjoy.
One question we hear a lot is whether children should participate in resistance training. Many people in the past believed that strength training in children would lead to stunted growth or possible injury. However, after recent studies, it has been found that neither are true. In fact, regular participation in resistance training as a kid can reduce the risk of injuries in sports and other activities, positively affect the growth of the children, and increase their fine motor skills. It can also reduce the risk of childhood obesity and enhance the cardiac function of the children.
Another reason it is important to start strength training at a young age is that due to the rise in sport specialization, many young athletes are developing muscle imbalances. While this may not be noticeable at their young age, muscle imbalances can lead to complications further down the road. This can be avoided, however, by beginning a resistance training program that focuses on developing balance in the muscles and offsetting the effects of sport specialization.
Even though there are many positives to children getting involved in resistance training, risks and concerns are still prevalent. The main concern is the risk of damaging joints at an early age by placing so much pressure on them. However, the force placed on the joints of youth athletes may be greater during sports participation than resistance training. Either way, the risk of injury is always there and a concern one must cope with. The best way to avoid injury, and make sure the children are taking part in safe resistance training, is by having them work with a trusted strength and conditioning professional who can set up a safe workout designed around the child’s physical capabilities.
The reason people exercise, or more specifically weight-lift, is to provide overload on the body which will then lead to physiological adaptations, the results you want. However, an important factor to the process is recovery, the time you are giving your body to regenerate and adapt to the stress you are putting it under. Proper recovery involves an adequate amount of rest and nutrition intake. When these are lacking, but you are partaking in intense training, over-training may occur.
While many people believe more is better, when it comes to training sometimes less is more. When you do not give your body enough time to rest, you are putting yourself at risk of fatigue, illness, and injuries. Also, you will be working and working but the results you wish for will not be there. In fact, the opposite can occur, in which strength and muscle tone decrease due to excessive fatigue.
If you suspect you are over-training yourself then a reevaluation of your workout program needs to take place. Make sure you are allowing your body enough time to rest and supplying it with the proper amounts of nutrition. Patients is key though, because once over-training has occurred it can take several weeks or even months for your body to restore itself.