It’s National Fitness Day and whilst most think that plenty of exercise will help perfect a toned body, it actually takes good nutrition too.
A combination of cardio, strength and resistance training is essential for your toned physique, but so are good nutritious meals.
When working toward better muscle tone, it’s very important to get the right nutrients into your diet. If you haven’t given your body the nutrients it needs, no matter how much you work them, your muscles won’t benefit from your exercises as much as they would do if they were nourished.
Here are 4 food groups that will help you to achieve optimal results.
1) Vitamin C
This is responsible for the health of the blood vessels that support your muscles’ needs for oxygen and nutrients. The more vitamin C your body has, the more effective your muscles will work and the quicker they will recover during exercise. This will help them to grow stronger and help to increase muscle tone.
Foods high in Vitamin C include bell peppers, kiwi fruit, dark leafy greens, oranges and strawberries.
Calcium is vital for maintaining strong healthy bones and muscles. When exercising your muscles need to contract. This helps them to grow. However, without calcium, your body wouldn’t send your muscles the signal to contract. This means that they wouldn’t be able to perform the exercise properly and your body would struggle to achieve good muscle tone.
Foods high in calcium include cheese, milk, broccoli and almonds.
3) Vitamin D
This is essential for muscle contraction, function, strength and growth so if you want to get the most from your workout, make sure that you include foods rich in Vitamin D in your diet.
Foods high in Vitamin D include oily fish such as mackerel, salmon and sardines, and eggs.
Protein is key in building muscle, it’s ideal to eat after your workout to help recover the muscles too.
It can be found in oily fish, lean meat such as turkey or beef, tofu, cheese and eggs.
Fitness Fact: The more muscle mass your body has, the more calories it will burn as additional energy sources (i.e. calories) are required for the body to function. This will help you to burn fat more effectively.