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The Big Difference in Pre-Workout Snacks and Post-Workout Snacks

I cannot count the number of times I’ve pulled out of my city for a road trip with an empty tank of gas. That’s because it’s never happened. Aside from making sure I have everything I need in my luggage, and a stash of mostly healthy snacks, the first thing I do before turning on the GPS is fill up my gas tank. Otherwise, that’ll become a very short and probably expensive trip.

It’s a common metaphor to compare our bodies to gas tanks, but it couldn’t be more true. Our bodies need food for energy, for brain function, to get us from point A to point B in our workouts.

I want to explain which snacks are best for both sides of your workout and why snacking for each should be treated differently.

“The two snacks should be very different. First and foremost, the harder or longer your workout is, the more important each snack becomes,” Holly Perkins told us, a fitness expert and ambassador for New Balance.

She explained that a pre-workout snack has dual functionality. “One, to ensure immediate fuel from the very moment you begin your workout, and two to preemptively start the protein recovery process so that you’ll feel great for TOMORROW’S workout.”

Before a workout, you want to keep it simple with easily digested foods. Don’t eat a huge meal or anything that could cause stomach disruption, like hummus or beans. The purpose of this pre-workout snack is to prevent low blood sugar, increase muscle and liver carbohydrate stores, and prevent hunger throughout the duration of your workout, as well as provide the energy you need to power through.

Holly told us, “You want a combination of easily digestible protein paired with a moderately fast carbohydrate. You don’t want a super fast carbohydrate like sugar or a sports drink because this  kind of sugar enters the bloodstream very quickly. This means that it will also exit the bloodstream quickly, leaving you tired mid-workout.”
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Holly Perkins’ Plate for National Nutrition Month

After almost 20 years in the fitness industry, I have learned what it means when “they” say: “You are what you eat.” The truth is, just like your car, you will run better if you fill up on high octane fuel. My body simply cannot run–at all– if I don’t eat impeccably. Sometimes it’s difficult to eat well–say when I visit Dunkin Donuts (smile)– and eating well really is a lifestyle. But for me it is the ONLY way to live, enjoy life and perform at high speed.

This is one of my favorite meals that I ate on February 23 for dinner. Wild caught salmon is one of the most important foods to eat as it has the highest levels of Omega 3 fatty acids, which help decrease silent inflammation. I LOVE broiled asparagus with olive oil and white truffle salt.  Oddly, canned kidney beans are one of my favorites too! Add to this the most beautiful avocado to provide the healthy fats. This meal made me feel like Superwoman!!!!

- Holly Perkins is a renowned fitness expert and New Balance Ambassador.

March is National Nutrition Month and this year’s theme is “Get Your Plate in Shape,” focusing on MyPlate. We invited nutrition and fitness professionals to share their typical plate to give you a glimpse of how some of the healthiest people in the country eat on a daily basis. See the series.

We Love Fitness 360 with Holly Perkins

ExerciseTV celebrity trainer and New Balance Fitness Ambassador Holly Perkins has created a complete fitness program in a single dvd. Fitness 360 provides cardio, toning, and yoga routines that can be done in 20 minutes or less. The free workout plan and meal guidelines available online, including a shopping guide, make this a full program.

Cardio 360 and Total Tone 360 both last 20 minutes, while Yoga Energizer 360 lasts for 10 minutes. While it got my heart rate up and engaged my muscles, I was able to complete all three at one time. Although completing the workouts was not difficult for me, I was pretty sore for the next couple of days, proving just how beneficial Fitness 360 can be. I will be following Holly’s plan more closely from this point.

The short segments will enable you to fit in a solid workout on any day; however, I do not suggest that you do this when starting out with Fitness 360. The Fitness 360 plan calls for a day off every seven days, and incrementally adding the Yoga Energizer 360 workout following the other two. Fitness 360 can be a great fit for someone who does not have a lot of time or someone who wants to be able to extend their workouts.

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5 Steps to Get You Slim in 5 Days

Holly Perkins is the New Balance Fitness Ambassador and an Exercise TV Trainer. She holds a B.S. in Exercise Physiology and Nutrition from Penn State University and has worked with Adrian Grenier, Howard Stern and a Presidential Candidate. Holly’s advice can been seen in many national publications and websites.

In addition to being the New Balance Fitness Ambassador, I am a personal trainer most days of the week. While my clients come in all shapes and sizes, and have varied fitness goals, there is one request that I hear regularly: “I need to get in shape fast for a big event this weekend!” I get asked this so often that I’ve developed my special recipe for success. After 16 years in the fitness industry and many hours working with celebrities, models, and athletes, I’ve developed 5 steps to get you slim in 5 days. Keep in mind that these 5 steps will make you slimmer and lean quickly, but the results aren’t completely fat loss. A 1-3 pound water loss with these steps is expected. If you lose more weight than that, you can know for sure it’s real fat loss!

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