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Getting started on getting fit

Would you like to improve your fitness by doing more sport? Wise decision, because when you exercise a lot, this has a positive effect on both your physical and mental performance. To successfully put your plans into practice, you should keep a few things in mind and, most importantly, lay the foundations by eating and drinking healthily.

women on treadmills

Eating the right foods for high physical performance

Eat vegetables, fruit, whole-wheat products and low-fat dairy products every day. Pay special attention to carbohydrates, the most fundamental source of energy for the cells in our bodies. Examples of food containing carbohydrates include potatoes, cereals, pasta and rice. Low-fat pasta dishes with vegetables, e.g. based on the BUITONI Pasta products, are therefore an ideal meal to support your fitness programme. However, lean meat, fish and eggs should also be a regular part of your diet, although portion sizes should be smaller. The Nutritional Pyramid will show you which food groups should be on the menu and how frequently. man doing push ups

Drink, drink, drink

People who do sports tend to sweat and lose body fluids. This is a good thing, because sweat cools our bodies down and helps to regulate the body’s temperature. To compensate for the loss of fluids, you should therefore drink small amounts regularly – even before you start to feel thirsty. You should drink at least 1.5 to 2 litres a day and, if you are doing sport, feel free to have even more. A spritzer consisting of one part apple juice to two parts mineral water is also ideal for amateur sports enthusiasts. It not only provides hydration, but also minerals and sugar for rapidly accessible energy – so you can keep going for longer.

Before starting your sports training, check your fitness levels

Before you start training, find out how fit you are, so that you don’t overdo it. A check-up at the doctor may be advisable. Physical fitness consists of four components: endurance, strength, flexibility and coordination.

  • Fitness: endurance Endurance training such as Nordic walking, jogging, cycling or swimming will mainly strengthen your heart and circulatory system. This will improve both your physical and mental resilience.
  • Fitness: strength The higher your muscle mass, the stronger you will be. This is important for good posture. Slack muscles, on the other hand, may lead to postural deformities and joint wear.
  • Fitness: flexibility and coordination Flexibility and coordination prevent injuries and falls and help to avoid back and joint problems. You can rapidly improve both with targeted stretching and coordination exercises. man holding basketball

Rules for healthy physical training

If you stick to a few rules, a moderate sports programme will significantly improve your fitness. Essentially, start slowly and increase the training gradually. Even short exercise intervals can have a positive effect. Your health will benefit from something as simple as a brisk walk, targeted stair-climbing and gentle jogging, cycling or swimming.

Intensity Moderate and therefore longer training sessions are better than short intensive bursts.
Injuries Allow yourself to fully recover from injuries before continuing your training.
Clothing Ensure your clothing is suitable for the climate and environment.
Illness If you have a cold or are feeling unwell, it’s time to take a break from training.
Training time In hot weather and when ozone levels are high restrict outdoor sports to early mornings or late    afternoons.