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Perfect Pairings in Fitness and Health

Just the other day, I was with a friend who was pumping petrol at Shell and this promotion that they had caught my eye. Called the perfect pair, customers can stand to win anything from a year’s supply of Shell petrol, vouchers, handwash or even Meiji fresh milk! All they had to do was to spend $50 on fuel, get their tissue boxes and check under the flaps to find a matching win. Yes, that means you need two tissue boxes.

 

Anyway that got me thinking, what are some of the perfect pairings in fitness and foods?
Here are a few that I thought were good combinations
1. Exercise and Diet
Ever heard the saying “abs are made in the kitchen”? We can’t just workout but eat junk food afterwards thinking that we deserve a treat for all the hard work we put in earlier.
Neither can we just diet without exercising. I mean of course you can, but exercise helps you to maintain your muscle mass which gives you that toned look, otherwise you would just be skinny fat!  Besides, exercise can curb hunger which makes dieting easier.
exercise and diet
2. Strength Training and Cardio
Now that we know exercise is important to us, what kinds should we do? How come some people look so toned while others who just slog away at the treadmill look the same month in and out?
Simple, the key is to do both as they have different benefits. Lifting builds muscle and as mentioned, the more muscle you have, the faster you burn fat. (see this exercise that helps you get strong in mere minutes) While cardio helps build up your cardiorespiratory endurance and prevents illnesses such as heart disease.
Also, both workouts use different sources of energy of your body so you are getting the best of both worlds when you lift and do cardio. So which should you do here, ACE fitness has a nice explanation here which I am inclined to agree with.
strength trainin and cardio
3. Protein and Carbs
I know some are advocates of eating no carbs or really low carbs but as someone who does a lot of sports, I need my carbs! But there are good carbs and bad carbs, so opting for the former in terms of legumes, whole grains, vegetables and fruit (yes, they are carbs) are my choices for the main sources of energy to fuel my workouts.
Protein is another thing that complements the carbs because we all know that we need to eat protein to repair and build muscles after strength training. Of cos, there are good fats that we have to take as well, but since this is a perfect pair post, I will talk about fats at another time. Anyway, you can get good fats from proteins such as Salmon which has Omega 3.
protein and carbs
4. Running and Stretching
This is a given. A perfect pair in my opinion and one that i have to admit I sometimes skimp on. This happens after an especially long or hard run where I just want to lie down and die breathe.
But stretch we must because our muscles will thank us and to prevent future injury. I didn’t stretch that much and that caused me some very tight calves muscles and a whole host of other injuries. Another good way I stretch is going for Bikram Yoga. I love it, stretching in a hot room at 40 degrees. I feel so much limber after that.
running and stretching
5. Running and Cross Training
Runners shouldn’t only just run but cross train as well. I know you are dedicated to the art of running but by cross training you can actually improve on running by strengthening other parts of the body that you don’t usually concentrate on in running.
For example, by strength training your arms or core, you will get stronger overall and this in turn helps you run better. Also by swimming or using the elliptical machine, you are working on other groups of muscles and creating a good balance of muscles usage all over. 
cross training
Even yoga or pilates is considered as a different form of cross training. Invest 1 -2 days doing other sports besides running and you will see the difference!
What other perfect pairs in fitness and health can you think of?  Do share on my facebook page or leave your thoughts here!

Thanks for reading! 

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