Fitness Myths: Exercising on a Vegan Diet
Whether you're adopting a vegan diet for moral reasons, health reasons or something else, you need to make sure you are doing it properly. Exercising on a vegan diet is no different from exercising on a non-vegan diet. However, there are some things you need to consider to make sure you are staying healthy.
Obviously, you are cutting out certain areas of your diet, the biggest being meat, so you just need to make sure you keep all of those vital nutrients by replacing your foods for vegan options.
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When it comes to a vegan diet, there are a lot of myths around being vegan and being able to exercise properly. This isn't the case. You can still exercise as normal, you just need to make sure you plan your meals and workouts to make sure you stay healthy.
The same applies to all diets; you just need to keep that balance. So take the time to sit down and plan your meals and workouts. With vegan diets, you are cutting out things like meat and dairy, so you need to make sure you still get the nutrients those foods provide from somewhere else. A vegan diet that hasn't been planned properly can miss out nutrients such a calcium, iron and vitamin B12, leading to deficiencies which can damage the body.
The NHS website is a great place to find out where you can get these nutrients from a vegan diet.
Pre & Post-Workout Foods
Like with any diet, pre and post-workout foods are important to make sure you fuel your body correctly. Pre-workout foods need to be focused around carbohydrates with a small amount of protein. This will provide the energy to keep you going throughout your workout. Just make sure you keep the portions light, as more of a snack, so you don't feel ill halfway through from too much food.
For post-workout foods, again keep it light. This will help your body to recover properly after a workout. This one needs to be made of both carbohydrates and proteins. Opt for things like smoothies or shakes to help get those nutrients back into your body.
When it comes to swapping foods to suit a vegan diet, it could be that you don't like the alternatives that provide the vitamins you need. In this case, you could always go for vegan-friendly vitamins supplements. Vitamins like vitamin B-12, vitamin D and iron are needed for energy. Being deficient in these can cause you to feel tired. Supplements can be bought from the store, and you just take them as instructed to keep your vitamin levels up and healthy. Keep an eye to make sure the ones you buy are vegan-friendly, and you're good to go!
If you have just started on a vegan diet, you will need to take some time to make sure you have found the right balance. Starting with low-intensity exercise means you are keeping fit whilst your body adjusts to the new diet. Then once you are settled, you can increase your exercise a bit at a time.
Good low-intensity options are yoga, swimming, cycling and walking. All of these will burn calories and keep you fit whilst you get used to your new vegan diet.
There you have it; you can follow a vegan diet and still exercise like normal. Like any diet change, you just have to swap over steadily and make sure you do it right to keep your body healthy and running as normal, and you'll be reaching those fitness goals in no time at all!
Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.
If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.