Healthful nutrition helps power workouts
The weariness showed on her face as the woman shared her story. She had battled health issues and desired to make better choices, but she continued to encounter obstacles along the way. Two back surgeries had made it challenging for her to be physically active—she could not even manage a sit up—and her family resisted her attempts to make dietary changes. Kelly Richards listened quietly, giving the woman an encouraging smile.
“We started simple,” says Kelly, who owns and operates Heal Thy Living Holistic Nutrition and Personal Training. “We began working on her core muscles, and then we expanded from there. I also introduced her to a different way of eating. I gave her simple recipes and helped her plan shopping lists and meals. She started eating better and getting back in shape. She lost twenty pounds, and her doctor took her off medication for high cholesterol.”
When working with a client, Kelly always advocates starting simple. Otherwise, changing one’s diet and exercise can become overwhelming. She often begins with uncomplicated exercises, such as strengthening core muscles, and with helping her client to better understand the intricate relationship between nutrition and exercise. When it comes to effectively fueling a workout, she said, people often make a few common mistakes.
“Most people don’t eat enough because they think that they need to restrict their calories,” she explains. “So they might skip breakfast and eat a big meal at dinnertime. But your metabolism is like a fire—it’s fueled by food. You need that fuel to have a good workout. Or someone might be eating enough calories, but not the right kind. The wrong calories can bog you down, slowing down your workout and your weight loss.”
Kelly also recommends staying hydrated to support an effective workout. “Another huge one for working out is water,” she says. “Especially in Texas, we don’t drink enough water. We need to drink as many ounces as half of our body weight in water every day. Water affects so many parts of the body. Working out puts stress on the body, and if you don’t have enough water, then you are going to be dehydrated as well.” For example, Kelly says, “A 120-pound person should drink approximately sixty ounces of water daily.”
Although she often encounters people who want to follow a popular weight loss fad or trend, Kelly instead encourages the clients she works with to learn how to make healthy and nutritious food a part of their lives. “Your best choice is to make a lifestyle change that includes learning about healthy eating. It’s not about going on a diet, but instead about discovering the foods that fuel your body in healthy ways and make you feel great.”