When you first start to exercise there can be many things that are confusing. Nutrition and fitness basics are some of the big ones. When people first get into fitness they are first faced with exercises, sets and reps, rest periods and then the mother load, Nutrition.

Lets cover some of these nutrition and fitness basics so that you can get into the gym and start working on that healthy body instead of chasing your tail trying to find that information you need.

Fitness basic one: When you want to get fit you should include the 3 pillars of exercise. Resistance work or weight lifting, stretching exercises and cardiovascular exercise. Without all of these basic parts of fitness in your workout program, you will eventually run into problems in flexibility, strength or heart health. Fitness is about doing all of the above, not just parts.

With weight lifting you will run into sets, reps and other basic weight lifting fundamentals that you can read about here in THE BASICS – SETS/REPS/REST. There is also some fundamental information about cardio but there is a full section dedicated to that here in the cardiovascular exercise section.

Nutrition basic one: Small frequent feedings of natural and unprocessed foods will beat any “special” fad diet for improving fitness and losing weight. Your body is made of what you eat so you must make sure that you are only putting quality foods into your body. A well balanced diet of nutritious carbohydrates, fats and proteins from natural sources will keep your body fueled with nutrients.

This leads us to the fundamental nutrition basic of how many calories do you need in a day? That link there will lead you to a calculator that will tell you how many calories you should eat in a day. From there we need to know what the 3 pillars of nutrition are and what they do. The 3 basic macronutrients that make up a nutrition plan are Carbohydrates, fats and proteins.

Proper carbohydrate nutrition is important to fitness because carbohydrates create your energy that you work off while you exercise. Carbohydrates have gotten a bad rap lately and you can read about how this basic nutritional component should be included in your diet here at low carb stupidity.

Carbohydrates are found in fruits, vegetables and grains as far as healthy fitness fuel type sources go.

Fat is also a basic macronutrient that is needed by your body for several very important functions. Fat effects fitness though the hormonal plain. In other words if you fat intake is out of whack, so are your hormones and energy levels. Some of the most important fats are called essential fatty acids.

Fat is found just about everywhere and in a variety of sources. The above article will explain the basics of what you want and what to stay away from.

The most important basic nutritional component in my opinion is protein. Protein is found in dairy products, eggs and other animal sources such as cows and fish. Protein nutrition is a basic to fitness because without it, your muscle tissue would not be able to repair, recover and grow from the stressful exercises you do in the gym. You can find out everything you ever needed to know about protein in this series of articles about protein in your diet.

Check back soon because part 2 of fitness and nutrition basics will be coming.