December 2nd 2014
Don’t Forget to Pump Your Iron!
Exercise, and more specifically strength training, is one of the best things you can do to improve your overall physical condition and boost your energy level. However, fitness can only do so much to keep your energy up when there are serious gaps in your nutrition. For example, one of the leading causes of fatigue in women is a lack of elemental iron in their bloodstream.
The Importance of Iron
Without enough iron, your blood can’t make red blood cells, and therefore you can’t get enough oxygen. That’s a problem, because an estimated 10-20% of women are dangerously low in iron ad different times in their monthly cycle. That’s a lot of women huffing and puffing to get oxygen for no good reason! If you suspect you may be low on iron, your first trip should be to your doctor for a blood test. Then, you should follow their recommendations to the letter.
Good Sources of Iron
Of course you can always take supplemental iron in pill form, but there are widespread reports of digestive difficulties that follow iron supplements. It’s always best to get as much of your nutrition as possible from your diet. For some of us, a nice, juicy steak once or twice a week may be all that is necessary to keep the iron flowing. However, if you’re a vegetarian or just not a fan of meat, there are plenty of other non-meat sources of iron like beans, legumes and leafy green vegetables. Try to space out your iron intake and your calcium sources because calcium can inhibit your body’s ability to absorb iron. For an iron-absorbing boost, try eating iron-rich foods along with foods that are also rick in Vitamin C. Spinach and tomato salad, anyone?
Our mission is to help women from all walks of life find a love of fitness, so to help us help you, we need you to be taking good care of yourself. Pump iron in the gym, and out of the gym, too!