When I started aerial and was looking to increase my strength, the first advice on people’s lips was “protein shakes after a workout”. There is logic in this, because protein heals the tiny tears that appear in your muscles during exercise, making them bigger. However, I can’t help but dislike protein shakes because they always end up really thin and tasting like powder, and that just isn’t appetising.
As a result, part of my fitness journey has become finding tastier ways to get protein in. It’s surprisingly easy, with things like the Grasshopper Smoothie and Chia Puddings on my Recipes page being especially yummy breakfast or dessert substitutes!
Quinoa and chicken are my best friends at the minute because you can do them so many different ways, rather than the traditional chicken-and-rice-bowl that I know is a staple in many high-protein diets. For example, try the Cajun Protein Bowls I’ve recently added – they were a result of me going through my cupboards to see what I could cobble together, and not having time to both cook and eat between work and aerial. You can replace the tomato base in that recipe with a curry sauce for a cheeky Indian 😉
As you know my blog is primarily about my anxiety, so people may be wondering where all this aerial stuff came from. For me, aerial is one of the major things keeping me grounded when my brain starts running into darker territories. This is because along with the obvious fitness and physical health benefits of exercise, it’s actually excellent for your longer-term mental health too. Exercising produces endorphins, which are a naturally occurring boost with similar effects to low level doses of morphine, a “high” as such, which can impact your daily living in a positive way. Also released is serotonin, the happy hormone. This combination of natural boosts can help ward off anxiety and depression, as well as boosting self-esteem (who doesn’t want to look in the mirror and think “damn I’m looking good”, or “I nailed that move today, I can really tell how much I’ve progressed”?). Add in the social element and you’re on to a winner. Sure you could get the exercise at a gym or by going running, but make sure you’re interested by the exercise you’re doing and looking forward to your sessions. You’ll get more benefit out of it if you enjoy it 🙂
Have fun and stay happy!