Eddie Jackson's Fitness Do's and Don'ts
You may know Eddie Jackson (above, center) as a private chef, former NFL player, food truck owner and winner of FoodNetwork Star. But did you know he's a personal trainer too? (When does this guy sleep?) For "Fit Chef Eddie," exercise isn't a chore; it's a lifetime commitment that continues far beyond the football field. Here, the Texas trainer shares his top do's and don'ts for staying fit for life.
"If you're working out, you're sweating. And you need to replace the sweat you're losing with water," says Eddie. That means making frequent pit stops to the water fountain at the gym, bringing a water bottle with you when you exercise outdoors and paying special attention to your hydration levels in the heat.
Warm Up and Cool Down
Take the time to ready yourself before those sweat sessions. "Just like a car, your body works better when it’s warmed up," Eddie says. "So get those muscles going and your blood flowing before you jump into a workout, and be sure to stretch and give yourself a cooldown period afterwards."
Mix Things Up
It's easy to get bored and lose motivation if you're hitting the treadmill every single day. Stay inspired by exploring different types of exercise. "I love HIIT [high-intensity interval training] because it has such a variety of exercises and works your whole body, but I always mix in other workouts," Eddie says. Get outside for a run or bike ride, try a new class with a friend, and follow along with Eddie's fitness playbook to give HIIT a try.
Forget Proper Form
While it's key to keep things fresh by trying new routines, it's crucial to first learn the correct form before doing a new move. Check in with a trainer, or watch an online tutorial from a reputable source. And, Eddie adds, "Don't be afraid to ask someone at your gym to share some tips."
Work Out on an Empty Stomach
"To have the energy to work out, your blood sugar has to be up," Eddie advises. "You may feel tired — and can even faint — if you exercise on an empty stomach." He recommends eating some "good carbs" about 45 minutes before a workout. Try oatmeal, a banana, peanut butter or granola.
"Less is best when it comes to working out," says Eddie. "Get in the habit of listening to your body and you'll always be able to tell when it’s time to throw in the towel for the day."
For more tips, read Eddie Jackson's Pre- and Post-Workout Snacks.