An unlikely but successful collaboration

By Cathleen Kronemer, NSCA-CPT, is a Certified Health Coach and a longtime fitness instructor at the Jewish Community Center.

By Cathleen Kronemer

Many years ago on this date, April 24, an event occurred which probably is not remarkably noted today. It marks the birthday of Manuel Singer, a mathematics professor at MIT who, along with Michael Atiyah, paved the way for new interactions between pure mathematics and theoretical physics. 

While scientific breakthroughs are accomplished worldwide every day, imagine this collaboration between an American Jew and a native of Sudan who was raised in Egypt. As mind-blowing as this revelation may have been, especially in the turbulent 1960s, its message goes far beyond the world of applied sciencs. It demonstrates that, however unlikely, productive collaborations can lead to tremendous success.

That same unlikely collaboration is exactly what is necessary for success in the fitness world. In this scenario, the two places that must find a way to work together are the gym and the kitchen…with you as the conduit.

Often we hear about individuals who claim to spend hours in the gym, while their bodies reveal no visible results. We also know those who diet strictly each day, and yet their weight loss seems to be painfully slow. The key to both of these conundrums is the collaboration between appropriate meal planning in the kitchen, and timing these meals appropriately to both fuel and replenish your body for the gym.

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Now that Pesach is behind us, we can once again turn to our preferred form of complex carbohydrates, whether that may be whole grains, oats or sweet potatoes, and pair it with a serving of lean protein before embarking upon our favorite exercise. These two food sources will provide the energy needed to get even the most dedicated athletes among us through any workout in the gym. Once the daily fitness regimen has been completed, the body craves an easily digestible lean protein source paired with a simple carbohydrate, such as fresh fruit, honey or rice cakes. These two food groups will replace the glycogen sources into which we tapped while enjoying our workout, while at the same time encouraging the development of lean muscle mass.

The time spent shopping for, preparing and enjoying our meals, and in some cases packing them in Tupperware for on-the-go fueling, may seem laborious at times (I happen to know this from experience).  However, I can also assure you, from my days spent in a research lab as a microbiologist, that any scientific endeavor is worth the time and energy it takes for proper preparation. Remember, our bodies are the ultimate scientific creation, and it is up to us to help it perform optimally by embracing the unlikely collaboration.