Fitness and nutrition tips from our Corporate Wellness Host

AmaWaterways’ Sports Scientist Selina Wank shares some of her quick and easy advice on how to get the best out of each day through exercise and the foods you eat.

We all know that staying active is key our overall wellness. Which stretches are best to do upon waking up?

The best stretches and easiest routines to follow are those we can do directly in bed before even standing up. Try a “bed stretch” with your arms lengthening over your head, neck stretches that slowly wake up the muscles, or a simple child’s pose (facedown, knees to your chest, arms stretching out in front of you).

A balanced breakfast is an important way to start the day. What do you recommend?

My favorite easy-to-make breakfast is either oats or chia seeds soaked in water or almond milk overnight. Then, in the morning, I add a variation of the following: banana, peanut butter, blueberries and seed mix.

What are the best foods to eat before a workout?

A banana, whole grain cereals or yogurt are great starters before a normal-length, medium intensity workout. Smoothies are also a good option as a pre-workout meal. Fresh fruit smoothies are available on board.

How much time do you recommend leaving between eating and working out?

The timing of your meal depends on the size and content of the meal. I typically advise eating a large full plate approximately 2-3 hours before exercising. A more normal to small-sized meal can be eaten one hour before exercising. It’s also very important to remember to hydrate. Drink 2-3 cups of water within two hours before your workout and constantly refill during your workout.

Which foods do you suggest eating after a workout to maximize its effects on your body?

After a workout, I try to focus on replacing glycogen stores by eating within two hours. Proteins and carbs, such as a peanut butter sandwich or a turkey and whole grain bread sandwich, are the focus of my post-workout meal.

What if you’re feeling sluggish? Which foods boost energy?

Fresh fruits, such as blueberries, are high in fiber and slow-releasing energy. Only the freshest seasonal fruit is purchased by our culinary teams from local markets and is served with breakfast, lunch and even for dessert. Nuts that are high in magnesium help convert sugars to energy. And quinoa is a longer-lasting energy source of plant-based superfoods. For a little more flavor, you can add honey, which provides natural muscle fuel.

Is there an exercise or activity people can do before bed to fall asleep easier?

Exercise typically wakes up the body, releases endorphins and gets the adrenalin pumping, so one should avoid exercising intensely before bed. However, breathing exercises can help to relax and calm your mind. For example, once in bed, place one hand resting on the chest and one hand on the lower abdomen. Start by inhaling for one count then exhaling for one count. Increase for two counts on the inhale and exhale, then continue until count five. Find the preferred count that works for you and focus on the movement of your hands as they rise and fall with each breath you take.

For more information on AmaWaterways’ commitment to wellness, click here.

Always consult your physician before making any changes to your diet or exercise program.

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