Although exercise can reduce oxidative damage by increasing uptake of oxygen, the lack thereof also causes free radicals in the cells.

Heavy intake of oxygen during aerobic activity can cause oxidation. Consume a source of polyphenols to help reduce stress. Namely one with glucose and a bit of calories to help keep the body calm.

A great snack idea before and after a workout includes an orange or an apple, some carrot juice, some nuts, seeds, a small piece of dark chocolate or a protein bar.

Deep breathing can also help with intense workouts. Be sure to also drink water to ensure proper exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide.

Eat a combination of carbs, proteins and fat to replete working muscles.

Finally, include an iron source in your day to ensure proper uptake of of oxygen and repletion. Sources of iron include spinach, nuts, seeds, wheat germ, oysters and small portions of red meat.

— Marcy DiGregorio is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator who loves helping people with their nutritional needs, enjoys cooking, and also teaches yoga. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.