It’s hard to feel fit if you aren’t exercising and eating right. Because cannabis is often associated with sinking into the couch with a case of the munchies, many people assume you can’t be both healthy and a heavy cannabis consumer.
The truth, however, is much more interesting. As consumers know, smoking weed doesn’t mean you can’t stay active. With a little planning, it’s surprisingly easy to stay healthy while maintaining a heavy weed habit. Many people even claim they’re healthier when high than they were before they started consuming cannabis.
Some of the best athletes in the world enjoy the occasional (or more-than-occasional) toke. But not all exercises and diets are easy to stick to after a smoke. Others seem to have been created especially for weed lovers.
Let’s look at some of the best exercise routines and diets for regular cannabis consumers, along with the types of strains best suited for maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. And remember to consult your doctor before starting a new diet or exercise routine.
Best Exercise Routines for Cannabis Consumers
For many practitioners, the goal of yoga is more mental than physical. Sure, you can increase strength, flexibility, and balance with yoga, but the practice is often celebrated for helping people enter a state of meditation. Meditation, like cannabis, allows users to achieve a state of calm—a mindfulness that allows thoughts to flow without getting caught up on any one idea.
And, like weed, yoga can be tailored to your personal preferences and skill level. It’s an approachable way to pursue mental and physical fitness that can help you achieve an incredible range of wellness goals—from greater flexibility to less daily stress.
Recommended weed pairing: Daymaker is a focused, energetic sativa with a strong blended terpene profile to get your senses going. Relax and let your mind float without losing your sense of thoughtfulness, focus or energy.
Jogging / Running
Not everyone loves running. Most of us don’t even tolerate it. But where there’s a weed, there’s a way. The right strain can give you a burst of energy, provide pain relief, and bring a peace of mind that turns a 400 meter slog into 2 miles of healthy relaxation.
If you already love running, cannabis can help you get more out of your routine, whether you’re trying to go an extra mile or you just want to feel less sore the next morning.
Going the extra mile has never been more fun than with a bit of bud.
Recommended weed pairing: Durban Poison is an energetic, uplifting, and productive sativa that can keep you physically and mentally motivated during your run, whether you’re an experienced marathoner or you just bought your first pair of running shoes.
Cycling / Mountain Biking
Going for a ride is a fun way to stay active, especially if you have an uplifting sativa fueling you. Stick with a focused sativa, especially if you’ll spend any time near traffic or on tougher trails.
If you’re new to cycling (or cannabis), start with a smaller trail or the quieter roads in your neighborhood where you can relax and enjoy the ride without having to worry about tight turns, high speeds, heavy traffic, or steep drop-offs.
Recommended weed pairing: Green Crack (sativa) delivers an uplifting, energetic, and clear-minded high so you can enjoy your ride without losing focus on the road or trail.
Hooping / Yo-Yoing / Juggling
One of the most effective ways to stay fit is to find an activity you enjoy that gets you up and moving. If running, cycling, and yoga aren’t for you, consider picking up a habit like hula hooping, juggling, or yo-yoing.
These fun activities are self-motivating: in order to learn the next cool trick or technique, you need to practice, which burns calories. They can typically be started at a low cost, and YouTube videos can provide training if you’re new. And they can help with hand-eye coordination.
Recommended weed pairing: Aloha Limone is an active, creative hybrid strain perfect for practicing a new hobby. The energetic, creative high will have you trying new moves, while the stress-fighting, depression reducing effects help you stay focused on learning the next big trick without becoming frustrated along the way.
Recovering from Exercise
Weed isn’t just helpful while working out. Many strains can help you recover from intense exercise by relaxing muscles and offering pain relief. Weed can also reduce tension and anxiety after a particularly tough competition or workout.
Recommended weed pairing: Flo is a relaxing, uplifting hybrid known for its stress-relieving, pain-reducing effects and strong, euphoric high. It can help you calm down after a workout without leaving you couch-locked or causing you to lose focus, making it a great post-workout strain morning or night.
If you’re looking for a heavier high that gets you fired up before easing you into bed, you might try Afghani, Grape Ape, or Grand Daddy Purps (GDP)—indicas with a relaxing, cerebral body high that can keep you active before helping you drift off to sleep.
Best “Cannabis Diets” to Lose Weight Without Losing the Weed
Doctors and nutritionists often suggest dieters strive for sustainable changes to their eating routine, rather than short-term “yo-yo” dieting that can actually make it harder to lose weight and keep it off. And that makes cannabis especially well suited as a dietary supplement.
First, not all strains produce the munchies. Terpenes like humulene and cannabinoids like THCV can actually serve as appetite suppressants or anti-inflammatories. Caryophyllene may serve as an anti-inflammatory and reduce alcohol cravings.
Strains like Headband, Sour Diesel, White Widow and Girl Scout Cookies (GSC) all tend to have high levels of humulene. Strains high in THCV include Durban Poison, GSC and Jack the Ripper. OG Kush, Chemdawg #4, and Sour Diesel have all tested high for caryophyllene.
Even if you enjoy getting the munchies, many of these diets can work for you. With the right options in your pantry and a little bit of effort, you can train your body to crave healthier alternatives. So munch on, you renegade. Munch on.
Low Carb, High Fat (LCHF) / Ketogenic Diet
The low carb, high fat (LCHF) diet, sometimes referred to as a ketogenic diet (though the two aren’t exactly the same), is about training the body to use fat as fuel, rather than sugar. While cutting carbs and sugar can seem daunting, the keto diet leaves in many savory foods that are more satisfying and better for the body than processed sugars. And you don’t have to sacrifice flavor. Keto-friendly foods include:
- Meat & Poultry
- Coconut Oil & Olive Oil
- Nuts & Seeds
- Dark Chocolate
Why it’s good for cannabis consumers: Low carb, high fat diets have been shown to help reduce cravings without restricting calories. You eat until you’re full, and you can choose from a wide range of delicious options. Sounds like munchie heaven.
Many keto dieters also subscribe to the idea of intermittent fasting–you only eat during a set number of hours each day. While it isn’t for everyone, this form of fasting can work well if you tend to skip breakfast and eat a lot after work (whether or not you’re using cannabis to stimulate your appetite).
A Mediterranean Diet
While there isn’t a set “Mediterranean” diet, this delicious and healthy (and flexible) menu is great for the food-loving cannabis consumer.
Other than reducing red meats and sweets, the diet is fairly open. And with flavorful options like fruits, whole grains, healthy fats, and moderate portions of dairy, eggs, and poultry, you can get creative with your meal planning without sacrificing good nutrition.
Why it’s good for cannabis consumers: A Mediterranean diet is full of flavorful options, so you never have to sacrifice flavor for healthy eating. If you get the munchies, you can turn make any number of incredible dishes with whatever “Mediterranean” ingredients are in your fridge. And because many of the foods have a low energy density, you can eat more without getting as many calories.
The inclusion of healthy fats and a moderate amount of protein can also help fill you up while reducing cravings, so you’re less likely to keep snacking after you’re full.
The Cannabis Diet
This one’s simple: smoke weed.
Strains high in THCV, humulene or caryophyllene (Durban Poison, Sour Diesel, Girl Scout Cookies) can help you fight cravings instead of giving you the munchies. Energetic, creative sativas (Daymaker, Green Crack, Durban Poison) can give you a burst of energy while reducing pain and stress, so you can enjoy your next workout.
Don’t give up the foods you enjoy. Just find slightly healthier alternatives. Instead of eating five pieces of candy before bed, eat a couple granola bars. Instead of watching movies while you’re high, every now and then put that creative energy into trying a new, healthy recipe that looks tasty. You’re on your feet, satisfying the munchies, and having fun with your “diet.”
Regular cannabis users on average have higher metabolism, smaller waist sizes, are more active, and drink less. With the right diet and exercise routine, you can get fit and live healthy without giving up pot. Winning.
Fitness Called: It Wants You to Smoke Pot
Remember to talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise routine or diet. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, eat healthier, or get off the couch and visit more Boulder trails, cannabis just may be the catalyst you need.
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