It is important to fuel your body as an athlete (of any kind) before a race or competition. Endurance runners need to be specifically thoughtful about what they are eating in order to keep their bodies light and lean.
Before a run or race, you want to eat food like chicken, walnuts and raisins since they have lots of carbohydrates, which will fuel your energy levels. Healthy fat and fiber will keep you full on a light meal so you feel lean and not bloated while running.
Carbohydrates like whole wheat pasta, brown rice and whole grain breads and natural protein shakes are best for recovery, after an especially grueling workout.
About an hour after your workout, you want to eat fruits like raspberries and blueberries, especially when you combine them with yogurt.
The fruit is full of antioxidants that will help build any DNA broken down during the race, while the yogurt has more extra protein your body will need to rebuild your muscles the quickest possible.
Although sometimes even a diet rich in vitamins and minerals does not always replace the nutrients lost during athletic training. This is why it is also important to consider matching your diet to your specific exercise, and for runners, adding supplements like the ones below:
Celadrin. Joint health is incredibly important to runners. Celadrin works at the cellular level to lubricate the cell membranes that help cushion joints. This improves flexibility, making celadrin great for your muscles and tendons. It can be taken as a pill or as a cream applied directly onto your sore, tired muscles.
Whey Protein. The more you run, the more muscle mass you may lose. Whey protein ensures that you keep that lean muscles in the recovery stage after a hard workout. It also helps your sore muscles heal faster than they would without a protein supplement.
Magnesium. If you’re running long distances, chances are your magnesium levels are being depleted. This supplement aids in giving you enough energy to finish your marathons and races. It helps your muscles contract faster, therefore helping your overall time in a competition.
Zinc. This supplement promotes a healthy immune system, losing too much can sometimes compromise your wellness and hinder you from racing. Zinc may also improve your recovery time and you only need very small amounts of it to be beneficial.
Fish Oil. It’s good for your blood vessels, helping it flow freely through your veins. It’s also good for your heart, which is a great benefit, since you want to keep it extra healthy as an athlete. Fish oil is full of a ton of Omega-3 fatty acids that you probably wouldn’t receive the same amounts of by just eating fish alone.
Overall, it is important to be aware of what you need to be putting into your body as an athlete to properly fuel yourself. Healthy food choices and added supplements are the perfect way to ensure spot-on performance.
Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer in the Los Angeles area. She has written on everything from health & wellness, marketing, and technology. Her exercise of choice is yoga, but she loves getting outside and running or taking walks with her three kids.
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While there’s no doubt that running offers huge benefits to health, aiding everything from weight loss and fitness to reducing your risk of a range of diseases associated with inactivity, if you do not take precautions it can bring with it its own problems. Here we look at some of the dangers of running if you don’t take a sensible approach and how you can ensure you stay problem free.
Injury to Soft Tissues
Sense dictates that if you’re going to run for more than just to catch a bus you need to warm up before you take off. However, not everyone does, which increases your risk of pulled muscles, sprains, strains and damage to tendons and ligaments. Sustaining these injuries is frustrating, as they can set your training and fitness back, which is especially disappointing if there is a race looming. If you just plan to do an everyday run, walk a block or two and do some stretches to loosen up and increase blood flow to your muscles and joints. However, if you’re looking at getting up to speed during the session, start by alternating walking and jogging for 10 minutes or so, then follow this with another 10 minutes of stretching and drills such as skipping and high knees. Incorporate some resistance exercise into your training, as this will strengthen your joints – examples include use of weight machines, resistance bands, squats and lunges. Additionally, avoid training on hard surfaces, as this increase the impact on your joints.
Dangers of Over-hydration
You’re probably more than aware that you risk dehydration when you run a distance, particularly if it’s a hot day. Consequently you ensure you drink plenty before you set out, take your water bottle with you, perhaps even refill on the way round and then drink more when your session or race is over. However, did you know that drinking too much can be even worse for your body than dehydration? This is especially an issue if it’s simply water that you’re drinking to top up your fluid levels.
When you drink more than your body is losing, which might be the case if you overestimate how much you are sweating, this dilutes your body’s salts, which you are already losing in sweat. Electrolytes such as sodium, potassium and chloride are essential for processes in the body such as maintaining muscle function and heartbeat; an imbalance of these can be fatal. Signs to be aware of that you have taken too much fluid on board are extreme tiredness, dizziness, nausea and muscle weakness; if allowed to progress you may lose consciousness or experience seizures. While these electrolyte disturbances can be treated if recognized, prevention is always better than cure. To avoid this happening to you, only drink according to thirst; this way you can ensure that you only provide your body with as much fluid as it needs. Then if you will be running for more than an hour or will be pushing yourself hard on a shorter training session, swap your water for a sport drink, as this contains added electrolytes.
Increased Stress on Your Heart
Running will help you to achieve a lower blood pressure and pulse while at rest, so on a day to day basis your heart will be under less strain. However, if you push yourself hard and run for extended periods of time on a regular basis you might be doing more harm than is good. A study published in the British Medical Journal’s Heart publication last autumn found that intense activity in the longer term didn’t provide greater benefits for heart health and could affect both the structure and electrical activity of the heart; they concluded that people were best to keep vigorous activity to under an hour each day.
Reduced Immune Function
Although regular moderate activity can provide your immune system with a boost, taking part in frequent strenuous exercise can make you more susceptible to infections. There is some research that suggests just 90 minutes of intense activity can hamper your immune system for the three days following the exercise; this might relate to the release of adrenaline during such activity, which places a stress on the immune system. If you can’t avoid long strenuous training sessions, make sure you build in rest days each week to allow your body not just chance to physically recover, but to reduce your risk of developing colds, flu and chest infections, which will interfere with training and your performance. However, managing stress in your life, not smoking and eating a varied diet rich in fruit and vegetables will also help to ward off infections.
Don’t let these potential problems put you off running, simply take some precautions to guard against them and remember you can do too much of a good thing, so build up gradually and don’t try to run too far too soon.
Written by freelance writer, Eve Pearce
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A reader of mine contacted me several days ago and while complimenting my story, he shared his. I nearly cried upon reading his email. His story is very similar to mine, so it definitely tugged on my heart strings. I asked him if he was interested in sharing his story on my blog, and he agreed. Here’s the interview below.
How did you feel, emotionally and physically, prior to losing weight?
I was depressed. I remember about a year to a year and a half before I started my journey that I felt sometimes utterly depressed. In college there were weekends I didn’t leave from room from Friday night to Monday morning. My diet was horrendous despite my attempts at losing weight (you can’t eat fruit throughout the day when you’re eating Denny’s at Midnight!).
You would imagine this impact me tremendously emotionally, which it very much did. I put on a face most of the time. I used self-deprecating humor as a medicine. My logic was if I made fun of myself first it would discredit other comments about my weight from others. That was such a flawed logic! Words still hurt … ESPECIALLY … when it comes from you! But, I also distanced myself from many of the people that mattered the most and never allowed myself to be loved.
But, I remember on graduation day it seemed like everything that I was feeling emotionally, socially, spiritually and physically kind of came to head. I remember feeling emotionally void of joy, physically disgusting and just … lost. This was my graduation day from college, one of the most supposed happiest days of my life and I felt like a shell of the person that I knew I was and I was capable of.
What was the turning point?
Graduation Day had a major impact on my journey, but the real change didn’t happen for another six months. During that six months I did my “two week diets” without much success. I knew I wanted a change, I knew I NEEDED a change and I wanted to. It wasn’t until November 11, 2009 that I finally just told myself, “screw it, I’m doing my way, step by step.”
So instead working right into a specific diet where I felt like it was all-or-nothing, I simply started with a food journal and wrote everything down that I ate during the day. I ate what I normally ate and then would review it daily. I’d make changes here and there for the first couple of weeks. I also consciously drank more water and walked more. I didn’t have a gym regime either. I just focused on those first small steps. I lost about 30lbs within the first month doing just that.
Eventually, I worked into a regime. I hired a trainer that didn’t just help me physically, but mentally and emotionally. He made the gym a less intimidating place and taught me simple ways to improve my diet. He was very patient with me. But, over time the more confidence I got in the gym and with my abilities the more I changed both physically and mentally. I started really, truly loving myself as I cut out the negative self-talk and in the meantime dropped nearly 75lbs in the first six months.
Click the link below to see what Josh looks and feels like now!26 notes
“Let’s get it started, ha! Let’s get in started in here. Let’s get it started, ha!” ~Black Eyed Peas
Starting anything is hard. Starting with weight loss and getting into better shape is even harder. There are things you can do, though, to make the journey towards a better and healthier body easier. The trick is to think small—not big—and live for today, not for a tomorrow that might never come. And of course…let go of fear.
Are you ready?
1. Take control of your mind. The one key thing—the one secret—to changing your body is to get your mind ready. Your mind wants your body to store fat (for the famine it thinks is coming), so it will sabotage you at every turn. You need to outsmart it. Pretend you are someone who is already in the shape you want to be in. What habits do they have that you can adopt? Would they choose the donut over the apple? Would they drive instead of walk? Probably not. Pretend, pretend, pretend. Then make it real.
2. Start small. We all hear about people who lose 8 pounds a week, or exercise 2 hours of day, or eat nothing but seaweed. That’s not reasonable for most of us. Take baby steps. Start walking instead of driving whenever you can (think like a European). Get up from your desk or the television at 30-minute intervals and just move your body. Cut your portion sizes in half. Eat all of your vegetables before the rest of your meal, and down them with a tall of water (no, not a tall latte). It doesn’t matter how long it takes you to get there as long as you get there. Better to go slow than not get there at all.
3. Think of food as fuel, not entertainment. Would you put bargain basement gas in an expensive performance car? Nope. Your body is a machine, and needs to run on good, clean fuel. This doesn’t mean there’s no room for an occasional fun lap. There is! Life is too short to not enjoy yourself. But mostly, feed your body good stuff. My rule of thumb is 80% healthy eating, 20% fun eating, and it works every time (though if you have a lot of weight to lose, think 90/10 until you get closer to your goal weight.)
4. Strength train. Strength training is the magic behind the best bodies. When you strength train, you not only rev your metabolism (yay) but you also change your body’s shape. Curves and beautiful lines can only be built through pushing muscles against resistance. Hard.
5. Take your life seriously. We only have one life and one chance. Don’t wait until tomorrow to make a change, because some day you might run out of tomorrows. Do it now. Do it for you.
6. Most important: know that you can truly do it. Adrian did it. I did it (I lost 80 pounds while raising two small children). Anything truly is possible if you really want it. But you’ve “gotta want it.”
As I say on my own blog, “Onward.”
Helen M. Ryan is the author of “21 Days to Change Your Body (and Your Life) – A Weight Loss Guide For the Rest of Us.” She became a certified trainer, Spinning instructor, and fitness writer after losing 80 pounds and changing her life. In her free time Helen interviews rock stars and shoots concerts. Oh, and she eats chocolate, too. It makes her happy.
Book web site: www.21daystochangeyourbody.com
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Most individuals are aware of the significance of eating before workout. However, what to eat post workout is equally important. The pre workout meal ensures you to recover and improve your stamina to workout consistently. A vigorous exercise that last for more than 45 minutes can diminish glycogen from your body. Glycogen is the type of glucose used by your body for energy. Since it is an essential source of energy, you should ensure that your body is stored with adequate glycogen by following a proper diet pre and post workout.
Importance of recovery after workout
When you perform vigorous workouts, it is very important to check your heart rate before and after workout. It is an ideal way you can track your fitness level. The rate of recovery shows the ability of your heart to come back to a normal level post moderate workout. It is an indicator for your overall health and fitness. When you get fitter, you will notice that your heart rate is back to normal quickly than ever before. If it takes longer time for recovery then you may have health concerns, and should consult your physician.
Therefore, it is very essential for individuals to understand the importance of recovery after workout to ensure that they get fitter and healthier without any concerns. In order to make your recovery session effective, there are certain food habits that need to be followed to ensure that recovery after workouts is appropriate. Some of the useful recovery food tips are mentioned in the following paragraphs.
Hydration after workout
The first and foremost nutrition post workout is to replace all the fluids that you have lost during workout. It is equally important to intake carbohydrate enriched foods such as fruits or juices within 15 to 20 minutes post workout to restore glycogen.
Carbohydrate and protein enhances recovery
As per researches, if you combine protein with carbs within 30 minutes of your workout, the insulin response almost doubles up. As a result, the glycogen restoration is higher. The ratio for consumption of carbohydrate and protein is in the ratio of 4:1. You need to consume 4 grams of carbs for one gram of the essential nutrient, which is protein. If you consume protein more than the given ratio, then it may have negative impact as it slows down the glycogen and rehydration replenishment. Individuals who refuel with protein and carbohydrate have great muscle glycogen supplies than those, who consume only carbohydrate.
Protein requirements after workout
There is yet another benefit if you consume protein after workout. Protein offers the amino acids that are essential to reconstruct muscle tissues that get damaged due to prolonged and intense workout. It increases the water absorption from the intestines, and also improves muscle hydration. The amino acid present in protein stimulates the immune system, and makes you more resistant towards cold and related infections.
To conclude, if you are on the lookout for the best method for recovery after long and strenuous workout, then the right proportion of protein and carbohydrate is the appropriate choice.
Author Bio: Marguerite being a fitness enthusiast loves to blog on fitness and topics related to fitness. You can check out her latest post on “How To Lose Belly Fat” on her website.
Nothing is more important for athletes than remaining fit. Remaining fit means strengthening the body and mind to face any kind of shocks as well as to prevent any kind of injury. It also means keeping any disease attack at bay. So, do not be under the impression that those with strong muscles are fit. Overall, an athlete needs to be physically as well as mentally fit so that she or he can perform terrifically. The body needs to be flexible, robust, and healthy enough so that the concerned athlete not only lasts long on the competition ground but also look vigorous enough after the play.
Well, this state of fitness is only possible after being a part of a fitness program that focuses on improving your diet, conditioning your body, and preparing your mind to play for years to come. This article will now focus on the significance being fit by joining a fitness program.
Increases Muscle Size and Strength
This is a must for any athlete for the most outstanding, durable, and shock-free performance. As a matter of fact, the larger the muscles are, the greater is the power that one can generate. Such power is essential for sports such as wrestling and football. Furthermore, muscle building is indispensable for aggressive bodybuilders. This is the main reason why most athletes stick to weight lifting.
Boosts Muscle Endurance
Building big muscles is not enough for the athletes. In addition to that, the muscles should be such that the athlete can use them effectively for hours, such as while playing tennis, hockey, cricket, or basketball. This is only achievable via fitness training that alleviates the amount of resistance in use as well as weight and increases the repetitions to boost muscular endurance.
One of the factors that indicate complete fitness is muscle flexibility. Therefore, one of the significant fitness goals is to improve overall body and muscle flexibility, which is gained by stretching the muscles. More flexible the muscles are, the better will be the performance.
If you are fit, you can easily use your high-jerk muscles to make quick movements while performing. So, during a fitness regime, one of the fitness exercises can be to begin running with some resistance and then moving faster by releasing the resistance. This facilitates you to run faster than doing it by yourself. Such a workout trains your central nervous system, which in turn, triggers a signal to move the muscles more rapidly.
Improves cardiovascular function
This is another vital significance of a fitness regimen. Such a regimen always includes aerobic as well as anaerobic workouts that improve the overall cardiovascular system. Depending on the duration as well as the intensity of training, an athlete can introduce a medium to high positive impact on his or her cardiovascular system. A training featuring a high intensity for two minutes followed by a rest of half a minute and another intense workout makes up an anaerobic conditioning that aims at improving the ability to recover in-between breaks and plays, such as in volleyball.
All these points certainly indicate that fitness is not important, but indispensable in the life of an athlete.
Being a fitness freak, Marguerite loves to blog on different tips, diets and workouts that help you know How To Lose Belly Fat. You can visit her blog to know more about exercises and workouts.