No matter what type of Olympic athlete you are, there are some consistent components of fueling and recovery that must be included into your daily routine. That is, if you want to be successful and win gold. Those same things apply for those of us who might be simply training for life. Maybe you want to run a 5K this year, are trying to get back in your skinny jeans or just want to be able to chase your children or grandchildren around; no matter the goal, you have to take care of yourself to be able to win a gold medal in the sport of life. Here are 5 tips to include in your daily routine so you don’t run out of gas before the end of the race:
- Alarm alert: Eat breakfast! End of story. A breakfast made of a whole grain carbohydrate, lean protein and healthy fat is a golden start to the day. People take this concept for granted thinking it is “old school”, but hands down I find that people who eat less earlier in the day tend to crave sugar and more food at night. Athletes don’t miss breakfast, and neither should you, as it is essential for stable energy throughout the day.
- Energy boost: Eat carbs! Yes, I said it; consume carbohydrate in your day. Carbs are your body’s main source of energy. Now this does not mean fill up on a monster bowl of pasta every few hours, but having a whole grain or fruit at each meal and snack will keep your blood sugar from crashing, keep you from being cranky and hopefully help you make better choices at night time after dinner is done and the kids are in bed. Remember carbohydrate need is based on activity, the more you move, the more you need!
- Muscle must: Eat protein! So many people, especially women, leave protein out of their day. Protein is essential to building and rebuilding muscle along with stabilizing blood sugar and energy over the course of the day. Little protein boosts like a string cheese or hard-boiled egg to a snack, chicken to a salad or Greek yogurt at breakfast can really help power up your day. You will not look like the Incredible Hulk if you eat protein, trust me! But you are more likely to feel tired and lose strength as time goes by without enough adequate protein.
- Pack color: Eat veggies! More and more people spend hundreds of dollars on vitamins and supplements. It’s not to say those aren’t good, but it is much better to get your nutrients from food! Veggies are full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that help your body fight off illness and stay strong. Every color has a unique nutrient-package so be sure to pack your day full of color.
- Rest up: Rest up! Sleep is one thing people just don’t get enough of. I know, it’s a busy life with chores and errands, but try your best to get in adequate rest or pop in a power nap. All the nutrition and training in the world cannot make-up for lack of rest. The best athletes take time to sleep and take days off to recover.