Remember the days of sweating in the sun as you chased a ball around the field, or tried to hit a ball over the fence, or maybe even tried to see how fast you could run around a track filled with cinders and if you were lucky enough a track that might have been blacktopped? Ahhh, childhood memories! These days were filled with sweat, blood, sheer exhaustion, cramps, sometimes tears, laughter, fun, victories and losses. After the long days of competition, how were we rewarded? With SLICED ORANGES!! I remember looking into that big bowl trying to find the perfect juicy slice that was cut just right, that had few visible seeds (there weren’t seedless oranges yet), and that looked like it had nice juicy pulpy sections. My teammates and I would be like pigs around the trough at feeding time trying to locate that perfect slice. We would sink our teeth into that juicy pulp while recapping the day’s event. As we looked around, you would notice the juice dripping down a teammate’s chin as they would smear it across their jersey. As they wiped their chin, the natural sugars from the orange juice would take hold in between their fingers that would make them stick together. That pure fruit juice would reinvigorate our systems.
As I am now an adult and attend my child’s sporting events, I started to think - Where are the Oranges? Our kids are still putting out top notch performances just like we used some 20-30 years ago but after the events they are now rewarded with salty chips, cookies, and candy. The natural sugars from the oranges that made our fingers and chins so sticky are now replaced with the stickiness of marshmallows, frosting, and chocolate. The natural juices from the oranges have been replaced with sugary fruit drinks. As I look out across the field, court, or pitch, I don’t see much in the form of healthy nutrition being supplied to our young aspiring athletes. If I am lucky, I see a bottle of spring water basking in the sun as it sits by its lonesome waiting to be drank; but it is usually overlooked for a sport drink.
We spend so much time, energy, money, and effort to watch them succeed, to give them the best resources to compete on a high level but we place nutrition on the backburner. Not to mention, the efforts that our children are giving cannot be in vain in relation to the nutrition that we then give them after their efforts. Why does nutrition, more times than not, take a back seat. Let’s not short change our young athletes from a nutrition standpoint but educate them on healthy living. These benefits we can provide our children give them the ability to perform at their full potential. It starts with us. So let’s start one slice at a time and make our children’s nutrition a priority. My challenge to everyone reading this – buy a huge bag of oranges, slice ‘em up, and tell those kids – dig in!!
When you hear these two phrases they appear on the surface to be one in the same. People usually use these topics interchangeably and in my opinion it is a skewed perspective. Being fit and being healthy are two different issues and actually one is part of the other. They are common elements of a greater collective theme. I feel that being healthy is the overall result of living a certain lifestyle where you take care of your body in every aspect. Being fit is only one of the aspects of being healthy. Too many times people think that being fit is good enough and disregard the other aspects of living healthy. I believe the aspects of being healthy are:
1) Being fit – exercising regularly
2) Eating healthy - eating nutrient rich foods that benefit your body
3) Sleep – making sure you are getting an adequate amount that allows you to perform at a high level
4) Stress – the ability to manage and remove the stress from our lives
5) Happy – Keeping yourself happy and content is what life is all about
It is an often occurrence, that when someone encounters a health crisis, others are quick to say, “I can’t believe it happened to them, they take such good care of their body”. That may be the case, but how were they in the overall scale of being healthy. I see people working out like crazy people, only to get done and eat poorly or not get enough sleep to help the body repair itself. It is important to cover as many of the above stated issues in order to stay or start being healthy in totality. Remember being healthy is a lifestyle and constantly needs to be tended to. Listen to your body and it will tell you what it needs. Remember to live a life of moderation and balance and you will reap the benefits.
I read a lot of health magazine articles and a topic that always seems to arise is the importance of good hydration. The consensus seems to be that we should drink about 8 cups of water a day on a typical day. With spring and summer knocking on our doors and our eagerness to get outside and train, hydration is a very important aspect of training not to overlook. Not making the proper adjustments during warmer conditions can be detrimental in keeping our bodies performing at a high level while racing or training. When we sweat, we don’t just lose water, we lose essential vitamins and minerals. If you’re training over long periods of time, it might be necessary to switch to electrolyte drinks such as Gatorade, or GU products, just to name a couple. Below are some tips to follow in dealing with proper hydration:
· How much am I sweating while I am training?
- The level of perspiration definitely varies from individual to individual. As you go through a training session, pay close attention to your level and rate of perspiration and gauge/assess your needs based on that day’s workout and gather patterns for the next time you train in those same conditions.
· What are the conditions I am training in? Is it cold, hot?
- Conditions play a major role in how much you will sweat. Obviously, if it is scorching hot outside you will be sweating like crazy. But also don’t forget that in cold conditions, when you are all bundled up for that run, you are still sweating, and the level of perspiration could be deceptively high.
· How long am I going to be training?
- How long you are being active will dictate the volume of fluids you should be drinking. A rule of thumb is that you should drink a full water bottle for every hour of training. So make sure you pack enough water or hydration drink to last for your entire workout or race.
· Your workout environment’s effect on perspiration?
- If you are in a controlled environment, such as a gym with poor air circulation, you will tend to feel like you are sweating more. In contrast, when you exercise outdoors, you receive the benefit of cool breezes to help cool you down. Don’t let this fool you, though, because this doesn’t mean you are sweating less or more, just that you might be more comfortable. Visually you might not be able to see the perspiration on mild/windy day but you are still sweating so remain vigilant and committed to your hydration plan.
· When to hydrate?
- We should be hydrating constantly. It’s just as important to hydrate properly before and after a workout or race as it is during the activity. Don’t neglect your body, give it what it needs to perform.
· Side effects of improper hydration
- Poor performance or lack of peak performance
- Dehydration - Dizziness, goosebumps (on hot days), disoriented
- Cramping of Muscles
- Imbalance of essential vitamins
Could Potentially BONK!!!
1 Banana - Prior to swim workout
1 Bowl of Kashi Cinnamon Crumble Cereal w/ lowfat milk
3 hard boiled eggs - no yolks
1 Yoplait Greek Yogurt w/ Homemade Granola
Mid-morning Snack: 1 Clif Bar - Peppermint
1 Turkey/Cheese sandwich
-Homemade Honey Mustard Spread
-Bread: Arnold's Honey Wheat Sandwich Thins
-Handful Roasted Almonds : Emerald Nuts
-1 banana choc. chip Granola Bar : Kashi Foods
Homemade: Peking Chicken & Fresh Broccoli/Celery/Onion/Noodle Stir-Fry
Big Salad: Romaine Lettuce/Spinach/Kale/Red Pepper/Celery/Broccoli/Tomato
Topped with light Italian Dressing
1 - Pink Lady Apple
Snack: 1 cup homemade granola
Just a glimpse into my daily eating habits and what I enjoy. I really like fresh fruits and vegetables. I honestly don't like vegetables all that much but force myself to eat them because they are so good for me. I love fruit though. My favorite fruits are peaches, cherries, strawberries and blueberries, YUM!! Well hope you enjoyed a taste of my weekly food consumption.
Kenrick Smith - Be a part of the K17Sport Lifestyle.
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