Lessons of a Runner Turned Something Else. The Importance of Nutrition for Sport.

I’m not going to lie, I intend to be one of those older adults striding it out in a matching tracksuit, hopefully holding hands with my equally old husband (he’s not so sure about this part!). I’d also like to learn how to play golf so we can stroll around the course together working towards our 10,000 steps and getting a healthy dose of Vitamin D to help our bones. The thought of playing tennis in a matching skirt and sweat band and eating cucumber sandwiches after a match also seems very appealing. We’ll have to wait and see what happens there.

While my older adult aspirations for being fit & healthy are all very good and well, it’s important to eat well and move your body NOW so you can make it that far. And not just make it, but make it with great energy so that you can be healthy, fit and happy.

I can’t stress enough the benefits of being active and above all, eating well for your specific activity levels. Whether you’re a professional athlete, a serious trainer and competitor or an all-round active person, what you eat really does affect how you feel and your ability to train and reap the health benefits.

While genes, natural ability and training regimes all contribute to performance ability so does optimum nutrition. That means eating the right kinds (and amounts) of food. You absolutely do need to feed your body the right fuel to gain the full benefits of exercise. Not just fuel in terms of food but fluid too. Did you know that as little as a 2% drop in body weight can lead to as much as a 20% reduction in performance? Not ideal but easily solved if you know how.

After years of long-distance running, an unfortunate string of injuries has lead me to hang up my very well used running shoes (for now) and strap on some racy pink walkers and flippers for the pool. In all seriousness, with a greater understanding of nutrition and its practicalities, I can now see that my running injuries were the result of over-training, not enough rest and inadequate recovery nutrition. But I was younger and thought I could go on that way forever. If I only knew then, what I know now.

I know many of you may be doing the same thing but before an injury forces you out of training for a few months, take the time to learn and understand what you should be eating for your activity levels. This is where I come in. I can help those of you who are active, both individuals and teams, through to athletes to maximise your performance and feelings of energy. This will mean you not only have enough energy for training and performance but also life.

To find out more, please email me at emily@hopenutrition.org.nz.

This image was taken walking the Cinque Terre in Italy. It was such a beautiful piece of coastline that I would quite happily walk the thousands of steps any day!

#healtharticle

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