Wellness in Athletic Training

See below for some general thoughts on how to stay healthy while training.

Nutrition

  1. If possible, eat organic whole foods.
    1. In Vancouver, BC? Check out: CSA Box Program OR SPUD
  2. Increase vegetable and fruit intake and eat a variety of colours!
  3. Eat healthy fats: extra-virgin olive oil, flaxseed oil, and omega-3s from cold-water fish.
    1. In Vancouver, BC? Check out the Vancouver Olive Oil Company
  4. Get proteins from legumes, nuts, seeds, and natural animal sources.
  5. Choose whole grain carbohydrates.
    1. Avoid refined (white) flours and sugar.
    2. Aim for 25 to 35g of fibre per day.
  6. Spice it up with garlic, turmeric, ginger, cayenne and others.

What is Overtraining?

Recall, a key principle of athletic training is minimal stress. Overtraining results when the TOTAL amount of stress experienced by an athlete exceeds their capacity to cope. Physical stress from training is a major contributor, but the total amount of stress also includes that which comes from school, work, relationships, lack of sleep, and a poor diet. A coach’s role is to push their athlete to overreach, but keep an open line of communication to ensure they are not overtraining. It’s a fine balance. Symptoms of overtraining include: persistent or worsening fatigue, irritability, depression, loss of weight, recurrent infections, salt cravings, sugar cravings, and reduced performance despite adequate rest.

Strategies to Prevent Overtraining:

  1. Follow the basic healthy nutrition plan above.
  2. Get adequate sleep! Rest is key.
    1. Remember: Training makes you strong, rest makes you fast. 
  3. Take a multivitamin. A good multivitamin is good insurance. Getting all the required nutrients from your diet is hard. A multivitamin helps fill the gaps.
    1. Platinum naturals has a multivitamin for active individuals that also contains adrenal supports (also referred to as adaptogens) like cordyceps, ginseng, and rhodiola.
  4. Take a B-complex to support energy and hormone production.
  5. Laugh often. Enjoy nature. Breathe deeply.
  6. Use coping mechanisms that work for you (such as value affirmations, see below).
  7. As always, improve your wellness and inform your choices by engaging in multidisciplinary discussion. Talk to a health care professional you trust.

Value-Based Positive Affirmations

  1. Identify your values
    1. For instance: creativity, relationships (family, friends, groups, communities), independence, learning, cultural identity, honesty, integrity, helping others, educational achievements, connecting with nature, fitness, sense of humour, having fun.
  2. Reflect on why and when these values are important to you.
  3. During stressful situations, or when confronted by environments that challenge your sense of self (your self-worth), find strength in your values.
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