See below for some general thoughts on how to stay healthy while training.
- If possible, eat organic whole foods.
- Increase vegetable and fruit intake and eat a variety of colours!
- Eat healthy fats: extra-virgin olive oil, flaxseed oil, and omega-3s from cold-water fish.
- In Vancouver, BC? Check out the Vancouver Olive Oil Company
- Get proteins from legumes, nuts, seeds, and natural animal sources.
- Choose whole grain carbohydrates.
- Avoid refined (white) flours and sugar.
- Aim for 25 to 35g of fibre per day.
- 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:
- Follow the basic healthy nutrition plan above.
- Get adequate sleep! Rest is key.
- Remember: Training makes you strong, rest makes you fast.
- 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.
- Platinum naturals has a multivitamin for active individuals that also contains adrenal supports (also referred to as adaptogens) like cordyceps, ginseng, and rhodiola.
- Take a B-complex to support energy and hormone production.
- Laugh often. Enjoy nature. Breathe deeply.
- Use coping mechanisms that work for you (such as value affirmations, see below).
- 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
- Identify your values
- 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.
- Reflect on why and when these values are important to you.
- During stressful situations, or when confronted by environments that challenge your sense of self (your self-worth), find strength in your values.