Go Woman Go!
Lethargic, lazy, fatigued and don’t know why? Bouts of irritability streaming through your stressed mind? Envious of your neighbor, who despite being a mother of three, looks fit, happy and glows? There is hope and there is a journey. Once on it you’ll feel the youthfulness, freedom and the conviction to achieve anything.
Life today poses new demands on the modern day woman. Apart from taking care of the home and kids, you step out to fulfill your own dreams, career and professional life. You fight, adjust and overcome odds at almost every phase of your life, every age being a constant reminder of certain physical and mental changes – menstruation, pregnancy or menopause. At the same time you aspire to look and feel beautiful, and the only way to do it is to focus on a proper diet, exercise and lifestyle. Healthy eating patterns, rest, sleep, regular activity and sports can see you through the day, happy and healthy.
Importance of Sports
Well, they can improve efficiency at work, play or home. Regular physical activity in the form of running, swimming, cycling, etc, can reduce body fat and improve metabolism, which in turn would again aid in better calorie burning. The sense to achieve, play and get into a routine can contribute towards a better self-esteem and more confidence, thereby boosting your mental and emotional strength. Finally, and most importantly, any sport activity beats fatigue, boredom and laziness, thereby boosting stamina and energy to carry out daily chores.
It’s a proven fact, that if you look better, you feel better. Sports can help you achieve just that balance, and bridge the gap between boredom and fitness. You don’t even have to enroll yourself in a gym, or worry about challenging the treadmill. You can optimize your potential just by playing a few minutes of your favorite sport. Sports also induce clarity of the mind, add the much wanted glow to your skin, make you feel inspired, and pump endorphins into the brain to produce the ‘feel good’ feeling. So give yourself just half an hour each day, to enjoy your favorite sport, and feel the difference – NOW!
-Release all excuses
-Invest in a good pair of sneakers and maybe a bicycle
-Get a partner – sports with a partner is more motivating than playing alone
-Give your body and mind the time to adjust to the new routine
-Don’t focus on skill as much as on enjoying what you play
Diet for Sportswomen
One of the most important aspects that differentiate a successful athlete from one who cannot reach his or her potential is their nutrition. Even if your training and practice is dialed in, if you aren’t fuelling and replenishing your body with the essential nutrients it needs, you will not be your best ever. Nutrition for woman athletes is similar to that of competitors in men’s sports, with a few different needs in terms of vitamins and minerals to keep the female hormones well balanced.
Sportswomen basically have to focus on two kinds of dietary intake – pre-training and competition, and recovery. Pre-training and competition refers to the food taken to fuel yourself for a bout in the gym, practice field, or the actual game. Recovery is everything else. You are always recovering from your training and competing. As an athlete, everything you eat makes a difference in your performance, good or bad.
-The first and foremost component in a dietary intake built for success in competition is water. Before the training or competition the athlete should drink 14-18 oz of water approximately 2 hours prior to the event. This will leave plenty of time for the body to filter out any excess water that is not needed.
-Drink an additional 5-7 oz just prior to a game to make sure you are fully hydrated. Pure water is best for this.
-Keep hydrating the body every 20-25 minutes with 5-10 oz of water during training or a game.
-Sports drinks are good during intense exercises as they help replace lost electrolytes.
-After the training session or game you should consume 20 oz of water for every pound of body weight lost from sweat.
-A pre-game meal two and a half or three hours prior to training or competing should include some slow acting carbohydrates for energy, quality complete proteins for muscle support, and healthy fats for overall well-being.
-A good meal for a sportswoman would be one regular-sized grilled chicken breast, a cup of brown rice and green salad with olive oil and apple cider vinegar as dressing.
-A piece of fruit and a handful of almonds is a good energy boosting snack and should be taken about half an hour prior to a game. This provides more healthy fats, clean protein and quick carbs for energy.
-Taking a multivitamin designed especially for women athletes is also a good idea to keep hormonal levels balanced and to replenish deficiencies that are unique to female competitors.
-It is always a great idea to talk directly to a sports nutritionist to get a programme that is tailored to suit one’s individual needs. Once you start to focus on your diet as closely as you have been training, watch your success rise through the roof.
Make sure to eat less and eat regularly, about six meals a day and drink two to three liters of water per day. Cereals and cereal products are energy yielding, so you can have them liberally. Consume lots of fruits, vegetables and soups. Proteins, carbs and fats should be had in moderation.
Absolute no-no’s of Nutrition
-Fried food consumed in abundance
-Bingeing on alcohol, regularly
-Large time gap between meals
-Carbohydrates more than once a day, and post 8pm