The Olympic summer games are well under way and most of us are suffering from Olympic fever. The athletes have been training hard, either for redemption, repeat performances or smashing debuts. While you may not be working towards an Olympic medal, there are quite a few fitness and nutrition tips you can learn from the pros.
To keep your metabolism soaring, keep the calories coming
Swimmer Michael Phelps reportedly consumes a whopping 12,000 calories per day. That’s what it takes to fuel his five-hour-a-day, six-days-a-week training schedule.
Your body needs sufficient calories to keep you healthy and energetic. Lowering calories actually works to your disadvantage when trying to lose or maintain weight. Find your daily requirements at www.bmi-calculator.net, and then stick to the recommended calories in order to meet your fitness goals.
Spread out your calories
Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt supports his speed, power and fantastic abs by training six days per week. He also eats six meals each day to support the high levels of energy required for sprinting.
Like Bolt, six well-proportioned meals spread throughout the day work well to fuel your body. Aim for three main meals and three healthy snacks, or plan six small meals to last all day. If six meals seem like too much, remember a meal can simply include a glass of milk and a handful of nuts, a good supply of protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats.
In addition to stretching his calories out, Bolt includes dynamic stretching sessions into each workout. Stretch exercises are crucial to reducing stiffness, thereby reducing the likelihood of muscle tears and injury. Stretching before a workout warms up the muscles nicely, while stretching after your workout helps with recovery. It also improves flexibility, reduces muscle soreness and encourages blood flow.
Olympic cyclist Catharine Pendrel is pegged to take home gold for Canada this summer. She adheres to a strict training schedule four to five hours each day, but there’s no need to follow suit.
According to Pendrel, “Forget crazy, long workouts. Make time to exercise frequently and consistently.”
One of the best ways to maintain consistency is to enlist a workout buddy. Having a buddy nudges you to actually show up and get that workout in. Signing up for classes is also great since they’re usually scheduled at the same time on the same day, each week.
Pendrel treats herself to more than just consistency to maintain the commitment to her Olympic goals. According to the 2011 World Champion, “In moderation, there’s nothing wrong with a little indulgence.”
Muffins and chocolate-covered almonds are among her favourite treats. Deprivation is not the key to success and if a little chocolate is good for an Olympic athlete, who are we to argue?
Overall, whatever your fitness goals are for 2012, be sure to include some of these Olympian-worthy tips to ensure success. And be sure to lend your support by cheering on our athletes from whatever stool, sofa or sundeck you’ll be tuning in from.