It is often the case with runners that we push our bodies to the limits even when our bodies are telling us to stop.
E.g. An injury – “My leg is sore but I’ll run it off, I need to get a ten miler in today”
We often put our Performance BEFORE Health; however, this can be detrimental to both our health and performance and often leads to injury or illness.
This is true in the case of the common cold. The common cold is a viral infection and is quite common in runners. It is often thought that going out in cold temperatures such as wind and rain will cause you to catch a cold, but this is not necessarily true.
The problem is usually caused by stress on the body – usually from a poor diet. Runners are often told to eat a high carbohydrate diet. We do need to gain energy from our carbohydrate intake as well as proteins and fat. However, the quality of these foods is usually overlooked in running and fitness magazines. Runners are often advised to take in chocolate, biscuits, bagels, sweets as part of their diet. However, these foods are almost completely void of any nutritional value…. Sure, they have lots of calories and we do need calories. However, the downside to these sweet foods (other than causing hormonal changes – which may need another article) is they have NO VITAMINS AND MINERALS – the building blocks of good health!
- Good Skin and Bones
- Improves Immune Function
- Aids Recovery
- Improves Digestion
Without Vitamins and Minerals from our food source, our bodies then have to take from our own stores of vitamins and minerals to metabolize these foods, leaving us lacking in important nutrients for other processes to promote our health. Our bodies begin to break themselves down. We become susceptible to illness and injury and often feel ‘run down’ and lethargic. This can cause us to eat more of the high fat/high sugar foods which begins a vicious cycle.
- Eating a good source of protein, fats and carbs with each meal. Organic is best if you can. Chicken, Turkey, Beef, Fish, Venison.
- Take in a rich variety of fruits and vegetables, including green leafy vegetables. I recommend spinach, broccoli, kale, tomatoes, carrots, onions, peppers, apples, blueberries, avocado, pineapple
- Take in a variety of GOOD FATS such as: Nuts and Seeds almonds, Brazils, walnuts, pumpkin, sesame, flax. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (for dressing), Coconut Oil (for cooking)
Incorporating these foods into your diet will not only improve your health, but it will improve your performance also.