Posts Tagged ‘Athletes’

Let’s Talk About Breathing

May 5, 2015

noseclip

Ever run with a blocked nose? Horrible isn’t it? Anyone who participates in any form of physical activity – especially competitively – knows how important good breathing is. Not just breathing – good breathing.  As a triathlete I’m always on the lookout for new techniques and tools to (legally) give me a sporting edge, so I was intrigued to hear about a piece of kit called ‘Turbine Sports Breathing Technology’.

Developed by Australian medical techy company, Rhinomed, Turbine, I was told, opens the airways and is clinically proven by the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital to increase airflow, on average, up to 38 per cent in each breath, aiding efficiency, performance and recovery. Impressive claim. And pro athletes like Chris Froome and Rachel Naylan are apparently on board. Well, if it’s good enough for them… Those airways, incidentally, are the nostrils (in case the ‘Rhino’ name didn’t give it away).

Hmmm, how was this going to work – was I going to run like a serious pro while wearing an amusing false nose? Well, not quite, but almost… So, with some interest I opened my pack of little yellow gadgets and selected the size that best fitted my nose. After pulling my runners on I hit the pavement and took my little nasal buddy for a 10km run.

So, how’d it go? Pretty well for me, and even better for my nose which completed the course 38% faster than the rest of me. Ha ha, I jest. But actually, I did feel some benefits from wearing the nose clip, which sits fairly snugly inside the nose. It felt a little odd at first, but after a few minutes I got used to it and hardly noticed the nose plug in there during the run. I felt the airways opened up more during my run, and also felt good after taking the Turbine out.

On the cons list, well, I sweat a lot on my nose so had to be careful not to wipe the sweat off too much, as it hurt with the Turbine in if I pressed too hard. The yellow colour also makes flat-nosed people like me look a little silly, so something more skin-tone coloured (ideally a range from nude to dark) would be great – maybe that’ll happen in the next release.

All in all, I definitely noticed a difference after just one run. Now, to try it on the bike.

This post was written by Bel ‘The Fonginator’ Fong, avid triathlete and Senior Course Coordinator with PT and fitness education provider fitnessU.
Article sourced here :  http://www.fitnessnetwork.com.au/_blog/Network_Blog/post/i-put-this-up-my-nose-to-enhance-my-performance-legally/

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Just Do It …

March 22, 2015

It has been described as arguably the best tagline of the 20th century. It is certainly one of the most recognised.

But, Nike’s fitspo “Just do it” line has its dark roots on death row.

It was inspired by the last words of a convicted killer before his execution.

In a new interview, Dan Wieden, the advertising executive behind the famous campaign, opened up about its origins.

It was 1988 and Wieden was struggling to come up with a line that could capture the sportswear company’s spirit across different TV commercials the ad agency had created for them.

“I was recalling a man in Portland,” Wieden told Dezeen magazine.

Utah killer Gary Gilmore was sentenced to death in 1977 for robbing and murdering two men.

“They asked him if he had any final thoughts and he said: ‘Let’s do it’,” Wieden recalled.

“And for some reason I went: ‘Now damn. How do you do that? How do you ask for an ultimate challenge that you are probably going to lose, but you call it in?’ So I thought, well, I didn’t like ‘Let’s do it’ so I just changed it to ‘Just do it’.”

At first Nike’s founders hated the idea.

“[Co-founder] Phil Knight said, ‘We don’t need that shit’,” Wieden said. “I said ‘Just trust me on this one.’ So they trusted me and it went big pretty quickly.”

The ‘Just do it’ line made its debut that same year in an ad featuring 80-year-old runner Walt Stack.

“I run 17 miles every morning,” Stack says in the ad. “People ask me how I keep my teeth from chattering in the winter-time.

just do it“I leave them in my locker,” he smiles as the screen fades to black and the slogan “Just do it” appears with the trademark swoosh.

The slogan and the swoosh resonated with all audiences and helped Nike overtake their rival Reebok to dominate the sneaker market.

It is “arguably the best tagline of the 20th century,” says Campaign magazine, noting it “cut across age and class barriers, linked Nike with success – and made consumers believe they could be successful too, just by wearing its products”.

Of the slogan that is still popular 30 years later, the magazine said: “Like all great taglines, it was both simple and memorable. It also suggested something more than its literal meaning, allowing people to interpret it as they wished and, in doing so, establish a personal connection with the brand.”

Article published first March 19, 2015 here: http://www.theage.com.au/lifestyle/diet-and-fitness/nikes-just-do-it-slogan-inspired-by-death-row-prisoners-last-words-20150318-1m2oys.html

Start Shaping Up

August 19, 2014

IT’S TIME TO SHAPE UPshapeup

As a nation, our waistlines are growing. Today, over 63% of Australian adults and one in four children are overweight or obese.

Unhealthy eating and not enough physical activity can lead to overweight and obesity, and an increased risk of developing a chronic disease such as some cancers, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Shape Up Australia is an initiative to help Australians reduce their waist measurements and improve their overall health and wellbeing. There are many everyday changes you can make to help you Shape Up and get on your way to a healthier lifestyle.


GETTING ACTIVE

Life can be busy, and it’s easy to think that there just isn’t enough time to be physically active.  But being physically active doesn’t mean you have to spend hours exercising each day or that you have to push yourself to the point of feeling exhausted.

There are great benefits to getting even a small amount of physical activity each day, both mentally and physically.  Being active gives you more energy, helps you sleep better, reduces the risk of depression and can help to prevent a range of chronic diseases.

You can start with small changes, like increasing the distance you walk by getting off the bus earlier or parking your car further away from the shops.  Gradually increase the amount of physical activity you do – it all adds up.  Aim for 30 minutes (or more) of moderate-intensity activity most days of the week.

If you’re worried you don’t have the time, keep in mind that you don’t have to do your 30 minutes (or more) all at once – combine a few shorter sessions of 10 to 15 minutes each throughout the day.  Those short bursts are just as effective as longer exercise sessions.

To get started, check out these physical activity tips or find activities in your local area using the activity finder.

GETTING PHYSICAL TIPS

Tips for being more physically active every day

  • The saying “no pain, no gain” is a myth.  Some activity is better than none, and more is better than a little.  But you don’t have to exercise to the point of collapse to get a health benefit.  Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity on most, preferably all, days of the week.
  • Set a date for when you will start. Write the date down and stick to it.
  • Make time to be physically active and schedule it as you would an appointment.  The Shape Up activity planner can help you plan and track your activity.
  • Set short-term and long-term goals.  Make your goals specific, measurable and achievable.  Rather than a vague goal like “I will get fit”, try “I will walk every day for 10 minutes after meals” or “I will get off the bus/train two stops earlier than my usual stop”.
  • Build up gradually.  If you are starting a new activity or have been inactive for some time, start at a level that you can manage easily and gradually build up.
  • Choose activities that are right for you.  Do something that you enjoy or go for something different you’ve always wanted to try, such as walking, jogging, joining a team sport, taking a group fitness class, dancing, cycling or swimming.
  • Mix it up.  Consider changing your activities every so often to avoid becoming bored.
  • Plan physical activity with others.  This can help you stick to your plan and achieve your goals.
  • Do not give up before you start to see the benefits.  Be patient and keep at it.
  • HAVE FUN! Physical activity can make you feel good about yourself and it’s a great opportunity to have fun with other people or enjoy some time to yourself.

FINDING TIME TO GET ACTIVE

It can seem hard to find time for physical activity.  One solution is to look for opportunities to build as much physical activity into everyday activities as you can.  Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Rather than spend five minutes circling a car park looking for that “perfect space” right near the entrance, park five minutes away and spend that time walking instead.
  • If you arrive at a bus or tram stop early, why not make use of the time to walk to the next stop?
  • Walk rather than rest on escalators… it’s quicker so you’ll actually save time! (Or better still, use the stairs).
  • Work in the garden – get into some energetic gardening activities like digging, shifting soil and mowing the lawn to raise your heart-rate.
  • Clean the house! Activities like vacuuming, cleaning windows and scrubbing floors that raise your heart rate are all good examples of moderate intensity physical activity.
  • Park further away from work (or get off public transport a few stops early).  If you walk for 10 minutes to and from work, you’ll have done 20 minutes without even noticing.  Add a 10 minute brisk walk (or more!) at lunch time and you’ve met the guidelines for the day.

ACTIVITY INTENSITY

What is moderate intensity activity?

Moderate-intensity activity will cause a slight but noticeable increase in your breathing and heart rate.  A good example of moderate-intensity activity is brisk walking; that is, at a pace where you are able to talk comfortably, but not sing.  Moderate-intensity activity should be carried out for at least 10 minutes at a time.

What is vigorous activity?

Vigorous activity is where you “huff and puff”; where talking in full sentences between breaths is difficult.  Vigorous activity can come from such sports as football, squash, netball, basketball and activities such as aerobics, speed walking, jogging and fast cycling.

Note: If you are pregnant, have been previously inactive, or suffer from any medical conditions, it is recommended that you seek medical advice before commencing vigorous physical activity.

WHAT SHOULD I BE EATING

Eating a diet that includes a variety of nutritious foods every day helps us maintain a healthy weight, feel good and fight off chronic disease.

Best of all, healthy eating doesn’t have to be hard if you follow these seven golden rules:

  1. Drink plenty of water
  2. Eat more vegetables and fruit
  3. Watch how much you eat – even foods that are good for us, when eaten in large portions, can lead to weight gain
  4. Eat less processed food
  5. Eat regular meals – don’t skip meals – and always start the day with a healthy breakfast (e.g. a bowl of hi fibre cereal with sliced banana and low fat milk)
  6. Restrict your alcohol intake
  7. Remember that some foods are high in added fat, salt and sugar and so are best eaten only sometimes or in small amounts.  Examples include lollies, chocolate, biscuits, cakes, pastries, soft drinks, chips, pies, sausage rolls and other takeaways.

To help you eat well every day, check out these healthy recipes and snack suggestions, tips for staying on track when eating out, our guide to healthy eating on a budget, and tips for drinking to health.

Snack suggestions

  • Add fruit and yoghurt to low fat milk and blend them together to make a great tasting smoothie.
  • A slice of wholegrain bread or raisin toast with a healthy spread such as avocado or low-fat cream cheese, makes a filling, healthy snack.
  • A piece of fruit – like a banana or apple – can make a great “on the run” snack.
  • Instead of reaching for a chocolate bar or packet of chips, try vegetable sticks with low-fat hummus.
  • An occasional handful of unsalted nuts or dried fruit makes a nutritious snack.
  • Grab a tub of natural low-fat yoghurt and add your own fruit.
  • Air-popped popcorn with a sprinkling of salt makes a great afternoon snack.
  • When the weather is hot, fruits such as oranges and grapes make delicious frozen snacks.

Other useful links:

Australian Dietary Guidelines www.eatforhealth.gov.au

Stay On Track When Eating Out Fact Sheet

Your Guide To Buying Fruit And Veg In Season Fact Sheet

Information sourced from this Government Website: http://www.shapeup.gov.au/start-shaping-up

Top Nutrition Tips for Athletes

September 9, 2012
Top Nutrition Tips for Athletes

Top Nutrition Tips for Athletes

By Peter Jaret
WebMD Feature
Most of us who jog for an hour, take an aerobics class, or go to the gym don’t need to worry about a special diet for athletic performance. The basic guidelines for healthy eating provide all the energy and nutrition we need for our workouts. But if you push yourself hard for 90 minutes or more — especially if you compete in high-intensity endurance events — your diet can help you perform at your peak and recover more quickly afterwards. Here are five key tips for athletes to consider:

1. Load Up on Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are an athlete’s main fuel. They are converted to glucose, a form of sugar, which is stored in muscles as glycogen. When you exercise, your body converts glycogen into energy. If you exercise for under 90 minutes, the stores of glycogen in your muscles are enough to fuel even high-intensity activity.

“For longer activities, carbohydrate loading for three or four days before an event can help top up your glycogen stores,” says Joy Dubost, RD, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

  • To achieve maximum carbohydrate storage, experts recommend eating a diet that gets about 70% of its calories from carbohydrates, including breads, cereals, pasta, fruit, and vegetables.
  • On the day of a big event, you should eat your last meal three to four hours before exercising, to give your stomach time to empty.
  • Avoid eating sugary or starchy foods within 30 minutes of starting an activity. The process of metabolizing carbohydrates uses water, which can hasten dehydration.

For activities lasting longer than 90 minutes, it’s important to replenish carbohydrates, minerals, and water during exercise. Experts suggest you eat a snack and drink fluid every 15 to 20 minutes. Refined carbohydrates (with sugar or flour) pass quickly into the bloodstream, where they fuel working muscles. Many athletes prefer sports bars, sports drinks, or gels, since they’re so convenient. But fruit or fruit juice are also excellent choices.

Replenishing carbohydrates is equally important after intensive exercise. “Since you don’t need quick energy, it’s best to choose less refined carbohydrates” such as a whole grain bagel or carrot and veggie sticks, which provide both carbohydrates and a rich array of nutrients, says Dubost.

2. Consume Enough — but Not Too Much — Protein

Protein does not provide a lot of fuel for energy, but it is important for maintaining muscle tissue.

  • The average person needs about 1.2 to 1.4 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight a day. That’s about 88 grams of protein for a 150-pound person.
  • A strength athlete may need up to 1.7 grams per kilogram of body weight. That’s about 150 grams of protein for a 200-pound athlete.

“Milk is one of the best foods for recovery after an event, because it provides a good balance of protein and carbohydrates,” says Dubost. Milk also contains both casein and whey protein. The combination may be particularly helpful for athletes. Research shows that whey protein is absorbed quickly, which can help speed recovery immediately after an event. Casein is digested more slowly, helping to ensure long-term recovery of muscle after a grueling event. Milk also contains calcium, which is important for maintaining strong bones.

Although protein is made up of amino acids, Dubost says there is little evidence that taking specific amino acid supplements offers an advantage. What’s more, consuming too much protein can put a strain on your kidneys. Instead of supplements, she suggests eating high-quality protein, such as lean meats, fish, poultry, nuts, eggs, or milk.

3. Go Easy on Fat

For long events, such as marathons, the body turns to fat for energy when carbohydrate sources run low. But most athletes get all the fat they need by following basic dietary guidelines: Eat mostly unsaturated fat from foods such as nuts, avocados, olives, vegetable oils, and fatty fish such as salmon and tuna. Experts recommend avoiding fatty foods on the day of an event, since they can cause stomach distress for some people.

4. Drink Fluids Early and Often

High-intensity exercise, especially in hot weather, can quickly leave you dehydrated. Dehydration, in turn, can hurt your performance and, in extreme cases, be life-threatening.

“All high-intensity athletes should drink fluids early and often,” says Dubost. “And don’t wait until you’re thirsty. By the time you feel parched, you may be seriously dehydrated.”

“One way to monitor hydration is to keep an eye on the color of your urine,” says Joshua Evans, MD, a physician at Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit and an expert on dehydration.

A pale yellow color means you’re getting enough fluid. Bright yellow or dark urine means you’re falling short.

Because intense exercise causes rapid fluid loss, it’s a good idea to drink fluids before as well as during an event, says Dubost.

  • For endurance athletes such as marathon runners or long-distance cyclists, experts recommend drinking 8 to 12 ounces of fluid every 10 or 15 minutes during an event.
  • When possible, drink chilled fluids, which are more easily absorbed than room temperature water. Chilled fluids also help cool your body down.

5. Replenish Lost Electrolytes

Sweating causes both fluid and electrolyte loss. Electrolytes help transmit nerve signals in your body, and play many other important roles. To replenish lost electrolytes, many athletes reach for sports drinks. If you lose a lot of fluid sweating, experts recommend diluting sports drinks with equal amounts of water to get the best balance of fluid and electrolytes.

 

Information sourced from: http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/nutrition-tips-athletes