Eat Your Way to the Finish Line: 5 Nutrition Tips for a Successful Race Day

Posted by | Posted in Biathlon, Exercise, Expert Tips, Nutrition, SportsCare | Posted on 10-09-2014

Finish-LineYou’ve made the decision: You’re going to run a marathon, a half marathon, a 5K, 10K or any other major fitness event, like the upcoming Memorial SportsCare Women’s Biathlon. Good for you! That’s a huge undertaking. And, while training, you might hit hurdles or hard times. You might feel like giving up. But, with the right training and some healthy efforts, you can do it. Go you! 

One aspect of training that gets lost in the shuffle but is an important, necessary part of your preparation is food. Nutrition training is as important as physical training–it can make or break your experience. Angie Sebree, a registered dietitian with Memorial Weight Loss & Wellness Center, offers her top five tips for training nutrition. 

1. It’s not you eat, but when you eat. 

Sebree offers this tip to those in training: Figure out what time your event will be. While training, eat two hours before that time every day. 

“Train your gut,” she said. “Treat every training day like it’s race day. If you plan to eat one or two hours before the event, eat that way when you train in that timeframe so you will feel the same way when training as you will on race day.” 

2. Make sure what you’re eating is substantial. 

If you have the ability to eat a meal two hours before the event, do that. Sometimes, however, that may not be feasible. 

“If the race is at 7 a.m., you might not want to eat a large meal at 5 a.m., so eat a snack an hour before,” Sebree said. 

Sebree’s rule of thumb for race day nutrition: About an hour to an hour and a half before the race, eat 20-30 grams of carbohydrates and 10-15 grams of protein. You can hit these numbers with a serving of chocolate milk, a Luna bar, a Nature Valley protein bar or a hardboiled egg with two pieces of toast. 

3. Decide if you’re training for speed or weight loss. 

You will need to choose, as both might not be possible. 

“If you’re training for speed, you shouldn’t be losing weight,” Sebree said. “But if you’re training for weight loss, you should know your speed might not be your best.” 

Either way, it is still important to eat within that structured schedule. You might simply need to adjust your calories. That said…

4. Be sure you get enough calories. 

“If you don’t eat enough calories or get adequate nutrition, you’re going to get very fatigued,” Sebree said. “Your weight loss might stall. There is a fine line between eating and physical activity.”

Sebree suggests tracking your caloric input and output using MyFitnessPal or a Fitbit device.

5. Hydration is everything.

“About a week before your event, make sure you’re very hydrated–overly hydrated even,” Sebree said. “A standard 64 to 80 ounces per day plus what you’re losing during your workout.”

Not sure how to quantify how much water you’re losing? Here’s a good rule to follow: For every 30 minutes of physical activity, give yourself 10-16 ounces of fluid. 

The day of the race, two hours before event, drink about 16-24 ounces of fluid, with 12 of those ounces within an hour before the event. 

“After an hour of physical activity, start using Gatorade or other electrolyte replacing fluids,” Sebree said. “Shoot for 10 to16 ounces every 30 minutes.”

10 Ways to Become Faithful to Fitness

Posted by | Posted in Exercise, Expert Tips, Memorial Medical Center, Weight Loss and Wellness | Posted on 17-07-2014

Mature-Woman-Doing-YogaStarting a fitness routine may be easy. However, sticking with the routine seems to be the hard part. The first few weeks, we’re pumped to start working out, then life gets in the way, or we don’t see the results we want and give up.

Here are some tips from the experts at Memorial Weight Loss & Wellness Center to help you become a long-term exerciser, if you are will to give exercise just one more try! Read the rest of this entry »

Three Reasons New Runners Must Cross-train

Posted by | Posted in Biathlon, Exercise, Expert Tips, SportsCare | Posted on 12-05-2014

Woman-on-BicycleFor people who are new to running, adding in “cross-training” to a schedule can seem overwhelming. Other runners who are getting into training habits often don’t want to cross-train for fear of losing progress. However, cross-training needs to be a part of your exercise routine.

Cross-training for runners involves activities, such as biking, swimming or yoga, that exercise different muscles and are not as high-impact on the joints.

“While cross-training sounds like a break and is less intense, it actually helps strengthen the entire body and supports healthy, effective training,” said Gabe Stinson, a sports enhancement specialist with Memorial’s SportsCare.

Still not convinced you need to cross-train? Stinson gives three reasons you should: Read the rest of this entry »

I Want to Run a 5K … But I’m Not a Runner: 3 Tips to Get Started

Posted by | Posted in Exercise, Expert Tips, SportsCare | Posted on 15-04-2014

RunnersWhat motivates people – who otherwise never run – to train to run a 5K? Sometimes it’s to support and raise money for a special cause. There are charity 5Ks every weekend – including several fun ones coming up in Springfield. (Click on a list of Memorial-sponsored upcoming races and walks here.) Other people just want to try something that may seem unattainable.

Gabe Stinson, a sports enhancement specialist with Memorial SportsCare, shares his expertise with those wanting to cross the finish line of a 5K this spring or summer. Read the rest of this entry »

10 Reasons to Get Healthy This Year

Posted by | Posted in Bariatrics, Exercise, Expert Tips, Nutrition, Weight Loss and Wellness | Posted on 31-12-2013

exerciseReason #10 – For your children or family members who depend upon you.

Making your health a priority helps you to participate more in the lives of your children and family members.

Reason #9 – For your significant other who loves you.

Good health can be contagious. When you model better choices, the effects can influence others to move in a similar direction.

Reason #8 – For improved your physical ability and reduced risk of injury.

A stronger you is better able to tackle yard work, household chores and tasks at work.

Reason #7 – For increased energy.

Who wants to be lagging and dragging when there are things to do, places to go and people to meet?! And you don’t have to be a social butterfly to appreciate having more energy to do the things you love to do. Read the rest of this entry »

Exercise – Good for the Body & Mind

Posted by | Posted in Events, Exercise, Expert Tips, Mental Health | Posted on 05-06-2013

86544912Some of the results of exercise aren’t always pretty – sweat dripping down your face, an increased heart rate, flushed skin, fatigue. But none of that matters because your mood has improved!

Thanks to endorphins released during physical activity, many people experience a positive boost in mood and reduced feelings of depression and anxiety after exercising.

Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

“Exercise can be a powerful tool for people dealing with stress,” said Kenny Dunn, a personal wellness coach at Memorial Counseling Associates. “Typically, people who are under stress or are suffering from depression will use food as a coping mechanism. This leads to weight gain and an increased risk of health issues, further increasing depression and stress. By using exercise as a coping skill, people can reduce feelings of stress and depression.”

Because exercise can improve a person’s appearance, their confidence and self-esteem often increase as well. Cognitive functioning, or thought process, also can get better. This is beneficial for people who are feeling down or struggling with depression. When someone is suffering mentally, they are less likely to engage in physical and social activities. Instead they might turn to unhealthy coping skills such as binge eating, substance abuse and isolation to alleviate their symptoms.

“These coping skills tend to decrease a sense of self worth and put the individual at a higher risk of health issues,” Dunn said. “However, by increasing physical activity the person can work to reverse this effect, creating a better self image, sense of worth and more social interaction.” Read the rest of this entry »

How Yoga Supports Your Workout Regimen

Posted by | Posted in Events, Exercise, SportsCare | Posted on 11-04-2013

Yoga ClassNeed a low-impact exercise to compliment your cardio and strength-building exercises?

Just say, “om.”

Yoga — a set of body movements intended to stretch parts of the body while also focusing on breath control —is a great way to enhance your workout routine, said Gabriel Stinson, MS, PES, a sports enhancement specialist with Memorial SportsCare.

“Moving through and holding the various positions of yoga focuses on improving strength, flexibility and cardiovascular function,” Stinson said. “It’s also a great stress reliever. It provides a great workout while refreshing the mind and body.” Read the rest of this entry »

Training for a Tough Mudder

Posted by | Posted in Exercise, Expert Tips, SportsCare | Posted on 28-03-2013

mud runThe first time Gabe Stinson learned about a Tough Mudder race from a friend, he was intrigued. And once he participated in his first – he was hooked.

 Whether it’s a Warrior Dash, Tough Mudder  or Spartan Race, they’re gaining in popularity,” said Stinson, MS, a certified performance enhancement specialist with Memorial SportsCare.

Though more people are participating, these competitive events —  which combine off-road running through fields or rough terrain and challenging obstacles — are not for everyone, Stinson cautioned. Training is very different from training for a traditional road race. Read the rest of this entry »

8 Nutrition and Fitness Apps to Put You on the Road to Better Health

Posted by | Posted in Bariatrics, Diabetes, Exercise, Nutrition, Resources | Posted on 10-01-2013

We use our cellphones for a lot more than making phone calls. Many of us have smartphones with apps to help us manage our schedules, check the weather, find show times for the latest movie and wake us up in the morning.

So why not use apps to help you better manage your diet?

We surveyed our registered dietitians at Memorial Medical Center. Here are some of the nutrition and fitness apps they recommended: Read the rest of this entry »

When Running Form Matters

Posted by | Posted in Exercise, SportsCare | Posted on 20-09-2012

As Gabe Stinson, M.S., a certified performance enhancement specialist with Memorial’s SportsCare, found out, even when you help other people improve their fitness, it doesn’t guarantee that you’ve mastered a perfect running form.

“A friend of mine told me about a race series called Tough Mudder, and I was hooked. I signed up for the nearest race and started training. For the first month or so, I ran pain free,” Stinson said.

But then the problems began. “My right knee started to hurt with every run. I backed off my training and rested, which helped. But the pain came back, and I knew it was time to see an athletic trainer.

“In just one session, my trainer saw that my calves, especially my right one, were tight. This threw off my running form that led to my knee pain. The advice? Stretch before and after each run to maintain proper running form.”

Stories like Gabe’s are fairly common according to Amanda Wilson, PT, DPT, ATC, also of Memorial’s SportsCare. Read the rest of this entry »