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Health and Fitness

You are ready to join us and have questions about nutrition, clothing and footwear. Here are some tips we have put together to help you,


Clothing

Make sure that you wear suitable clothing to each training session, such as trainers, shorts/tracksuit bottoms, t-shirt and jumper.  Its very important that your muscles don't get cold straight after training therefore it is better for you to take extra layers of clothing rather than not have enough.  Waterproof clothing will be needed for wet weather whilst sun cream is necessary for warm weather.


Footwear

When purchasing new footwear for athletes, it is essential that you try the trainers on, as you would wear them when running, with the laces correctly fastened.  Key points to look out for are the grip on the sole of the shoe, the weight of the shoe and the support that they give you. You should also ask if there is somewhere that you can jog and stride out to test how the trainers feel when running; this can be done outside of the shop if necessary.

  • Ask as many questions as you can about the trainers and don’t be afraid to try on as many pairs until you find the right ones for you.
  • When you try on a new pair, think about cushioning, support and flexibility. Cushion provides the bounce when you hit the ground, support keeps your feet in position, and flexibility helps your feet to bend freely.
  • There are clear connections between what we eat and health. It is important therefore to establish good nutritional habits.  Unless you run more than two or three times a week, an ordinary trainer should suit. Try and test them in the shop for cushion, support and flexibility before you hand over your money. And remember that a sole that bends at the front usually offers the best support.
  • For anybody with flat feet, support under your arches will be most comfortable and those with high arches should look for lots of cushioning. Don't squeeze your feet, but at the same time, there shouldn't be room for your feet to move from side to side and the heel to slip up and down.

Nutrition

Eating the right things? 

  • Eat a balanced diet. Plenty of fruit and vegetables (five portions a day). Lots of carbohydrates, e.g. potatoes, bread, cereals, fruit.
  • Avoid high fat foods, e.g fried food, takeaways, crisps, white sauces, croissants, doughnuts, fatty meat, food with more than 4% fat content.
  • A diet which is rich in Carbohydrates is recommended for athletes who train on a regular basis in order to replenish glycogen stores in their body.
  • Choose healthy snacks e.g. baked beans on toast, pasta, jacket potato, energy and muesli bars, banana and dried fruit.

Eating at the right times?

  • Breakfast is the most important meal of the day
  • They should eat within 30 minutes of finishing exercise (including every training session and competition), as this is the best time to refuel muscles and speed recovery (take a banana to training and drink).

Fluid and Keeping Hydrated

It is vital that you drink plenty of fluids a day such as water and other still drinks, especially when exercising. This is because fluid is lost during exercise and a lack of fluids can result in dehydration, which can affect health as well as performance. This is important even with a short exercise session

  • Be organised and take drinks to training in a bottle, as appropriate drinks may not be available at the venue
  • It is best to drink water or juice rather than fizzy drinks or tea and coffee
  • Your should not experiment with new sports drinks on the day of competition.
  • Try the drink in the weeks leading up to a competition and use what they are familiar and feel comfortable with a good indicator of good hydration is when urine is straw-coloured and plentiful.
  • Drink 500ml for every 40 minutes of exercise - you should ensure you take regular sips throughout your session.
  • Continue to drink after exercising for 1 – 2 hours.

Dealing with injuries

Participation in any type of sport risk getting injured. However with good coaching, taking good care of themselves - not over training, taking sufficient rest etc; the risk of injury is lowered considerably

  • Rest, Ice, Compression & Elevation (RICE) is a tried and tested procedure when dealing with soft tissue injuries such as swelling and bruising
  • The best ice pack is ice crushed into a wet flannel and applied for up to 20 minutes. Repeat every few hours
  • Rest and only return when fully recovered to ensure that the injury is not aggravated
  • Always seek medical advice if there is any possibility of a head injury
  • If in doubt, always seek advice from a doctor or qualified physiotherapist.

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