The Sports Company
A Publication for Customers of The Sports Company
FALL 1998VOLUME I
A Balanced Diet
ietary advice for all types of athletes is the same as for the general public. That is, eat a well-balanced diet from a wide variety of foods in sufficient amounts to meet energy needs. Experts agree the key to healthy eating is the time-tested advice of balance, variety and moderation. In short, that means eating a wide variety of foods without getting too many calories or too much of any one nutrient.
Because people need more than 40 different nutrients daily for good health, it is important to eat a variety of foods. No single food supplies them all. Diets that include a wide variety of foods not only reap the nutritional benefits, but may also help prevent disease and consequently live longer. Recent studies have found that people who ate wide varieties of foods had a lower risk of premature death than those who ate the same food year after year.
Your daily food selection should include bread and other whole-grain products; fruits; vegetables; dairy products; and meat, poultry, fish and other protein foods. How much you should eat depends on your calorie needs. Nutrition experts like the American Dietetic Association recommend that we eat a diet low in fat and high in complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates are foods such as pasta, rice, potatoes, and breads. Generally, nutritionists suggest that we consume no more than 30 percent to 35 percent of our calories as fat, at least 55 percent as carbohydrates, and the remainder as protein.
The Food Guide Pyramid shown below is a practical tool to help you make food choices that are consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Using the Pyramid enables you to eat a variety of foods daily so that you can get the nutrients you need.
Exercise and Weight Loss
he key to weight control is keeping energy intake (food) and energy output (physical activity) in balance. When you consume only as many calories as your body needs, your weight will usually remain constant. If you take in more calories than your body needs, you will put on excess fat. If you expend more energy than you take in, you will burn excess fat.
Exercise plays an important role in weight control by increasing energy output, calling on stored calories for extra fuel. Recent studies show that not only does exercise increase metabolism during a workout, but it causes your metabolism to stay increased for a period of time after exercising, allowing you to burn more calories. There are two basic forms of exercise: anaerobic and aerobic.
Anaerobic activity is short in duration (0 to 2 minutes) and high in intensity. Anaerobic activities include activities such as racquetball, downhill skiing, weight lifting, sprinting, softball, soccer and football. This type of exercise requires immediate energy to be supplied by blood glucose and muscle glycogen, and focuses more on increasing muscle mass and building power.Anaerobic exercise is very important in improving strength to perform daily activities and train for sporting events. Additionally anaerobic activity increases your metabolic rate for several hours after exercising, as well as your resting metabolic rate. The quickening of the metabolic rate may make it easier shed unwanted weight.
In the strictest sense, moderate-intensity activities that can be sustained for more than 2 minutes are called aerobic exercise. More commonly, aerobic exercise is defined as using the same large muscle group, rhythmically, for a period of 15 to 20 minutes or longer while maintaining 60-80% of your maximum heart rate. Examples of aerobic activities include cross-country skiing, biking rowing, jogging or walking.
Aerobic exercise is highly effective in improving the cardiovascular system because it conditions the heart and lungs by increasing the oxygen available to the body and by enabling the heart to use oxygen more efficiently. Other benefits include: