I wanted to talk about the importance of health and wellbeing with women who are in sport, mothers and those women who are super busy and stressed.
It’s quite easy to forget about ourselves and self care when we are stressed out or overwhelmed because we are so busy and I am sure a lot of women can relate to this, so I wanted to give some tips I have tried and tested that works.
I have been a full time professional athlete for 15 years, these days I am a triathlon coach and I run my own successful coaching business as well as training on a daily basis and competing at world age group level in triathlon so I lead a very busy lifestyle.
I have realised to look and feel my best these 5 things are at the top of my list:
- Sun Protection
- Food & Nutrition
- Stretching & Strength Training
Using sun protection and protecting your skin from the harmful uva/uvb rays are important for anti aging and healthy skin. I have found wearing sun visors or a hat as well as glasses when I’m out running or riding help to minimise sun damage. I use daily sunscreen when I am out training or working because it helps to protect my skin and keeps it looking at it’s best. I have seen a lot of athletes and those that spend a lot of time in the sun due to their work or lifestyle end up with skin cancers and pigmentation because they failed to protect and look after their skin everyday. One of the best products I have ever used over the years is a product called invisible zinc, it’s light, rubs in clear so you won’t know you’ve got it on and it doesn’t come off when your sweating. It protects from UV rays and it doesn’t clog your pores or give you pimples when your sweating. It is made from a naturally sourced mineral zinc oxide, it has no chemical sun filters and is suitable for sensitive skin. It is perfect for athletes who are out training in the sun or outdoors regularly. Check out their products for sun protection www.invisiblezinc.com
I think a lot of people under estimate hydration and it’s importance in keeping the body hydrated. When we are hydrated our skin looks more youthful and our muscles are more supple so they function better on a day to day basis by enabling us to move better. There is no cramping or sleep deprivation when the body is hydrated thanks to the magnesium in hydration products that help to relax the muscles. I like to drink plenty of water on a daily basis but I also like to take hydration products and add them to my water bottle throughout the day as they provide sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium for hydration. I use a brand called precision hydration www.precisionhydration.com which have a whole range of great electrolyte products and personalised hydration solutions to keep the body hydrated. I have also noticed I get more out of my training when I am hydrated and I always perform better in races because I am not getting cramps or other side effects due to dehydration.
Food and nutrition is fuel for the body so whatever we put into our bodies affects what’s happening on the inside which translates to the outside and has an affect on the way we feel and our moods. We can prevent many diseases by way of diet and nutrition so thinking about replacing processed foods with fresh whole foods will impact your health and wellbeing in a big way not only now but for your future too. I like to eat as much organic produce as possible, and I like to include a whole range of fruits and vegetables and lean meats to get all the minerals and nutrients I need. I also use a wonderful whole food supplement that works on a cellular level in the body which helps with my busy lifestyle as I don’t always have time to prepare my healthy meals so this has been a game changer for me in terms of having more energy, boosting my immune system and never getting colds or flu anymore. Making my skin more radiant and youthful due to the cell regeneration but the best part is it takes the oxidative stress out of the body for people that do lots of exercise, so it’s great for athletes. If you would like more information on this whole food supplement send me a message.
Doing exercise everyday is great because it moves the energy in our bodies, it produces endorphins, helps to release stress, alievaties depression and anxiety and improves your mental health and wellbeing. I mean how good do you usually feel after you have had a big workout session or a great training session? You feel happy, you have achieved a goal of some sort which is great for your self esteem and you usually feel more motivated, more energized and have more clarity because of it. So I always find time to exercise everyday because its essential for overall health and wellbeing and for me personally it’s always made me a happier, more motivated and more productive person.
I have found over the years that both stretching & strength training is a powerful combination of both push and pull for the body and that too much of anything is not good for us. I have learnt that the hard way as an athlete as I never used to do any strength training and I therefore encountered injury after injury. I now know that stretching and strength training should be done along side each other. Stretching helps to release tight muscles and gives us more rotation, flexibility and movement through all our muscles and joints. Strength training enables us to strengthen and train the right muscles like our glutes and hamstrings so we can activate and switch on those muscles that enable us to do everyday functions without hurting our backs, hips and knees.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article and have taken something positive away from it for your own health and wellbeing. I am grateful I can share my knowledge on what helps me to look and feel at my best daily with others that I have tried and tested on my journey as an athlete and living a busy lifestyle.
Article by Michelle Dillon