Fuel your body up for your best race yet. (Photo courtesy of Denise Crew)
Written by Alyssa Belanger, editorial intern
An apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? Staying healthy and strong may not be quite that simple, but dietary supplement specialist Lori Bestervelt of NSF International has some simple tips for staying on top your fitness game as marathon season approaches and the weather gets colder.
1. Stay consistent. If you’re planning on starting a new supplement, switching up your diet or even trying a new sports drink, be sure that you give your body time to adjust. “Trying something new on race day can literally be the kiss of death,” according to Bestervelt. It's important to incorporate anything that you plan to do on race day into your regular training schedule well in advance that you won’t be surprised by the way your body reacts to these changes.
2. Start popping a pill. Whether you’re training for the next big race or frequenting the gym for a spinning class, you need your vitamins! Bestervelt recommends getting a good daily multivitamin to maintain good health. Check your multi's label at fda.gov to make sure you're getting all the nutrients your body needs.
3. Rise and shine, rain or shine. “Practice for every kind of weather, because you have no idea what you’re going to get on race day,” says Bestervelt. It may be hard to get out of bed on a rainy day when you’ve been spoiled by summer’s sunshine, but training for different weather conditions will ensure that your body is ready for whatever comes your way on race day. Be sure to stock up on waterproof gear to keep you warm and dry, too!
Bonus Tip: Studies have shown that people with low levels of vitamin D have increased respiratory infections. If you are training in rainy or cooler conditions, be sure to stock up on vitamin D, which helps strengthen your body’s immune function. Bestervelt suggests taking 2000-5000 IUs (international units) for those who exercise heavily.
Tell us: What do you do to prep your body and mind before a big race?
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