Sunday, May 18, 2008

Skaters Need Fuel: Don't Crash Your Diet


In figure skating Image is everything. Many skaters are extremely concerned about their weight because appearance on the ice is important in the sport. Having a small shape is important in figure skating, breasts and hips slow the spins, lower the jumps and disrupt the lean body lines. The message is clear and all skaters know that you must be thin to win.

Your healthy weight is based on your Body Mass Index (BMI). Doctors often use BMI to determine if a person is underweight, at a healthy weight or is overweight. If you are above the healthy weight range, see your doctor to work out a program to help you reach a healthy weight. If you fall below the healthy weight range, or are losing weight unintentionally, consult your health care provider to make sure you don’t have any health problems.

For anyone who skates, weight is usually something they have on their mind. They are usually concerned about the right “weight” to be. While the focus should be eating right, and exercise, skaters or any athlete should keep in mind that it really depends on “your” body type. Some people are naturally more muscular than others and they have an easier time gaining muscle. Others can work out a ton and still have hard time gaining muscles. So it just depends on your body frame. You really shouldn't worry about this however.

Sometimes, your weight may fluctuate, and no matter how much you work out, you seem to be gaining weight. The answer to this could be that you probably are gaining a lot of muscles. Keep in mind that it is not fat. It is muscle. Whatever your size may be don’t beat yourself up for it; even as you may THINK it is fat, it is muscle. Muscles weigh more than fat. As long as you're healthy then keep working out and don't worry about your weight.

You can eat whatever you like with moderation, provided you exercise regularly and follow simple healthy eating habits. Focus on protein and fats-the best type of fats like olive oil avocado nuts, etc. Make getting lots of vegetables a priority. You need a variety of food: Potatoes, carrots, peas and carrots broccoli, green beans, peppers, tomatoes, asparagus, artichokes . . . Don’t take out any food group. As an athlete, you need carbohydrates, protein, and fats for energy, or you can forget about improving those skills on the ice.

For the adult skater, especially for women, choose items that don't make you want more and more food. For instance try to avoid refine foods. As for an older woman it is often harder to control weight. If you are over 30 and up starches and sugars are not your friends. It just makes you crave more as a result, you become less energetic and more likely to become obese and possibly diabetic as the fat stores in your mid-section.

If you're concerned about chubby areas, then you should definitely workout to tone those areas. However, keep in mind that working out in order to tone is very different from working out in order to lose weight. For example, if you already have a workout regimen intended to help you lose weight, here are a few alterations I would suggest that you tone your chubby areas with low weights, high rep. For instance, crunch for your abs, squats for your buns, lunges for your thighs and curls for your arms. Any serous skater has already implemented those routines as part of their off-ice training. You might gain a bit because muscle weighs more than fat; it is quite all right because then you'll be in the healthy weight range.

It is important that you stretch before, during, and after your workout. Stretching you muscles prevent pooling of bodily liquids and it also ensure that you don't develop "lumpy" muscles. The same way you stretch prior to getting on the ice, the same rule applies for any work out routine. People who don't stretch regularly find that they do not develop the smooth, attractive lean muscles they want.

Optimal weight is best achieved through the consumption of a low-fat, moderate-protein, high-complex-carbohydrate diet plus a good exercise and conditioning program. Skaters should eat and drink something, even a slice of toast and a small glass of juice is better than nothing, before taking to the ice to be certain that muscles are well fueled. The quick burst of muscular activity associated with the jumps required in figure skating is not possible without sufficient storage of fuel.

1 comment:

SusanAtLifeskate said...

Very well said and I hope others will follow your advice.

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