Exercise is a vital part of a healthy lifestyle - Jelinna Santiago
Exercise is vital to a healthy lifestyle. We must get at least one hour of physical activity every day. Sport develops strength, social skills, teamwork, thinking skills and more.
My sport is cheerleading, I don’t shake pom poms at a football match, but I do do stunts and flips. I do All Star cheerleading, which is competitive cheerleading. There are 6 levels and I currently do level 4.
Each routine is 2.5 minutes long and I attend 4-5 competitions a year. It may not seem much but it’s extremely exhausting since I train 5 hours a week on top of other activities. To me, cheer routines are the hardest 2.5 minutes I have ever experienced in my life.
I was stoked to find out last year that finally on December 6, 2016 the International Olympic Committee officially recognised cheerleading as a sport. Hopefully this changes the way that cheerleading is viewed by the public and gives them a greater appreciation of cheerleading as a sport.
A cheerleading routine consists of:
Jumps - consecutive jumps of either a toe-touch, herkie or pike.
Tumbling - combination of flipping and twisting in the air with or without hands
Stunts - holding a flyer at a chest position or above the head and tossing them in the air
Base- a person who holds and throws flyers
Flyer- a person who does tricks and stunts in the air
Pyramid - 2 or more stunt groups create a bigger and harder stunt, the flyers hold onto each other while doing tricks.
All of these require a lot of stamina, strength, balance, teamwork, flexibility and most of all trust.
To keep up my energy and fitness I need to have a balanced diet. It’s important to eat a variety of foods in your diet every day from the 5 groups.
Eating healthy provides better energy, faster recoveries, more muscle and better performance.
It is recommended to follow the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating.
Eating a balanced diet
For a balanced diet it is recommended to follow the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating and adjust it slightly for personal goals and sporting needs.
A balanced diet will also provide the nutrition needed for our organs and tissues to work properly, help fight disease, fatigue and infections, as well as optimal growth and development.
Good eating habits for a balanced diet
1. Eating fresh unprocessed foods
2. Limit refined and added sugar and salt
3. Portion your plate eg. ¼ to meat, ¼ to low GI foods, grains or starchy vegetabls and ½ to vegetables
4. Eat whole grain or wholemeal rather than “white”
5. Avoid fast food places
6. Only eat one plate of food
7. Consume more potassium not sodium
8. Avoid deep fried and boiled foods
9. Shop healthy
10. Drink plenty of water
11. Don't skip meals
When exercising it is very important to drink plenty of water. I make sure to always bring my drink bottle into class and into training. According to the Institute of Medicine, the adequate intake of water for men is 3 litres and for women it is 2.2 litres.
Water helps with:
1. Metabolism such as digestion, circulation, the transportation of nutrients and maintenance of body temperature
2. To control calories because it has zero calories and reduces eating intake and hunger.
3. Increase energy and reduces fatigue
4. Give your skin a healthier appearance
5. Maintain bowel function
6. Get rid of toxins in the form of sweat and urine
This is a general guide to nutritional needs, but it doesn’t apply to your size, age and activity levels. A person's diet will differ depending how much physical activity you do.
It is actually recommended to eat 5 times a day: breakfast, snack, lunch, snack and dinner. Good snacks include foods such as nuts, fruit, popcorn, oatmeal, celery, carrots, dried fruit or dark chocolate. Eating snacks prevents overeating, keeps blood sugar levels steady and provides nutrients.
Eating for your sport
What you need to eat really depends on what type of physical activity you do. The amount of food intake will differ depending on the number of training hours. Read more here.
Learn about your sports diet
The sports dietitian website has some useful information for eating for your specific sport: https://www.sportsdietitians.com.au/section/food-for-your-sport/
You can also seek sport nutritionists to assist you with your eating diet. Inspiro has university trained dietitians and nutritionists. If you'd like to find out more call 97388801 or find out more here.
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