As everybody knows, to stay fit and healthy you have to exercise and eat well. Now before I found out I had a stress fracture, I would say that I pretty much had the balance right when it came to exercise. Admittedly, I ran quite a bit but I would also attend regular barre, spin, HIIT, Pilates and yoga classes to work on my strength, agility and pace. I cycled to and from work sometimes and would generally try and be on feet as much as possible.
My diet has always been a bit touch and go. Fruit and small meals such as soup or salad for lunch and a large bowl of chilli, salad, curry or pasta for dinner. When I couldn’t be bothered to cook, in other words when I was cooking for myself, I’d have a bowl of cereal with milk and yoghurt. No, it’s not exactly a meal plan for foodies but it seemed adequate enough to do the job.
You see I’m not one to take that much care over food. That’s not to say I gorge my face on fast food but I’d rather be out there burning it off than stuck inside cooking something tasty that will be gobbled up in sub-two minutes because I’m so damn hungry. And I probably would have continued in the same vain if it hadn’t have been for my injury.
When I was diagnosed with a stress fracture, my physio (not my NHS consultant) suggested I ask for a blood test which my lovely NHS doctor sorted out for me in a jiffy. This revealed that not only were my levels of iron low, I was also deficient in vitamin D. And while I had an inkling that both of these are linked to weaker bones, I was not sure why. From reading around and a general interest in health, I also knew that low vitamin D can also affect your mood and energy levels hence why I had been feeling so tired.
The more I started reading around it, the more I wanted to learn about how I can prep my body nutritionally to ensure I’m not only fuelled adequately for when I return to running but also prepped food and energy-wise to prevent injury again.
And as fate would have it, Future Fit Training approached me to take part in one of their short courses. I won’t go into all the spiel about Future Fit quite yet but essentially they offer courses on Fitness, Pilates and Nutrition to fitness professionals. I signed up to the Nutrition for Sport and Exercise course because I want to feel more confident when writing about it and find out more so I can help others and myself when it comes to training smart. Having worked at a company selling fitness monitors for almost two years, I’m not completely oblivious to nutrition but my knowledge is patchy and this course seems to offer a way of (in loan-speak) consolidate it or fill in the gaps.
What’s more, I like the setup. At the moment, I am extremely busy what with working full-time, trying to plan a wedding, have a social life, exercise and sleep, so it is good to find a course I can work on remotely in my own time using my laptop. Beki from Miss Wheezy has also raved about the course and how it helped her gain knowledge in a practical way without being overwhelming.
The course is really well put together, focusing on both the science behind nutrition and how you can put it into practice. You’re introduced to four athletes of differing abilities and aims with the hope that by the end you’ll be able to offer them advice. I’ll also receive a qualification which for someone who has a habit of collecting certificates is always a bonus.
It is still early days as I am just working my way through the first energy section but so far I like what I see. I’ll keep you updated with the progress and may even start to use some of my new found knowledge.