Triathlon Magazine Canada - - FEATURES -

Win­ter brings with it sev­eral dif­fi­cul­ties for triath­letes. Get­ting out the door to train can be more ar­du­ous sim­ply be­cause of the lo­gis­tics of deal­ing with the cold, dark, snow and ice. Other chal­lenges to fit­ness arise as the temp­ta­tion to stay un­der a warm blan­ket and en­joy rich, warm­ing com­fort-food in­creases, es­pe­cially as the sum­mer race sea­son seems ever dis­tant. But, to make the most of the next race sea­son, the prep starts in the win­ter. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take a break, but health and fit­ness can be main­tained, and even in­creased, through work­ing on nu­tri­tion as well as po­ten­tially other skills and al­ter­nate fit­ness. Here are some things to watch, and take care of, nu­tri­tion­ally dur­ing the win­ter:

Win­ter is the pre­dom­i­nant sea­son for colds and other ill­nesses. A healthy im­mune sys­tem can help ward of the germs or lessen the im­pact/ du­ra­tion of any in­fec­tions. Ad­e­quate vi­ta­min C in­take, along with other an­tiox­i­dants, are linked with a strong im­mune sys­tem. Try and eat more foods such as cit­rus fruits, cran­ber­ries, broccoli, spinach and sweet potato (all of which are in sea­son dur­ing win­ter) along with zinc rich foods such as fish, oys­ters, chicken, eggs and milk. If fresh pro­duce is not read­ily avail­able dur­ing the cold win­ter, then try the frozen foods sec­tion. Veg­eta­bles and fruits that are snap frozen when fresh in sea­son will pro­vide more nu­tri­ents than canned. Pro­bi­otics will as­sist in main­tain­ing healthy gut flora – the cen­tral driver for the im­mune sys­tem. Fer­mented foods such as ke­fir, yogurt, sauer­kraut, kom­bucha and kim­chee are the best di­etary sources, as well as a mul­ti­strain pro­bi­otic sup­ple­ment.

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