Thursday, July 11, 2013

Suits and Jocks are totally different breeds with nothing in common, right? Wrong.

By Jeff Hyman

Professional athletes endure the same struggles as any other professional. They travel frequently and, aside from their job which involves both practice and game time, the pro athlete has to find time to work out, as well as make smart eating choices.

Yousef Zamat, one of our Exercise Physiologists at Retrofit and a former trainer for the San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers and Detroit Tigers, points out the similarities of professional baseball players to clients of Retrofit, regarding the challenge to maintain optimal fitness and health:
"The players like Retrofit clients have a team of professionals (team nutritionist, Athletic Trainer and Strength Coach) who are there to help motivate them to make the right choices. They use these professionals to stay healthy and injury free so that they can perform in their profession just as Retrofit clients can use the professionals they have on hand to stay healthy and be on top of their game. And just like Retrofit clients, their experts don't travel with them. They are not going to be sitting next to them at the restaurant, so the athletes need to be able to apply the rules they've learned so they are making good food choices on the road to fuel the performance they need."
And the performance is not just driven by what's on the plate. Having a healthy mindset regarding your diet is also vital to overall health and performance. Dawn Jackson Blatner, lead food and nutrition expert on Retrofit's Advisory Board, nutritional consultant for the Chicago Cubs, and author of The Flexitarian Diet, believes in using the power of food to prevent illness and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Blatner says the following basic rules can keep your mind and body at peek performance levels in the workplace and on the baseball field:
  • Eat without distraction: When distracted, a person ends up missing out on the eating experience and is unsatisfied, which may trigger continued or more frequent eating.
  • Eat breakfast: Eating breakfast reduces hunger, provides more energy, and facilitates healthier eating choices throughout the day.
  • Increase intake of vegetables: Eat a ½ plate of vegetables at lunch & dinner.
  • Decrease intake of coffee: Drink tea instead of coffee in the afternoon.
  • Get 7-8 hours of sleep per night: Inadequate sleep directly affects diet and exercise choices.
  • Drink 12 glasses of water (100 ounces per day): Drinking water is essential to overall health and has many benefits.
For my part, I'm just glad to know I have something in common with professional athletes and as I chose my next meal out I'm fueling for performance with the help of my team.
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Jeff is an entrepreneur at heart with a lifelong passion for creating innovative and human-powered companies. He was Founder and CEO of three internet-based services companies. He served as SVP of Sales & Marketing for Ameritox, and VP of Marketing at Dyson. Jeff is an active member in Young Presidents' Organization (YPO). He holds a BS from The Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from The Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.

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