Hannah Cockroft’s Top 5 Health & Nutrition Tips to Keep your Body and Mind in Winning Condition
Words by Hannah Cockroft
The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games have almost arrived, and as 5-time Paralympic Champion, Remedy asked me to share my top 5 health and nutrition tips to keep your body and mind in winning condition. I’m currently training to race over the 100m and 800m wheelchair races, aiming for another two gold medals for Great Britain and Remedy have kept me refreshed and hydrated throughout my training over the last couple of months. So, here are my top 5 tips:
Everything in moderation
I’ll start with my golden rule first, and that is; ‘everything in moderation’. Everyone thinks that as a Paralympic Gold medallist and elite athlete, there must be loads of things I don’t eat or drink, but I don’t rule anything out of my diet completely. I train hard, 6 days a week, so if I fancy a bit of chocolate or a slice of cake, I’ll go ahead and have it. I find there is nothing worse than telling yourself you can’t, as it then turns into all you can think about, whereas if you allow yourself anything you want, you feel better after the healthier option, so you’ll naturally reach for them. All foods play a vital role in our body functioning, so don’t restrict yourself to just a few of them!
It sounds so simple, but it’s so hard! It’s something I’m still working on, but especially in this hot weather we’re having, keep having a drink. We should drink 2 litres of water every day, so fill a bottle in the morning and keep it with you throughout the day to encourage you to stay hydrated. It’ll make you feel more awake, alert and it’ll keep your skin clear of mask- acne- all the benefits!
This is another tricky area to control, as it includes all your food AND drinks and fizzy drinks can really tip this over the edge. This is where Remedy comes in handy for me, as sometimes there’s nothing better than a can of pop after training to beat the craving. Now, I can grab a can of remedy (the new peach flavour is my favourite!) and get that fizzy hit without the sugar- it’s all natural and so satisfying!
Rest is best
I push my body to its limits, training 2-5 hours daily but Sundays are my favourite day of the week, as they’re my day off! Too many people think that taking a day off is counterproductive to progress, but, your body needs rest to maximise on the gains, so use the excuse for a sleep in every once in a while. Sleep also relieves stress and helps you think more clearly, so it’s much easier to process that bad session once you’ve had some sleep and you can come back in a better mood and work on it.
And of course, the most important part of staying healthy- stay active! Aim to do 30 minutes of exercise a day, but keep it varied. Whether it’s a jog with a friend, a bike ride, walking the dog, an online yoga class or a Joe Wicks programme, there is so much to choose from and something available for everyone. Exercise naturally relieves stress and boosts your mood, so I always feel better after I’ve done my training sessions, even if I didn’t feel like doing it, to begin with. Time to get moving!
Follow more from Paralympian Hannah Cockroft here.