Tag Archives: Health

Nutrition for Recovery

Nutrition for Recovery
From http://www.usaswimming.org/ViewNewsArticle.aspx?TabId=2159&itemid=3979&mid=11504

11/30/2011

Knowing how much carbohydrate, protein and fat to get in a day is good. But knowing when you should be getting those nutrients is even better. In general, follow these guidelines for incorporating carbohydrate, protein and fat into your day.

¨ Spread carbohydrate intake out over the course of the day (i.e. smaller meals and frequent snacks). This keeps blood sugar levels adequate and stable.

¨ Eat some carbohydrate before morning practice. Note: This can be in the form of juice.

¨ Eat carbohydrate in the form of a carb-electrolyte drink, such as Gatorade or Powerade, during workout IF workout is 90 minutes or longer. Gels are also acceptable.

¨ Eat carbohydrate and protein within the first 30 minutes after practice. This enables the body to replenish glycogen stores and repair muscle tissue. This is perhaps the most important time to eat!!!!

¨ Eat again (something substantial, like a real meal) before two hours post-practice has elapsed. This is critical to maximizing recovery!!!!

¨ Incorporate fat into the day at times that are not close to workout. Fat is necessary, but contributes little to the workout or immediate post-workout recovery period.

Part of the reason good nutrition is critical during recovery has to do with the fact that the body is extremely good at making the most of what it is given. Following exercise, the body is very sensitive to the hormone insulin. Insulin is that hormone that rises every time blood sugar rises. In other words, every time a swimmer eats carbohydrate, which causes blood sugar to rise, insulin goes up. Well, it’s insulin’s job to remove sugar from the bloodstream, and it does so by facilitating its storage as glycogen. Glycogen, the storage form for carbohydrate, is what the body taps into for fuel when exercise is very intense. This can happen quite a bit during a tough workout, which is why it’s important to see that glycogen is replenished before the next practice.

The American College of Sports Medicine, American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada Joint Position Statement on Nutrition and Athletic Performance states that:

“After exercise, the dietary goal is to provide adequate energy and carbohydrates to replace muscle glycogen and to ensure rapid recovery. If an athlete is glycogen-depleted after exercise, a carbohydrate intake of 1.5 g/kg body weight during the first 30 min and again every 2h for 4 to 6h will be adequate to replace glycogen stores. Protein consumed after exercise will provide amino acids for the building and repair of muscle tissue. Therefore, athletes should consume a mixed meal providing carbohydrates, protein, and fat soon after a strenuous competition or training session.” (ACSM, ADA, Dietitians of Canada, 2000, p 2131)

In addition, research (van Loon et al, 2000) has implicated immediate post-exercise carbohydrate ingestion (1.2 g/kg/hr for 5 hrs) in the enhancement of glycogen re-synthesis.

Body Weight in lbs (kg)

Carbohydrate Required (g) to meet Intake of 1.2-1.5 g/kg

120 (54.5kg) 65-82g
130 (59.1kg) 71-89g
140 (63.6kg) 76-95g
150 (68.2kg) 82-102g
160 (72.7kg) 87-109g
170 (77.3kg) 93-116g
180 (81.8kg) 98-123g
190 (86.4kg) 104-130g
200 (90.9kg) 109-136g
210 (95.5kg) 115-143g
220 (100.0kg) 120-150g

Tips and Tricks

Weekly Round-up

from Scientific Swimming Article Review by noreply@blogger.com (G. John Mullen)

1. The important of vitamin D, read here.

2. Want to raise your testosterone?  Watch some sports, read here.

3. Is Michael Phelps having an off year, the swimming geek (name up for grabs this weekend) believes so, read here.

4. Rest intervals, how important are they in hypertrophy training?  Also, how is hypertrophy measured?  Read here

5. Where are my triathletes with back pain?  This article discusses how peripheral sources can cause back pain. It focuses on the foot, specifically the subtalar joint.  This can be one cause of low back pain, but it isn’t so simple.  In fact the hip can control the ankle which can be causing back pain…I know it is a convulated puzzle!  Anyway, quick here for the read.

6. A fellow physical therapy enthusiast Tom Hermann discusses the importance of power training in swimming.  I have been breaching this for a while and find every swimmer can benefit from this form of resistance training.  The only area I disagree with Tom is with back squats.  Swimmers stress their shoulder a lot and I the position to hold the bar during back squat is advantageous for injury.  Instead I have athletes perform front squats for quad activation in combination with a hip extensor strengthening exercise, read here.

7. Well Shawn Cater aka Jay-z was the first rapper with a shoe and now Ryan Lochte is the first swimmer with a shoe…love it!  Eric thanks for breaking the story first, click here.

8.  What athlete does not have superstition?  I remember pressing my goggles into my eye sockets repeatedly before a race and having specific pre meet meals in college.  I know other swimmers who perform a specific amount of arm swings or have a “special” suit.  Do these superstitions help?  A recent study reports they actually make a difference, read more here.  What is the weirdest pre meet ritual you’ve seen?  Don’t worry if you submit something I won’t assume it’s about you…

9.  Are push-ups good for swimmers?  Hells yes!  Similar to baseball pitchers discussed in this article, swimmers have weak serratus anterior and lower trapezius muscles, in fact swimmers with shoulder pain how lower activation of these muscles, which I discussed here.  Watch below for proper push-up progression, turn the speakers up!

Popout
Thera-bands can be purchased here. Thera-Band Single Pack Latex Exercise Bands – 5′ x 5.5″ – Green

10. Leg extension machine has to be safe, I mean everyone does it, right?  Wrong, bad kitty!  This exercise puts high stress on the patellofemoral joint and can lead to injury, read here.

11. Want to sleep easier, don’t eat these foods

12. Sports nutrition is something I feel swimmers are lacking, click here to see a video of the top 5 supplements athletes should ingest, I don’t advocate every supplement, but the risk/benefit should be considered.

13. How often do you sit?  At internships I only sit 4 hours a day compared to school days where I sit up to 12 hours a day!  Here is a good article discussing the risks of prolonged sitting.  I am in talks with USMS about the effects of sitting on swimming, stay tuned.

14. Here is another post which questions the horrific claims of lactic acid.  I discussed it briefly in the baking soda conversation, read here. Once again, great anaerobic athletes typically can produce high lactate, so can it be that horrendous? Wanna try, ARM & HAMMER Baking Soda – 12 lb. bag?

15. Oblique and abdominal strength is essential in swimming and the crunch is overused.  People are sitting way too much (refer to #13) and a crunch mimics the poor posture sustained throughout the day.  Here is another “atypical” abdominal exercise which would be easy to implement.

16. Gold Medal Mel posted a great interview with Nathan Adrian…47 in practice, damn! Click here.

Low Fitness in Youth Linked to Hypertension

Low Fitness in Youth Linked to Hypertension

Lack of Exercise in Young Adulthood Associated With High Blood Pressure in Middle Age
By Bill Hendrick
WebMD Health News

June 1, 2010 — Young adults who don’t get enough physical and aerobic exercise increase their risk of having high blood pressure later in life, a new study shows.

Researchers who analyzed 20 years worth of data conclude that a “substantial” proportion of high blood pressure cases are associated with a lack of physical activity and not enough aerobic fitness.

There is a difference in measuring aerobic fitness and physical activity, according to scientists at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.

Physical activity is a behavior, while aerobic fitness is a physiological measure that reflects a combination of physical activity, genetic potential, and functional health of various organs.

The researchers examined data on 4,618 men and women taking part in a research project called the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults Study, or CARDIA. 

Study researcher Mercedes Carnethon, PhD, an assistant professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern, says the study confirms earlier research pointing to a link between fitness and hypertension “by showing that fitness during young adulthood — a time when cardiovascular disease risk burden is typically low — is an important indicator of hypertension development in middle age.”

Carnethon says in a news release that high blood pressure is known to develop over a long period of time and is due to a combination of factors that includes genetics, diet, and health behaviors.

“Our study measures a comprehensive set of these health risk factors over 20 years, making this one of the longest follow-up studies to test whether activity and fitness are associated with hypertension development,” she says.

The researchers measured blood pressure and estimated fitness levels based on the duration of exercise treadmill tests conducted on people who were between 18 and 30 in 1985.

Participants were re-examined after two, five, seven, 10, 15, and 20 years.

Activity was assessed by an interviewer who administered a self-reported questionnaire.

Researchers say low fitness has a stronger link with the development of hypertension than low-reported physical activity, though the two appear to have independent effects.

Researchers also found that:

  • Hypertension incidence was 13.8% per 1,000 person-years, a calculation found by taking the number of new cases within a specified time period divided by the size of the population initially at risk.
  • Low fitness was associated with an increased risk of developing high blood pressure after adjusting for smoking, age, sex, cholesterol, race, diet, and other factors.
  • The estimated proportion of high blood pressure that could be prevented if participants moved to a higher fitness category was 34%. This figure is called the “preventive fraction,” which tells scientists, at least hypothetically, what proportion of disease could be eliminated if the risk factor were removed from the studied population.

Clinical trials with various activity and fitness levels are needed before doctors can use the study information to make recommendations about the amount of physical activity needed to improve fitness and lower the risk of developing hypertension, the researchers say.

The study is published in the journal Hypertension.

Low Fitness in Youth Linked to Hypertension.

Prevent Swimmers Ear

A Sign of the Season: How To Prevent Swimmers’ Ear

from The Swimmers Circle by Braden K.
This very painful infection of the inner-ear can ruin a season, a summer, or even a swimming career if it becomes severe enough. Luckily, with diligence, swimmer’s ear can be easily prevented with about 2 minutes of care after each practice.

Swimmer’s ear is caused by water penetrating the water-resistant lining of the ear canal. This lining is usually pretty solid, but when it is wet for a long period of time, it becomes pruney and soft, much like our fingers and toes do. This makes the ear very susceptible to tearing, and once there is even a tiny tear, bacteria can get into it and cause all sorts of nasty infections.

Symptoms: People with swimmer’s ear usually complain of an itchy and/or painful ear. The pain can be quite severe. The ear is particularly sensitive to the being tugged up and down. The earwax may appear soft and white, and there may be a small amount of clear discharge.

#1. The first step is to consider ear plugs. When fit properly, these can help keep water out of the ear. General commercial earplugs do not tend to fit great, but ask your doctor if you want to get custom made plugs. Pulling a cap down over the swimmer’s ears will help keep the earplugs in place (as well as cover them up for those kids who are shy about them!).

#2. After practice, playing in the pool, and even baths and showers, use ear drops to dry the water out of your swimmers’ ear. Q-tips can irritate the ear canal and contribute to swimmer’s ear, so ear drops are the safest way to dry them out. Tip the swimmer’s head to one side and put a few drops in. Keep the head tilted for a minute or so to ensure it absorbs the water and bacteria, and then tip the head the other way to drain the solution. Repeat with the other ear.

These solutions can be bought at your local grocery store, or just combine 1 part water, 1 part vinegar, and 1 part rubbing alcohol. The vinegar disinfects, and the rubbing alcohol dries the ear out. Note that these drops are to be used to PREVENT swimmer’s ear, or to treat very mild cases.

FOR MORE SEVERE CASES, consult a doctor before putting anything in the child’s ear to prevent a very painful reaction. Prevention can go a long way, because once a swimmer gets an infection once, it is likely to recur frequently.

This article should not be taken as medical advice. Please consult your doctor if you have any concerns about your or your child’s health.

Assessing your exercise pain

Assessing your exercise pain

What’s all right and what’s too much when it comes to exercise discomfort? Exercise physiology physician Max Testa recommends using 5 factors in assessing pain.

April 08, 2010|By Eric Heiden | Tribune Media Services

Exercise can be uncomfortable when beginning any new type of training or when getting back in the saddle after a long break.

Discomfort of exercise when starting out and also when competing at the elite level is universal; it happens to everyone, and it is not a sign that you are not cut out for exercise. On the contrary, everyone is cut out for exercise. And for the vast expanse of training levels between the two extremes, exercise is a feel-good experience — most of the time.

Even in the middle, however, a little discomfort now and then is not unusual or unexpected. And it’s not a sign to quit your fitness program. Instead, I use it as an opportunity to get to know my body better. You can do so as well by breaking down any exercise discomfort you experience into its essential components.

Exercise physiology physician Max Testa advises athletes to assess exercise discomfort as a combination of five factors:

—Your level of fitness

— The intensity of the exercise

— The degree to which you can tolerate the exercise

— Your motivation to keep exercising

— The degree to which you perceive you are suffering

The first factor comes into play when, say, walking three miles feels hard because it’s way beyond your fitness level. The other four factors may all be negligible — the pace is not too intense, you can tolerate exercise well and feel motivated, and sunshine mutes any grumbling — but your newness to fitness alone can spike your feeling of discomfort. Once you are walking five miles at a pop regularly, however, walking three miles won’t even register on your discomfort radar. The work your body does to walk three miles won’t change, but your improved fitness will shrink your discomfort.

Meanwhile, if you exercise at an intensity that is 70 percent to 80 percent of the greatest intensity you could possibly do, you (or anyone) will be uncomfortable starting out. After you’re experienced training at that intensity, though, you won’t be uncomfortable with pushing yourself that hard. That’s essentially the basis of interval training: You train at a higher intensity in short bursts (say, a few minutes) interspersed with rests (blocks of time at low-intensity) and soon higher-intensity exercise doesn’t hurt quite so much, because your muscles and lungs are getting in better shape.

Your brain also gets in better shape, creating a greater tolerance for exercise. As it learns to manage greater fatigue, your brain will interpret the same signals from your body differently.

Likewise, the signals to your brain (or your interpretation of them) change with your level of motivation. As you exercise, the level of signals coming from your body has a value — a number from 1 to 10, say — but the message from your cerebral cortex modifies that value, given your motivation. A 7 today can feel like a 10 next week if it’s raining and you don’t want to be out there. Other days, it can feel like a 3, if you’re with friends.

This is where the chatter going on in your cerebral cortex is cardinal to your fitness: It’s responsible for telling you how long you want to push yourself, either “I can’t stand this another second!” or “I can hold this for another 30 seconds.” You can control that chatter — and thus the impact of the motivation variable — very effectively.

Eric Heiden, M.D., a five-time Olympic gold medalist speed skater, is now an orthopedic surgeon in Utah. He co-wrote “Faster, Better, Stronger: Your Fitness Bible” (HarperCollins) with exercise performance physician Max Testa, M.D., and DeAnne Musolf. Visit http://www.fasterbetterstronger.com.

Exercise ‘helps’ school children concentrate

Exercise ‘helps’ school children concentrate

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/north_east/8629867.stm

Teenagers playing football

Researchers said the study had implications for school exercise

Young children who exercise at school perform better in concentration tests, researchers have said after a study on pupils in Aberdeen.

More than 1,000 children at primary schools in the city took part in the study by researchers at the universities of Aberdeen and Leeds.

The team said those who performed aerobic exercise did better in the tests than those who did not.

They claim the study has implications in the debate about exercise in school.

Pupils between primary four and seven exercised for between 10 and 15 minutes.

Mental tests were then carried out at the end of the school day.

‘Attention span’

Dr Justin Williams, senior lecturer in child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of Aberdeen, said: “This is the first and largest study of its kind and our results show that 15 minutes of exercise in the classroom improved performance on cognitive tests conducted later in the day.

“While further research is required, this could change the way we think about exercise in schools. As well as being important in tackling obesity and promoting a healthy lifestyle, exercise can help with learning.

“It also raises the question of how much the often-reported decline in children’s attention span in modern day life stems from a lack of physical exercise.”

The findings have been published in the journal Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology.

Forget Pre-Work out Stretching

Experts: forget pre-work out stretching

By MARIA CHENG (AP)

LONDON — Want a better work-out? Then don’t stretch beforehand, some experts say.

Many people take it for granted that they should start their exercise routines with some stretching on the spot, perhaps hoping it will loosen them up for their work-out. Most fitness experts now agree this kind of static stretching before exercise is not just counter-productive, but potentially harmful.

Traditional stretches, like when people bend over to touch their toes or stretch their legs on a fence, often cause the muscles to tighten rather than relax — exactly the opposite of what is needed for physical activity.

Experts say it is like extending a rubber band to its limit. When people stretch to the maximum, they are more likely to pull a muscle.

“We have developed this idea of static stretching at exactly the wrong time,” said Kieran O’Sullivan, an exercise expert at the University of Limerick in Ireland, who has studied various types of stretching and their impact on athletes.

When you stretch before exercising, your body may think it’s at risk of being overstretched. It compensates by contracting and becoming more tense. That means you aren’t able to move as fast or as freely, making you more likely to get hurt.

O’Sullivan said stretching helps with flexibility, but people should only do it when they aren’t about to exercise, like after a workout, or at the end of the day.

“It’s like weight training to become stronger,” he said. “You wouldn’t do a weight session right before you exercise, and you shouldn’t stretch right before either.”

In the last few years, several studies have found static stretching before playing a sport makes you slower and weaker.

And when experts at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention combed through more than 100 papers looking at stretching studies, they found people who stretched before exercise were no less likely to suffer injuries such as a pulled muscle, which the increased flexibility from stretching is supposed to prevent.

Instead of stretching, many experts recommend warming up with a light jog or sport-specific exercise, like kicking for football or a few serves for tennis. That type of light movement increases the heart rate and blood flow to the muscles, warming up the body temperature.

“This allows you to approach your full range of motion, but in a very controlled way,” said Dr. Anders Cohen, chief of neurosurgery and spine surgery at the Brooklyn Hospital Center and former physician for the U.S. Tennis Open. Cohen said elite athletes in all sports are increasingly ditching static stretching and using other warm-up techniques instead.

But the message has yet to trickle down to legions of joggers and recreational athletes. “This is classic, old-school stretching that has been done for generations,” Cohen said. “It’s going to be very hard to convince people to start doing something different.”

There’s more news for the traditionalists: research shows static stretching doesn’t work as well as more active kinds of stretching that incorporate movement, such as lunges.

In a study published earlier this year in the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, Roberto Meroni of the University of Milan and colleagues found people who stretched using conventional techniques, like bending over to touch their toes, were less flexible than those who did a more active type of stretching that used more muscle groups.

Meroni said static stretching simply forces the muscle being stretched to endure the pain of that stretch. With active stretches that work more muscles, the stretched muscles learn to extend while another group is working.

Those types of stretches are commonly used in yoga, which emphasizes how the body is aligned during stretches, not just flexibility. Many yoga poses involve the whole body and focus not only on stretching a particular muscle, but the ligaments, tendons and joints around it.

Still, experts don’t discount static stretching entirely. Lynn Millar, a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, said they recommend people stretch several times a week and that most types of stretching work.

Maximizing the benefits of stretching may simply boil down to a matter of when you do it and how, according to Jonny Booth, a health and fitness manager at a north London branch of gym chain Fitness First.

“If you are going to stretch your muscles and then do some intense training, you’re not going to get fantastic results,” he said.

Instead, Booth recommends active stretches that mimic the movement of your intended activity, like some deep knee lunges while walking for runners.

“Stretching is vital to become more flexible,” Booth said. “But it has to be done at the right time and for the right reasons.”


Academic Achievement

Students’ Physical Fitness Associated With Academic Achievement; Organized Physical Activity

ScienceDaily (Mar. 4, 2010)

— Physical fitness is associated with academic performance in young people, according to a report presented at the American Heart Association’s 2010 Conference on Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism.

“As children’s health continues to be a concern — especially when it comes to obesity — some have suggested that children’s physical fitness is associated with their academic performance,” said Lesley A. Cottrell, Ph.D., study presenting author and associate professor of pediatrics at West Virginia University in Morgantown, W.Va.

To study the association between children’s physical fitness and academic performance, Cottrell and colleagues analyzed the body mass index percentiles, fitness levels and standardized academic test scores of 725 fifth grade students in Wood County, W.Va. The researchers focused more on the children’s fitness level than their weight. They then compared that data to students’ fitness and academic performance two years later, in the seventh grade.

They separated the participants into four groups of students who were:

• in high physical fitness levels in fifth grade and remained so in seventh grade;

• fit in fifth grade but had lost their fitness by seventh grade;

• not fit in fifth grade but were physically fit by seventh grade;

• not physically fit at the beginning of the study, in fifth grade, nor at the end of the study, in seventh grade.

Children who had the best average scores in standardized tests in reading, math, science and social studies were fit at the start and end of the study, researchers found. The next best group, academically, in all four subjects, was made up of children who were not fit in fifth grade but had become fit by seventh grade. The children who had lost their fitness levels between fifth and seventh grades were third in academic performance. Children who were not physically fit in either the fifth or seventh grades had the lowest academic performance.

“The take-home message from this study is that we want our kids to be fit as long as possible and it will show in their academic performance,” Cottrell said. “But if we can intervene on those children who are not necessarily fit and get them to physically fit levels, we may also see their academic performance increase.”

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Students’ Physical Fitness Associated With Academic Achievement; Organized Physical Activity

ScienceDaily (Mar. 4, 2010) — Physical fitness is associated with academic performance in young people, according to a report presented at the American Heart Association’s 2010 Conference on Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism.

“As children’s health continues to be a concern — especially when it comes to obesity — some have suggested that children’s physical fitness is associated with their academic performance,” said Lesley A. Cottrell, Ph.D., study presenting author and associate professor of pediatrics at West Virginia University in Morgantown, W.Va. “The research, however, had not developed enough to define the nature of that relationship.”

To study the association between children’s physical fitness and academic performance, Cottrell and colleagues analyzed the body mass index percentiles, fitness levels and standardized academic test scores of 725 fifth grade students in Wood County, W.Va. The researchers focused more on the children’s fitness level than their weight. They then compared that data to students’ fitness and academic performance two years later, in the seventh grade.

They separated the participants into four groups of students who were:

  • in high physical fitness levels in fifth grade and remained so in seventh grade;
  • fit in fifth grade but had lost their fitness by seventh grade;
  • not fit in fifth grade but were physically fit by seventh grade;
  • not physically fit at the beginning of the study, in fifth grade, nor at the end of the study, in seventh grade.

Children who had the best average scores in standardized tests in reading, math, science and social studies were fit at the start and end of the study, researchers found. The next best group, academically, in all four subjects, was made up of children who were not fit in fifth grade but had become fit by seventh grade. The children who had lost their fitness levels between fifth and seventh grades were third in academic performance. Children who were not physically fit in either the fifth or seventh grades had the lowest academic performance.

“The take-home message from this study is that we want our kids to be fit as long as possible and it will show in their academic performance,” Cottrell said. “But if we can intervene on those children who are not necessarily fit and get them to physically fit levels, we may also see their academic performance increase.”

Sleep

Fitness: Sleep key factor for
success in athletics

Angie Ferguson • www.gearedup.biz • March 16,
2010

When it comes to performance, rest is just as important as training for the successful athlete.  During these times of rest our bodies repair, rebuild and re-energize themselves in preparation for the next bout of training.

What happens though if an athlete doesn’t get proper rest? It is estimated that one in three Americans do not get a proper night’s sleep or adequate rest to perform well. In addition to poor performance, lack of sleep can adversely affect your physical and emotional health leaving you feeling tired, irritable, and unable to concentrate for long periods. Your immune system may also become compromised and in turn be less effective at fighting off infections and/or healing from injury.

If you suffer from sleep deprivation or even just lack of restful sleep, a few changes to your lifestyle and environment can improve your night’s rest and in turn, fuel positive repeat performances, whatever your sport.

– First, consider your diet. How you fuel yourself can affect how well you sleep. Protein-rich foods like milk, tuna, chicken and nuts are rich in the amino acid tryptophan, which helps produce hormones that allow you to relax – think Thanksgiving dinner/turkey. Therefore, eating protein-rich food with your dinner is a good idea as
long as it’s eaten at least 3-4 hours before bed.

– Next, get your stress under control. This is of course much easier said than done. However, if you can recognize and identify the stressors in your life, you’ve made the first steps towards eradicating the stress and eliminating sleeping problems.

– Exercise, exercise, exercise. Exercise is of course, a great elixir for anything that ails you and poor sleep is no exception. Exercise helps lower stress levels therefore aiding sleep. However, anyone suffering from poor rest patterns should exercise in the morning, afternoon or early evening at the latest. Exercise done too late in the evening can serve as a stimulant, preventing you from sleeping soundly.

– Developing an evening routine is another way to signal the body to power down and get ready for sleep. For example, take a bath, drink a warm cup of milk, or listen to relaxing music each night. Also, plan to go to bed and get up at the same time every day in order to maintain a set routine. This helps pattern your body and train it for proper rest every night.

– Try a new relaxation technique. A number of relaxation techniques such as meditation and visualization, as well as gentle exercises such as yoga, can be tried in order to help decrease your stress and thus decrease the build-up of stress hormones – and therefore aid your sleep.

– Angie Ferguson is an exercise physiologist from Fort Myers. She is a USA Triathlon Advanced Level 2 coach and USA Cycling coach. For more training tips, read her blog at www.triathlontrainingisfun.com or contact her at www.gearedup.biz.