BY LORNAH KIPLAGAT
Exercise not only keeps you fit and boosts your immune system, it gives your mind a break from the pressures we are all feeling these days. If you are already exercising, I encourage you to continue doing so! If you are just starting, approach exercise gradually.
You don’t need a treadmill to “run” at home. Take the staircase, do it in your yard or practice on-the-spot running.
Improvise! Just about anything in your home can be repurposed for exercise. Use your lounge for yoga. Clear your mind by clearing out your garage or shed. Then turn it into a mini-gym. There’s no need to buy dumbbells if you have canned food at home.
Do not train yourself (or diet yourself) into glycogen depletion. That’s when your muscles run out of stored energy.
Remember to exercise solo or keep distance between you and your exercise partner to minimize transmission.
How about feeding while at it? Every human body is different, so choose what works for you. At my high altitude training centre in Iten, we serve a simple, healthy menu. Here’s a menu from Chef Patrick Wanyama:
Breakfast: Kenyan tea or coffee and fresh juices. Oatmeal sprinkled with chia seeds and sliced banana, using low fat milk. Weetabix or cornflakes with fruits and yoghurt and/or chia seeds. If you want something warm, chose a two-egg omelette with vegetables, and home-baked brown bread on the side.
Lunch: Fresh salad and two slices of toast with avocado and tomatoes, or pasta prepared with olive oil and mixed vegetables.
Afternoon snack: Take some fruits like a banana, an apple or half an avocado seasoned with black pepper.
Dinner: Ugali with chicken stew and vegetables, or brown rice with chicken or white fish and steamed vegetables, with fresh fruits for dessert.
During the day, drink a minimum of two litres of water.
Some key things to remember when choosing your food:
Eat quality food, and remember the Healthy Plate. We’ve put an easy reference graphic below for you.
Stock up on immune boosting foods. See the graphic below for more details.
Just like I advised you not to train yourself into glycogen depletion, don’t diet yourself into glycogen depletion. That’s when your body runs out of energy storage.
Base your meals on higher fibre starchy carbohydrates, eat lots of fruit and veg, eat more fish (including a portion of oily fish), cut down on saturated fat and sugar and keep hydrated with plenty of water – six to eight glasses every day.
When you buy items from the supermarket, make sure they are handled and cleaned correctly before storing.
We’re blessed in Kenya with fertile soil and our fruits and vegetables are shipped all over the world. Keep growing food, Kenya, and make sure to eat it, too!
Writer is Olympian and World Champion and also designs Tatu City’s health and wellness programs