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Sep 23

Stop Eating Garbage!

Photo by mrccos http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrccos/

Alright, this is one of many rants you will find here, in
the Cheertator’s domain. This particular one is about what we put into our
bodies, and how we expect our bodies to perform with that fuel.

I was watching one of those commercials that have been
hitting our TV screens lately, advertizing the consumption of water. Yeah-
apparently now we have to convince people
to drink water.

This particular commercial featured the coach of a soccer,
or some other such team, handing out brightly colored sports drinks, telling
her team to drink up, because they had been losing a lot of water during the
practice. An innocent, sweet looking child then asks, if they are losing water,
why aren’t they drinking water? Ah, from the mouths of babes.

The coach has an epiphany- oh yeah, water! And promptly starts
handing out bottles of water.

So here’s my question- really? We really need commercials
telling us to drink water?

At this point, I think everyone is fairly aware of the overall
waning health of the country. The CDC reports that at present, about one third
of adults in the U.S. are obese. A third! And about 17% of children and
adolescents. That’s nearly one in five, guys.

There are multiple factors contributing to current obesity
rates, including inactivity, unbalanced caloric intake, and genetics, but what
the stats look like to me is that overall, I guess, yeah- maybe someone does
need to interrupt our nightly sitcoms to tell us to drink water.

As cheerleaders, inactivity should be less of a problem for
you than most (although if you expect your body to perform at its best, working
out just at practices and performances may not be enough), and genetics are
genetics, all you can really do there is take action to live the healthiest
lifestyle you can. But the caloric imbalance, that’s one we can all do
something about!

You cheer, you’re active, do you really think your body is
going to perform its best on an energy bar and diet cola? Seriously?!

Now, nobody’s perfect. I have definitely been guilty of
bringing an iced coffee to practice, instead of a bottle of water. But I was
under no illusion that it was alright. I knew it for the sin it was, and was
prepared to take the consequences, and make up for it with some ridiculously
healthy breakfast. We all slip up. It happens. But when you let it happen on a
regular basis, it becomes a behavior. It can’t happen on a regular basis, for
you to maintain a healthy balance!

Stop eating garbage!

Look: fruits, veggies, protein, carbs, vitamins, minerals,
water- you need it all. You need it all to function well, stay strong, and
maintain your overall health- including muscle tone, organ health, bone
density, and your weight.

The couple of nuts in some sugar laden, chocolate covered
candy bar might help you get through practice, but it’s not helping you build
muscle, maintain a prolonged healthy blood sugar level, or keep your brain
moving fast enough to avoid that elbow to the jaw coming your way.

You owe it to your body, and to your team mates to keep
yourself in the best physical shape possible, and eating right and drinking water is part of that.

Seriously, it makes me crazy that people don’t seem to get
that!

It doesn’t have to be expensive, it doesn’t have to be time
consuming. There are plenty of things you can pack at home, made up of
left-overs, or get at bulk food stores. And if you’re out and about, don’t give
me that, ‘it was all I could find’ malarkey. Fast food places have salads with
meat or nuts, and Starbucks (which in my town is on like, every other corner)
has fruit and little individual bags of nuts.

If you really can’t manage a piece of fruit and a little bit
of that chicken and rice left over from dinner the night before, how about a
fruit leather, and handful of nuts, and some rice cakes? Or just a sandwich
with some veggies and the least processed meat you can get your hands on? A
tuna-to-go cup, some whole wheat crackers and some dried fruit? And how about getting
yourself a refillable water bottle and hitting up the drinking fountain instead
of filling yourself with sugar and gas with a stupid cola, huh? Your team mates
will thank you for that!

Come on guys, please, put a little effort into yourself.
It’s not up to your mom, its not up to your coach, it’s not up to your dorm’s
lunch lady. It’s up to you to put the right stuff into your bodies to do, be,
and cheer at your best.

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