Like An Olympian

shutterstock_166713473In general, a fever is something one tries to avoid.  But not this one – it’s time to catch “Olympic Fever.” For the next few weeks most of the world will be glued to televisions and computers following the latest in the Winter Games.

We say it’s time to turn off the t.v. and log off the laptop and get the fever for the flavor of the Olympics.  Follow these expert tips and you’ll be bringing home the gold in no time.


According to New York-based certified nutritionist, Franci Cohen, “in order to build muscle you must eat high-quality proteins ideally with every meal, such as chicken, lean red meat, fish, turkey and eggs.” Franci says “an ideal breakfast would be a whole grain cereal like Muesli with low-fat milk and a banana, wholegrain bread with either almond or sunflower butter, fresh orange juice and a mixture of cantaloupe and honeydew melons.”  She cites a perfect dinner as: “A rib eye steak, sweet potatoes, broccoli, corn and a multigrain bagel. And, of course, plenty of good old H2O.”


Has all the Olympic hype inspired you to hit the slopes for the first time this decade? Dr. Michael A. Gleiber M.D., Boca Raton-based Orthopedic Spine Surgeon, offers advice on dealing with back pain after a day of skiing or any rigorous activity.  “Ice, rest, heat and anti-inflammatory medicine can tend to be very helpful. Soft tissue massage can also help, as it can stimulate blood flow to the affected area.” And while, Dr. Gleiber says that bed rest can help, he claims it “should not be in excess of three days, as lower back pain can actually worsen with extended immobility.”


You may look as cute as a bunny in your work out gear, but there’s nothing cute about bad skin.  Dr. Susan Stuart, La Jolla-based Board Certified dermatologist, dishes the dirt on how to keep your skin clear when you’re out there sweating.  “First things, first,” says Dr. Stuart, “remove all makeup before a workout. This way you wont clog your pores.  When you’re finished working out, use products that are water-based, fragrance-free and non-comedogenic.  Oil-based products can clog the pores and are more likely to cause breakouts.”  Other great tips she shares are “avoiding caffeine and alcohol which can cause dehydration to worsen.  And stay away from long, hot showers and steam rooms and saunas, which dry out skin.”


It may look like their athletic prowess comes easy to them, but Olympians train more than you can imagine.  Certified personal trainer and fitness specialist, Mike Giliotti, advises that if you want to get fit, always start with a good warm up.  He recommends “static stretching for about ten to fifteen minutes and an active warm up for about ten to fifteen minutes. The time you spend warming up is not a waste – it will only improve overall performance.” Giliottirecommends the following exercises to keep you in tip-top shape: “squats, lunges, step-ups, side lunges, side step-ups, box jumps, jumping rope, deadlifts, planks, one leg bridge, side planks and flutter kicks.”  Train away…


Nothing kills a stellar athletic performance like dehydration.  Dr. Aurora DeJuliis M.D., advises to “stay away from coffee. Caffeine dehydrates your skin, which is already dry from the harsh weather.” She also recommends wearing SPF, even though you may be tempted to skip it in the winter.  She explains “the sun can be extremely strong, especially when reflecting off snow and ice.” A slightly thicker moisturizer than you would normally use may be helpful if skin is getting rough and flakey.  Lastly, “covering your face and hands with gloves and a scarf to prevent wind burn sounds obvious, but can make a big difference.”


No matter how much you prepare, sometimes you still get injured.  Dr. Scott Weiss, physical therapist, board certified athletic trainer and member of the USmedical teams for the Olympic games in London, Beijing and Athens, claims “that muscles are more likely to get injured during cold months, since cold muscles are tight muscles.” However, if you happen to pull a muscle, “it is easy to take care of at home.” Even though you may want to apply heat, ice is still the first step on the road to recovery.  You should immediately take any weight off of the injured area and apply ice at 20-minute intervals to the muscle. You can also slightly raise the affected area to prevent swelling and apply light pressure such as an ACE bandage.”

The combination of popular outdoor winter sports and hazardous environmental factors such as ice and snow often result in wintertime sprains and strains.  “The most important thing to remember if you start to feel like you have a sprain or strain is to immediately rest and not push yourself further. In some cases, a very light strain can be healed in a couple days, but if pushed past the limit it can take weeks,” says Weiss.

Weiss adds, “while recovering from these types of injuries, it is very important to keep hydrated, eat healing foods such foods rich in Vitamin C, A and Omega-3 fatty acids, and plenty of protein. You also need to rest as much as possible. Even while wearing a sturdy ankle brace your ankle cannot heal properly if it is still being used consistently. “