Top fitness tips from Olympian Simon Whitfield

Helping Canadians Power up and Recharge  

TORONTO, April 29, 2014 /CNW/ - Canadian two-time Olympic medalist and four-time Olympic Triathlete, Simon Whitfield released his top inspirational tips to get Canadians in shape for summer. Simon's tips are based on his years of experience as a top performing athlete and are designed to help Canadians power up and recharge their workouts.

"It's more than just working up a good sweat," said Whitfield. "You need to think of several factors to get the most out of your workouts - everything from your clothing, to what you eat, to what you do post-workout to recover. There are many important aspects to attaining maximum benefits."

Here are Simon's five fitness tips:

Power the body with food
"You need to feed your muscles both before and after vigorous activity. Some of my favourite pre-workout meals (consumed at least three hours before) include ingredients like avocado, almond butter and rice cakes. Post-workout, I usually have a glass of chocolate milk because it gives me both protein and carbohydrates. I will generally have a larger meal like a sandwich about an hour after my workout."

Stretch for success
"Dynamic and static stretching are critical to support mobility during workouts. Begin every workout with a general warm-up to increase core temperature and blood flow to the working muscles, followed by series of dynamic movements intended to prime the nervous system for the coming training session, for instance squats, hip rotations and shoulder flexion/extensions. For post-workout, it is best to use easy, static stretches to help 'reset' muscle tissue length and allow for optimal recovery. Go easy with these, think three out of ten."

Ramp up running with consistency
"Improvement comes from being able to workout consistently over time. Start with a manageable mileage target and gradually increase to a higher, yet sustainable, target. Some simple tips for running include relaxed shoulders and jaw, hands not crossing over and feet landing directly beneath; I also like to tell people to run on your legs, not with your legs. Shorter more frequent strides are a good place to start."

Dress for the weather
"I really emphasize wearing the right gear. If the weather is cooler, I'm always amazed to see people running or riding in shorts, short sleeve t-shirts and singlets. In cooler weather wear long-sleeve shirts and pants. It's important to layer, so that if you need to cool down, you can take off an outer layer and tie it around your waist. Better to do that than risk being cold. Use simple, common sense around weather when you're preparing to go for a run."

Recharge your recovery
"Active recovery is key, whether it's something as simple as a couple of short walks in the day (bare minimum), an easy ride on the bike or, my favourite, a game of chase or a hike with the kids. People who have performed vigorous exercise need to remember the three R's: Rehydrate to replace lost fluids, Refuel burned muscle fuel with carbohydrates, and Recharge damaged muscles with protein. In the beginning of my career, I tried various over-hyped protein supplements, and eventually I settled on the tried, true and tested, easily accessible, great tasting chocolate milk. For more information on chocolate milk as a post-recovery beverage, visit www.RechargeWithMilk.ca."

Simon is also encouraging Canadians to share their post-workout routine on Instagram and Twitter using #RwMrewards for their chance to win the ultimate marathon experience. Residents of Ontario and Atlantic Canada will have the chance to win a 12-week training program with Simon as their very own personal trainer to prepare for the 2015 Halifax Blue Nose Marathon or the 2015 Mississauga Marathon.

The contest, sponsored by Recharge with Milk, will provide the winner with an all-expense paid trip for two to the marathon, as well as new running gear and a chocolate milk supply. This prize is valued at approximately $10,000. In addition, a number of weekly prizes will be awarded, including milk gift certificates, running gear and marathon passes. For more information, or to register, visit RechargeWithMilk.ca.

"Spring is upon us after a long, hard winter and Canadians are itching to get outside to transform their semi-hibernating bodies," said Whitfield. "I can't wait to partner up with the contest winner. I love working with people to help them realize their full potential as a runner."

SOURCE Dairy Farmers of Canada (Marketing)

For further information: For media inquiries, to set up an interview with Simon Whitfield, or to receive an electronic version of the media materials, please contact: Fiona Robinson / Beatrice Bastedo, Merkato Communications, (416) 915-4408 ext. 102 / 103, fiona@merkato.ca / beatrice@merkato.ca