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Eat and train like an Olympian

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We're just 4 days away from the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games and what better way to kick off the week than learning how you can eat and train like an Olympian?

For athletes in PyeongChang, training in the gym is a full time job! For many of us that's simply not an option, but there are some easy ways that you can get on track. One popular warm up? Sprints! Hop on an elliptical or treadmill and if that's a bit too much just start with an easy jog. 

We spoke to one Olympian about what it takes to keep up with their fellow athletes. 

Michelle Dusserre Farrell is a 1984 Silver Medalist in team gymnastics and a registered dietician! She was only 15 years old when she made the U.S. Team and tells us she spent at least 25 hours in the gym each week. The secret to taking home that silver medal? Two practices a day consisting of strength based exercises. This includes hand stand push ups, standing jumps, pull ups, you name it! Plus, extensive work with the trampoline and mat. 
You can get that Olympian workout in without the hours of training. 

Michelle shared one fitness routine that's an easy equivalent to an Olympic athletes. 

"We would do pull ups, push ups - things that you might find in a combat class when you're kicking, punching and doing lots of plyometrics type skills," explained Michelle. 

A combat or kickboxing class is a great way to start your Olympic routine, and of course you've got to keep up your strength - pull ups, push ups and lifting weights are all good options. 

Working out is only the start. You have to eat like an Olympian too if you really want to train like one. 

The secret to these athletes success is more than just those hours at the gym - it all starts in the kitchen! Michelle says the secret is choosing nutrient rich foods to power you through your day and your workouts. Focus on fruits, veggies, whole grains and lean proteins and meats. Plus, don't be afraid of foods high in carbohydrates to give you the energy you need! 

"Make sure you're always making good choices that give you nutrient rich foods and not foods that are what we call empty calories, [those are]] foods that are giving you calories and not a nutritional impact," added Michelle. 

Some athletes need even more calories! If you're more active than most, choose a snack like peanut butter that gives you the calories and nutrition! 
Plus, make sure you're snacking throughout the day so your blood sugar doesn't drop too low.

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