Unless you’re new to the Charlotte area, you already know the buzz surrounding the CIAA basketball tournament. I, too, enjoy the tournament and the ancillary events. However, I won’t allow the tournament to deter me from remaining on my fitness journey.

And neither should you.

Therefore, here are some tips to survive the big tourney without abandoning your fitness regime.

Pace Yourself: The tournament, which began on Monday and gains momentum today, runs through Saturday. That’s plenty of time to plan your itinerary. In between stops, I suggest you get enough sleep. By drifting from one event to another and running on empty adrenalin, you cause the body harm. The body needs recovery time, and that’s what rest does. Scientist report that sleep improves memory (the brain uses these hours to arrange memories to recall key emotional moments). A lack of sleep leads to stress, illness, and irritability, among other things. Besides, if you’re not feeling well, the body will show it. So take things slowly. Your body will thank you for it.

Eat Healthy: Food is the fuel to keep our bodies operational. The body needs six basic nutrients — protein, water, fat, vitamins, carbohydrates and minerals. All of these nutrients are derived from the foods we eat. Did you know carbohydrates are the body’s major energy source? Or that water helps maintain cellular fluid balance, helps to regulate body temperature and acts as a solvent for other nutrients? In the midst of the bustle of the tourney, don’t forget to eat healthy. To avoid overeating, nibble on healthy snacks (apples, dried cranberries, almonds, walnuts, etc.)

Exercise: The CIAA parties almost usurp the tournament, due to the plethora of them during the week. Therefore, use the parties to get in a workout! As I’ve said in previous columns, I love to dance. Depending on your metabolism, gender and weight, dancing burns roughly 200 calories in 30 minutes of activity, and has added benefits, too. A study by Appalachian State University reports “exercise reduces the frequency and severity of colds more than any other lifestyle factor,” writes Emily Listfield in a recent Parade Magazine article. If dancing isn’t your thing, how about a walk? The jaunt from Time Warner Cable Arena to the Charlotte Convention Center is a good workout. While you’re there, stroll around the CIAA fan experience, a free event. For those staying in hotels, visit the workout room before your day begins. In the midst of exercising, keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water. And remember, particularly ladies, to wear shoes you can move in comfortably.

Enjoy the tournament and have fun, regardless of your fitness activity.

In health and wellness,

Sondra E. Z. Hines is an AFAA-certified group fitness instructor, Zumba instructor, workshop presenter and motivational speaker. A former adjunct professor, she has 15-plus years as a fitness instructor...

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *