|Q: Cory, can you please explain what the term ‘cross-training’ means?
A: Cross-training is a term that describes the action of combining different types of activity or exercise as opposed to the practice of only one. According to Janet Dufek, PhD., a research scientist at Human Performance and Wellness, Inc., Eugene, Oregon, “Pure cross-training exercise is the performance of a variety of activities across consecutive exercise sessions” (ACSMs HFJ Vol. 6, No. 4, pp 18-23, 2002).
Instead of always running for example, a runner could incorporate swimming or cycling or in-line skating as an alternative. This decreases the risk of repetitive exercise burnout or boredom. A mix of sports and recreational activities is often superior to engaging in one sport or one method of training all the time. If your goal is general health and fitness improvement, cross-training will provide more variety of activity for enjoyment, and reduce injury risk. Instead of setting yourself up for shin splints or rotator cuff damage, which often results from the same continuous, repetitive motion, a mix of various training components provides a much better balance.
Q: Tracy, do I still need to eat 5 or 6 meals and take protein shakes if I don't work out that day?
A: This is a very common question asked. The answer is YES! Even if you are not training your body needs to be nourished. Frequent small meals keeps the metabolism running smoothly...giving you plenty of energy, stamina and mental clarity throughout the day. Don't forget that your body is recovering from training on your off days, and needs to be healed with optimum nutrition. Most athletes and/or active individuals do not obtain sufficient amounts of high-quality protein required for optimum health and recovery; this is where a protein shake fits in beautifully. Think of your body as a car...would you drive your car on empty? Could the car run if it had no gas? No! Believe me, if you are eating high quality foods, blending protein shakes, taking the recommended amounts of NHPs (Natural Health Products), and drinking plenty of filtered water, even on an off day, your body will benefit, inside and out.
Q: Cory, what are your thoughts regarding the use of colostrum as a supplement?
A: I add 5g of powdered colostrum to every post-workout protein shake. Colostrum is a rich source of nutrients and is filled with growth factors, high quality proteins and immunoglobulins. It is the pre-milk fluid produced by lactating female mammals and can be used by athletes on a daily basis to enhance the immune system. Concentrated low-fat, low-lactose bovine colostrum that has not been subjected to heat, has been shown in clinical research to raise IGF-1 levels and facilitate positive changes in body composition. A study completed by Jose Antonio, PhD and colleagues at the University of Nebraska, demonstrated that 20 grams of colostrum versus a placebo caused an increase of 3.3 pounds of lean body mass. In two other studies using 60 grams of colostrum per day versus a placebo, endurance performance improved and vertical jump performance doubled (Buckley, J., et al. Effect of an oral bovine colostrum supplement on running performance. Australian Conference of Science and medicine in Sport -1998 and Oral supplementation with bovine supplementation increases vertical jump performance. 4th Annual Congress of the European College of Sports Science - 1999).