Search This Blog

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Importance of Food and Drink

This post is not about dining in Disney World.  It's about getting the most out of your vacation.

A lot of people in the US only walk about a mile a day. The next largest segment walks about three.  Those two groups represent more people than all the other segments combined. 

The average person on a Disney World vacation will walk 10+ miles a day.  Another way to put it is the average person will take 20,000 steps a day while in Disney World when they only take 2000 - 6000 steps a day at home.

Why all the statistics?  Because more than your muscles need attention when you are at Disney World.  There are some vital things you need to do each day that you might over look.  Follow these simple tips can help you deal with the physical shock your body is going to face.

1. Take a 30min a day walk starting a month before your trip.

This is important because it will drastically reduce the painful side effects of a huge increase in physical activity.  A 30min will only help.  It will not eliminate the shock your body is going to go through.  30min is about a mile for most people but the benefits are huge.

2. Drink water in the morning.

If you need coffee than have a cup.  However, you need to drink water in the morning.  Even if it's not hot out your water needs increase dramatically when in Disney World.  When walking the average persons heart rate jumps.  For some people it can go as high as 120bpm.  This increases your breathing.  Every time you take a breath you expel some water out of your body. Drinking water in the morning (even when you are not thirsty) will prime your body and prevent issues later.

To explain how vital this is over the long term on your trip consider this:  I hike a lot.  I climb an 1100 foot mountain about three times a week.  At this point I can do a major hike (3000+ feet over 10 ten miles) without having sore muscles the next day.  Last week I woke up, didn't drink any water, and then climbed the 1100 foot mountain.  Doing this has not made my legs sore in months.  My legs were sore the next day.  Dehydration will MURDER your legs. This leads me to the next tip.

3.  Drink when you are not thirsty.

If you wait until you are thirsty it's normally too late.  You're already starting to dehydrate. You can get a cup of ice water at any counter service location in Disney World.  Do this often.  Nothing will help you more over the long term than proper hydration.  This will help to prevent headaches, cramping,  and helps your skin from drying out.

4. Eat small amounts often.

Eating 100 calories an hour isn't a bad idea when you are walking 10 miles a day.  This will prevent weakness, grumpiness, headaches, and has another important benefit.

You need salt.  This might sound odd but your body needs some salt.  When you are sweating more and taking more water in your body can actually run out of salt.  If this happens you will be in a world of hurt.  I've run into this before it's not fun.  If you run out of salt you will not feel good and anything you drink will go right through you.  This is very dangerous.  Eating small amounts will help to prevent this.

5.  Avoid massive meals.

Massive meals take a huge toll on your body.  There is a reason why you are tired after a big meal.  That's because you body is working overtime trying to breakdown all that food.  If you eat smaller meals you will feel better and can go longer. 

If you are like me and are a food junkie than you can counter huge meals with proper planning.  After a huge lunch take a break and go back to your room for a nap.  Have your dinner as late as you can so you can go back and crash after.

6. Drink a glass of water before bed.

This will help your muscles to spring back after a long day.  You might need to get up to pee during the night but your muscles will thank you in the morning.

7.  If you can - take an over the counter pain killer each day after day one.

Most OTC painkillers thin your blood.  This can help your body by reducing swelling.  That alone will help you to keep going over the long haul.

No comments:

Post a Comment