Olympic-worthy health & beauty tips

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If you are like me, then you may wonder what super athletes like this year's USA Olympic competitors do in their daily lives to stay so fit and fabulous. I am always intrigued by people who manage to keep their bodies in tip top shape. What do they eat? What beauty products do they use to look good while breaking more than the average daily sweat? What is their mantra when it comes to keeping a positive attitude when they are dealing with the highs of huge victories and the lows of very public and big losses?
I wondered if I could take a page out of the book of an American Team USA female athlete or at least a few paragraphs to see how I can follow their example to look and be the healthiest that I can. So read on if you are curious like me because I found some very interesting tips from these athletic pros and some don't require expensive personal trainers or a big bank account. A lot of their daily habits are obtainable and even better, affordable!

Attitude Is Everything
One of the first things I read in the February issue of Self Magazine is a quote from Olympic skier Hannah Kearney who says that the earth is her playground so she makes earth-friendly decisions like driving a hybrid car and always carrying a reusable tote to the grocery store.  If we can look at our world that way, not only can we make good green decisions, but we can also choose to live life to the fullest on this vast playground each and every day. Positive thinking is key to lower stress levels which is one of the healthiest things we can do for our bodies. And that attitude also gets us outside to play on this big playground as she calls it. Try to think of exercising that way and maybe getting out there will be a bit easier! And if you are looking for a cool and patriotic reusable tote like the one I show in the segment, check out ebay.com where I purchased the fun pink USA flag bag for only $10. 

Track Your Tracks
Most diet plans tell you to write down what you eat. I found that several of the Olympic athletes also track their daily fitness plan.  Speed skater Katherine Reutter tells Self Magazine that she records her daily training sessions nightly with the next day's plan neatly written in her workout log.  Or you can try Team USA hockey player Angela Ruggiero's favorite fitness tool, the Nike+SportsBand.  Since I am a hockey Mom, I knew my son would find Ruggiero's recommendation cool, so I purchased my own Nike SportsBand for $59 from Dick's Sporting Goods. And since my son is fast with anything that is computer oriented, we had a good time syncing the Nike device with my hard drive so that I can keep track of my fitness tracks.  No tedious writing, loose  papers or lost fitness journals. 

With only two buttons to manage, this wrist band is pretty simple. The first button stops, starts and resets the distance meter while the other option shows your distance, pace, time and calories burned. And when you are not running or walking, the handy little gadget is a simple watch.  And as I mentioned, the best part is that the face of the band pops off and plugs  into your computer so that your runs or walks update to Nike Plus where your progress is tracked. 

What Do Some Of These Athletes Eat?
Self Magazine also asked the gals what foods fuel their competitive bodies and I was very interested in their answers. Curling pro Nicole Joraanstad traded in her daily breakfast of toast for oatmeal with berries. Although we have all heard that before, she swears that this one change made a big difference in her daily energy level and that is something most busy woman I know want more of! 

Figure skater Tanith Belbin adds several snacks a day like trail mix to her three small daily meals. I have noticed that diet plans like Jenny Craig also advise smart snacking and Belbin says that doing this keeps her from feeling too full when she works out.
For snowboarder Erica Mueller, it's Larabars that satisfies her snack attacks. And boy did my Mother love this one because she has been urging me to switch from some of my favorite sugary treats to the Larabar. This healthy bar is gluten-free, dairy-free and is made from 100% whole foods like fruits, nuts and spices.  Each one has only a few ingredients and has no added sweeteners or fillers. With flavors like German chocolate cake and tropical fruit tart, there are plenty of bars to try. I must admit that this is not my favorite bar because I sport a mad sweet tooth, but I do like the peanut butter and jelly flavor. Plus this is a sweet tooth treat that is actually good for my body, so I will heed the advice of the athletes…and my Mom….and try more Larabars!

Medal Worthy Workout Wear
I believe that half of the battle of finding a good fitness plan is just getting started. Starting is the hardest part, but once you find yourself exercising, you may find that you can't live without it!  It gets easier as you go and feels so great after wards, not to mention that regular exercise can add years to your life!  Sometimes getting geared up with the right workout wear gets me excited to get going on my workout, so I decided to try some of the fitness clothing that I see the Olympic pros wearing in the magazines articles that I read.  Pro skier Lindsey Vonn likes the UnderArmour line so I went to Dick's Sporting Goods to try some on for size.  I really like the tops, but my top favorite workout pant is still the Nike BeStrong line.  So, I'll stick with my Nike pants, but also add the UnderArmour tops to my workout wear.  Plus our home has a lot of UnderArmour apparel under our roof because my 12-year-old AA travel hockey player also tells me that brand is his favorite. 

I also read that figure skater Tanith Belbin favors the Ralph Lauren fitted fleece half-zip hooded top, but at $198 a jacket, I'll stick with Nike and UnderArmour.  Bottom line is that if you feel energized in your favorite workout wear, you are more likely to get out there and burn some calories.  So try dressing in your favorite fitness clothes at the top of your day and chances are if you are wearing it, then you will work out in it!

Beautiful Body Beauty Items
One of my favorite beauty tips came from Olympic skier Julia Mancuso who told Self Magazine that she dabs rose hip oil on her face at night to keep her skin moisturized. I had heard of using jojoba oil and olive oil, but not rose hip oil, so I gave it a try and I like it.
One thing that happens frequently to a professional athlete is that her beautiful body becomes a bruised body so as a Mom I was intrigued by snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler's band-aid recommendation. She recommends a brand that I had never heard of called Dr. Hauschka Ouch! Aid Arnica compresses. Put it right on the bruise for faster healing. I tried one on my son's banged up hockey knee and we liked the results.  The company's website says that the Arnica wildflower is a natural pain reliever that reduces swelling. I found mine on line at drhauschka.com and although you will pay $15 for a 5-pack, these have worked wonders on my son's beat up hockey legs, so for the serious athlete, these band-aids are medal-worthy!

To see a few additional items not covered in this article, watch the video. You will see us taste, try and apply our way through a bag I brought on set that I call the Team USA beauty bag.  Congratulations to all of the Team USA Olympians who have realized their  dream of competing in the ultimate competition, the Winter Games! Let them inspire us to aim for a fit lifestyle that keeps our beauty and life on a budget, but on a healthy one!