«Νοῦς ὑγιής ἐν σώματι ὑγιεῖ». That’s the ancient Greek saying which means “a healthy mind in a healthy body” and underlines the necessity for keeping both your mind and body in shape. Greece has a great tradition in sports, considering they were the ones who introduced The Olympic Games. They also provide a large vat of extra virgin olive oil. The Greeks enjoyed their exercise and their extra virgin olive oil.
That is why the winners of the first Olympic Games, held in 776 BC were crowned with branches of the sacred olive trees. The winners of the Great Panathinea, a sports event held in Athens in honour of the goddess Athena were also gifted with largely decorated amphoras filled with extra virgin olive oil.
The olive oil was produced from specific olive trees growing on the famous rock of the Acropolis. Those trees were considered sacred and the value of the olive oil, being symbolic and pecuniary was extremely high, as no one else but the winners could possess it. Even nowadays, Marathon winners in the Olympic Games, are crowned with olive branches, continuing a tradition of 3000 years.
However, the olive trees and oil did not have only symbolic and pecuniary significance. The ancient athletes also applied olive oil on their skin before a competition to protect their muscles and they regularly consumed pure extra virgin olive oil.
Today, extra virgin olive oil remains as beneficial to today’s athlete as ever and the Mediterranean diet. This is rich in fruits, vegetables, fish and extra virgin olive oil. As the only source of fat, is the ideal food model. In fact, good nutrition is an integral part of training which improves the mental well-being and ensures a better performance.
To start with, the consumption of olive oil provides energy and fats essential to athletes. Fats included are saturated, polyunsaturated, monounsaturated, and trans-fat. Unsaturated fats are the best choice for athletes. Olive oil helps lower cholesterol levels and contributes to heart health and building bones. Mostly made up of mostly monounsaturated fatty acids. This is in the form of oleic acid, a few saturated fats and some polyunsaturated fats. Examaples of these are linoleic acid.
At its most basic, olive oil provides energy, something athletes never want to be without. Compared to the sedentary who should consume no more than 15% of their calories from fat, athletes need anywhere from 20%-30%. This is true for both endurance and high-intensity sports. Fat is the body’s main fuel during low-intensity lengthy endeavours like triathlons and marathons. But it’s just as necessary for high-intensity sports too. Carbohydrates may be the central fuel for high-intensity activities but without fat, carbohydrate energy cannot be released.
Muscles have a hard time during athletic training and need immediate recovery, which includes repair, strengthening and muscle building. Olive oil is better than other fat sources in helping cells absorb cholesterol and convert it to testosterone. This is critical to the body’s muscle building process. Moreover, its combination of oleic acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids work together to build bone tissue and allow the body to regenerate.
If you can exercise don’t just a few times a week, but every day. Movement is key to a healthy life. Exercising daily can improve your health in many ways. It can help increase your life span, lower your risk of diseases, help you develop higher bone density, and lose weight.
In conclusion one simple thing you can do is, especially for close distances, choose walking over riding, driving or taking transportation. You can climb the stairs instead of taking the elevator. You can pick exercises that are easy to do at home or outside that you enjoy. When you enjoy the physically activities you choose for yourself, most likely you’ll enjoy them and naturally want to do them. Exercise is about being healthy and having fun at the same time. Also, mixing up your exercises will keep them interesting.