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How To Stay Healthy While Giving Back To Your Community

El Centro, California (NAPSI) - With the return of spring, more people are heading outdoors to get in their daily dose of physical activity as well as support their community.

Local athletic events are the perfect fit for those looking to stay active and live a healthy lifestyle, while supporting their local organizations.

There are a variety of runs, walks and races this season, including the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, American Diabetes Association’s Tour de Cure, Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and the American Heart Association Heart Walk. Whether you participate to support a cause or stay in shape, it’s important to remember to take care of yourself. What you eat before, during and after an event will play a major role in your performance and overall wellness.

Giant Eagle is a longtime supporter of the many communities it serves, as well as those who participate in the many seasonal outdoor events, by encouraging volunteerism, providing funds and offering nutritional guidance to build healthy habits.

Giant Eagle registered dietitians offer up the following tips to keep you in racing shape:

1. Eat throughout the day. Your body needs a constant supply of energy during the event, so make sure you’re eating enough calories throughout the day to take into account the calories you’re burning during the race.

2. Eat a variety of foods. Include nonstarchy vegetables and fruits with each meal. Before your event, eat a meal that’s high in quality carbohydrates and lean protein and low in fiber and fat. Try some oatmeal with raisins and a banana if you have a few hours, or try a piece of toast with jam and a banana for a quick meal idea. After finishing, try to eat some quality protein and carbohydrates within 30 minutes to aid muscle recovery.

3. Replace fluids lost within 24 hours of the event. Replace the hydration lost during physical activity by drinking 16 to 24 ounces of water for every pound lost during exercise. Staying hydrated is a key component of your overall well-being and can help prevent muscle soreness and aches post-event.

4. Only eat food you’ve eaten before on race day. You don’t want any surprises before you step on the starting line. You practice your stride; why not practice your meals? Find out what fuels you best so you can go out and have a great day.

Whether you’re running a half marathon, walking your first 5K or taking up cycling, it’s important to make sure you’re fueling your body properly, and the upcoming Giant Eagle−sponsored events are the perfect opportunity to challenge yourself to try something new, support great causes and get healthy at the same time.