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Tips from the PA to get through Smiddy Fun Week

Smiddy Fun Week honours the life of PA Hospital Physiotherapist Adam Smiddy and raises funds for research into melanoma and skin cancer.

With Smiddy Fun Week just days away, here are some tips from our PA Hospital health professionals to help you during your week of exercise, fun and fundraising.

Mental tips for a week of exercise By PA Hospital Psychologist Dr Abi Bellin

Exercising is as much about testing your mind as it is your body. It is a totally normal experience that while your body fatigues, your mind starts telling you unhelpful messages to challenge you even more. Try these tips to keep you at your best and not listening to your mind’s negative talk:

  • Try and stay calm before you exercise. If you notice you’re feeling anxious and caught up in negative self-talk, try focussing on your breathing and letting go of unhelpful thoughts.
  • Break your exercise down into smaller stages. If you’re running, walking cycling or swimming focus on the next kilometre, which is psychologically much more manageable than getting to the finish line.
  • No matter your choice of exercise run your own race. Try not to compare yourself to the people around you, everybody has their own fitness levels. The important part is that you are taking part in a fantastic event to raise money for skin cancer research.
  • When self-doubt starts to enter your mind, focus on your surroundings. See if you can turn your attention to the scenery or to what’s around you. You can even set up a game, e.g., counting all the people you pass, which keeps your mind from focussing on negative self-talk.
  • Try mantras to keep you motivated. Use sentences that say “you” rather than “I”, as the statement feels more powerful when you are talking to yourself like you’re someone else. Examples might be “you can do this!”, or “you are stronger than you think!”
  • As you start to tire towards the end of the week, visualise getting your well-deserved rest upon completion of Smiddy fun Week and the impact you’ll have on such an important cause.

Tips for Nutrition and Hydration by PA Hospital Dietitian DR Ingrid Hickman 

Fluids:  Why is fluid important when exercising?

During exercise the body cools itself by sweating. This results in a loss of body fluid which, if not replaced, can lead to dehydration. Sweat production (i.e., fluid loss) increases as exercise intensity increases, as well as increase of temperature and humidity.

What is the impact of dehydration on your performance?

  • · Reduced physical and mental performance
  • · Increased heart rate and body temperature
  • · Exercise is perceived to be more difficult
  • · Can increase the risk of nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and other gastro-intestinal problems during and after exercise

How much fluid:

  • · To lower the risk of becoming dehydrated during exercise make sure you are hydrated before commencing exercise. A useful sign of adequate hydration is pale-yellow, straw coloured urine.
  • · Avoid drinking excessive amounts of fluid before and during exercise. This can lead to increased gastrointestinal upset and urination.
  • · Aim to replace 125-150% of fluids lost (sweat and urine) over the 4-6 hours after you stop exercising.

Best fluid for Smiddy Fun Week?

Water is an effective drink to replace the fluid you have lose and likely to help you stay well hydrated for this event. If you are concerned about electrolyte replacement, then consider a low energy/sugar free sports drink. For further information on water verse carbohydrate containing fluids please see your sports Dietitian and refer to the Australian Institute of Sports (AIS) Sports Supplement Framework – Sports drinks (carbohydrate-electrolyte drinks)


Nutrition tips for Smiddy Fun Week

During exercise your muscles use carbohydrates as the main fuel source. Our muscles store carbohydrates in the form of glycogen which will fuel about 90 minutes of exercise.

If you are eating a balanced diet and not exercising for more than 90 minutes, then it is unlikely that you will need an additional carbohydrate snack before being physically active. However, if you are exercising early in the morning and have not eaten since the night before then you may wish to consider having a snack which contains carbohydrates such as:

  • · Fruit
  • · A tub of reduced fat yoghurt or glass of milk
  • · Wholegrain toast or crackers


Sports Dietitians Australia: Fluids in sport https://www.sportsdietitians.com.au/factsheets/fuelling-recovery/fluids-in-sport/

Nutrition Australia: http://www.nutritionaustralia.org/national/resource/during-event-fluid-and-food-intake


Australian Institute of Sport: https://www.ausport.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/594170/Sports_drinks_carbohydrate-electrolyte_drinks_-_June_2017.pdf

Tips for warming up for exercise and warming down and recovery by PA Hospital Physiotherapist Tony Pratt

Congratulations on signing up for the Smiddy Challenge.

Here’s some simple advice so you enjoy it and don’t injure yourself.

Most of you will set yourself a challenge of doing a higher than your normal weekly volume of some endurance type exercise such as walking, running, cycling, or swimming. Some of you might choose to do gym-based exercise instead, but the majority will probably do one of, or a combination of the endurance activities above.

1. Ideally set yourself a challenging, but achievable goal.

For example, if you have been running 30km per week then a goal of 100km in the week would probably be too much and a goal of 40km may be safer.

So, you should consider what exercise you have done recently.

2. Pace yourself with your activity and give yourself recovery time. So, for example if you normally run five kilometres in 25 minutes, then to increase it to 10 kilometres and  to try to run it at the same pace and do it in 50 minutes may be too difficult, but  you may be able to run it in 55 minutes comfortably

 Ideally give yourself some easier or recovery days where you rest or run slower and a shorter distance.

3. If you plan to increase your exercise for the week, make sure you eat and drink enough for your energy demands and to maintain your hydration levels. Taking in carbohydrate for activities longer than 1-hour duration is often recommended. It is also often recommended to take in carbohydrate in the 30 minutes immediately after exercise to replenish your glycogen stores for future exercise sessions. Getting adequate sleep can also make your exercise goals more achievable.

4. Also ideally let yourself warm up when doing an activity by starting at a moderate pace for 10-15 minutes and let your body build into the activity. Also finishing off with lower intensity activity for 5-10 minutes is recommended. Stretching exercise after this may also be useful in preventing injuries and assisting recovery.

Here is a link to a short YouTube video on the benefits of  warm-up and stretching.

5. Other strategies such as arranging to exercise with other people can be useful as it means you are committed to the exercise, and it is more difficult not to turn up as someone is expecting you. This is especially useful for early morning activities when you may be tempted to sleep in. You will also often enjoy the company during the exercise session

Good Luck and have fun with your own personal Smiddy Challenge.

04 November 2021
Category: News