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Fuel your body with a healthy diet

Cigna values your unique strengths and supports your efforts to reach your full athletic potential by running in the Walt Disney World® Marathon Weekend. And we know that running a marathon demands a lot of energy. Here are a few nutritional tips to get you started on the right foot and help you stay energized during those long training runs.

  1. Get a head’s start with a healthy breakfast: If you exercise in the morning, make sure to get up early enough to eat breakfast. Most of the energy you acquired from the previous night’s dinner will be used up by morning and your blood sugar may be low. If you plan to exercise within an hour after breakfast, eat a lighter meal or drink something to raise your blood sugar. Emphasize carbohydrates for maximum energy.
  2. Check your portions: Be careful not to overdo it when it comes to how much you eat before exercising. Eating too much can leave you feeling sluggish, or worse, upset your stomach. Eating too little may not give you the energy you need to feel strong throughout your workout.
  3. Pack a snack: For snacks before and during training, do what works best for you. Snacks eaten right before running may not provide you with substantial added energy, but they can help keep up your blood sugar up and prevent distracting hunger pains. A healthy snack is especially important if you plan a workout several hours after a meal.
  4. Refuel after you exercise: To help your muscles recover, eat a meal that contains both protein and carbohydrates within two hours of your exercise session. If you’re not hungry after your workout, drink juice or a sports drink to provide replenishing carbohydrates.
  5. Drink up: You need adequate fluids before, during and after exercise to help prevent dehydration. Water is generally the best way to replace lost fluids. However, if you're exercising for more than 60 minutes, consider having a sports drink to help maintain your body's electrolyte balance.
  6. Train your stomach: Training your stomach is just as important as training your muscles. You wouldn’t try out new sneakers during a race, and likewise, you should never try a new nutrition routine during a race. Treat your long runs like the race, and practice consuming different types of foods during your training so that you don't have any surprises on race day.

The bottom line--eat right to finish strong! Follow these diet guidelines, and be on the lookout for more tips and training advice from Cigna in the coming weeks.

Congratulations for making the commitment to run in the Walt Disney World® Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna. We know you can do it. And while you may be one runner among thousands, you are one of a kind. GO YOU.

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