Nourishing Our Environment

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

We are past the halfway point of the program! Nutrition, hydration, and sleep are all recovery topics we cover through weeks six and seven. In the last newsletter we made the connection that practicing good recovery habits is a way of showing kindness towards ourselves. Forming good habits around these basic needs will help your child to get the most out of our program and the most out of themselves. You can be a big help with establishing these routines.

As a professional runner, one thing that I wish I understood and practiced earlier in life is good recovery habits. When I eventually began to take my recovery habits seriously I saw the payoff immediately. One of my former coaches described these practices as "tending to your environment." As I aim to achieve my greatest potential in running, it's important that my environment is nourishing and that I am well taken care of.

While your child isn't necessarily a part of the Kilometer Kids program to achieve their greatest potential in running, the value in establishing good recovery habits remains just as important! Doing a good job to take care of their basic needs will support their growth and development.

Helping them to create habits for themselves will pay off not just in the short term, but over a lifetime as well. One of the easiest recovery habits to build is hydrating well. Drinking water throughout the day, while avoiding sodas and other processed, sugary drinks, is the best way to stay hydrated. Your Kilometer Kids, depending on their age, should aim to drink 5-8 cups of water a day. Staying properly hydrated throughout the day helps the body regulate temperature, keeps joints lubricated, prevents infections, delivers nutrients to cells, keeps organs functioning properly, and improves sleep quality, cognition, and mood.

For me, the easiest way to remember to drink water throughout the day is by carrying around a 32oz reusable water bottle. I bought a lid with a straw because I spill water while drinking out of my bottle too often otherwise. I always make sure that the water bottle is filled before I go to bed so that I can drink a little bit before I go to sleep and a lot of it when I first wake up in the morning. There are certain times throughout the day that I am paying particular attention to drinking enough water: first thing in the morning, before practice, during practice, and after practice. I also make sure that I am adding in electrolytes.

I have a friend who has made it their thing to always ask me if I am staying hydrated. Instead of wishing me well when they say goodbye, they will remind me to drink water. They are a person in my environment that is nudging me to practice good habits and take care of myself. Maybe your Kilometer Kid would appreciate this from you.

Stay hydrated,

-Sadi Henderson, Professional Runner (Atlanta Track Club Elite) & Program Coordinator - Kilometer Kids,