Healthy habits and nutrition planning with SOBC Health Messenger David Johnston

Special Olympics BC Health Messengers undertake training to become health and wellness leaders, educators, advocates, and role models within Special Olympics programs and communities. They are also equipped to share stories about fellow athletes making a difference in their communities.

David Johnston, Athlete Reporter from SOBC – Dawson Creek, is the newest Health Messenger to join these ranks. He interviewed Dawson Creek's Dara Watson, a member of Special Olympics Team BC 2024, to find out how she prepared to compete at National Games and her experience at a Healthy Athletes screening.

Read on to be inspired!

Athlete Reporter and SOBC Health Messenger David Johnston, SOBC – Dawson Creek

Dara Watson, SOBC – Dawson Creek athlete

Athletes from Dawson Creek went to Calgary for the Special Olympics Canada Winter Games Calgary 2024. Dara Watson went to compete with Region 8 in 5-pin bowling.

The healthy activities that Dara does are Club Fit, walking, track, exercising, swimming, yoga, curling, and bocce to help keep active and stay physically fit. Dara also thinks strength training is the foundation of athletic prowess.

It not only builds muscle but also enhances bone density and joint stability. Incorporating weightlifting, bodyweight exercises, or resistance training into your routine will make you more robust, resilient, and capable of taking on the challenges of your sport. 

The habits that Dara developed to help her prepare for Games are warm exercises and practicing bowling. She also does cool downs after bowling.

“The healthy habits and nutrition plan made a difference in my training by keeping me healthy, fit, focused, keeping fit my mind calmer and positive, relaxed so I can bowl good,” said Dara.

Dara did three different types of workouts three days a week and also made sure to drink eight glasses of water a day to stay hydrated. “Hydration is key, so make sure that you drink plenty of water before, during, and after training to stay properly hydrated,” she advises.

The whole time Dara was competing at National Games, she also made sure to eat healthy. Dara’s nutrition plan was to eat three times a day in moderation and eat fruit, vegetables, protein, grain, and dairy as part of her nutrition plan. 

“Nutrition is how we fuel our bodies. We must treat our nutrition as seriously as we treat our training. We need a balanced diet that provides the right mix of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals,” said Dara. “Proper nutrition not only fuels your workouts, but also accelerates our recovery.”

Dara’s experience at the Healthy Athletes screening was good and she learned a lot. By attending Opening Eyes and Special Smiles, she learned what areas she was doing well in and the areas where she was not doing well in.

When asked why athletes should attend a Healthy Athletes screening, Dara said that it helped her learn ways to stay healthy and fit. Dara also made friends and connections with people all across Canada.



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