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11th Jan 2018

Leading rugby nutritionist gives his top tips for getting in shape this year

Sound advice

Patrick McCarry

Words to live 2018 by.

We are two weeks into the new year and many of you may be faltering over those resolutions already. Fear not, however.

As long as you are moving, you’re winning. Take that as a good start and go from there.

SportsJOE caught up with Gloucester Rugby’s sports nutritionist James Hudson and got some great tips that will see you right this year. The former Gloucester, Newcastle and England Saxons lock also revealed what Christmas is like for his Premiership players.

For anyone looking to get in shape for 2018, what’s a good, go-to exercise.

To be honest any exercise is better than none, just get moving! If you have been on the sidelines for a while then gradually building can just begin with going for a walk, getting in the swimming pool, or picking a sport back up that you haven’t played for a few years.

Group activities are great ways of meeting people in a similar position. That could be touch rugby, local league netball or basketball, or group sessions are often run in local parks.

If you’re a bit more experienced then lifting some weights and building some muscle and strength is the best way to maintain your mobility as you get older, its still my go to now I’m retired from professional sport.

What’s the best new year’s resolution you can make to try and lose weight, get fit(ter), build muscle?

The best news years resolution you can make is a realistic one and one that is based around science!

This time of year, is filled with empty promises of ‘detoxing’ and ‘cleansing’ which sound appealing but is utter garbage for long term healthy change. Especially when it comes to diet, make small but significant changes which you can maintain throughout the whole year not just the first month!

Seek evidence based advice from registered dieticians and nutritionists not just someone with lots of followers on Instagram. Visit the Irish Nutrition & Dietetic Institute [or British Dietetic Association] website for points of contact in your area, and if your goals are very sports specific then a registered Sports and Exercise nutritionist (SENr) through the INDI [or BDA] is also a reliable source of information.

What were the lads REALLY allowed to eat over the holidays? How tough are the training sessions following the big days over Christmas?

It is business as usual over the Christmas period with the players training as normal. They were fortunate this year in that Christmas Day fell on days soon after Saturday fixtures. They benefited from the day off for Christmas Day and then back in on Boxing Day afternoon for training. Nothing changes though in terms of the intensity at training and the focus quickly back to the next fixture.

Do the players usually stick together for a beer after these festive games or get back home as soon as possible?

The players tend to stick together well after matches and some will have enjoyed a beer and each other’s company as usual. Others may have travelled a bit further to see family for Christmas eve and day. The players won’t have been cutting loose completely though as the lead up to an important home fixture against Sale started on Boxing Day.

What do the southern hemisphere lads make of having to play in woeful weather conditions over the holidays?

We currently have a few who would be used to warmer climates for their Christmas Day. They all get used to the British winter pretty quickly, and to be fair the quality of playing surfaces now across the Premiership means even when it does get a bit cold and wet they can still go out there and play the style of rugby they like to.

*Gloucester have upcoming home games on January 19 and 26. For matchday information and tickets, visit their website.

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