How to Stay Strong throughout YOUR season
by Abbey Wills, DPT, ART-Cert.
Want to reach your full potential and keep yourself at the top of your game? Taking care of your body is key when striving to enhance performance. This is important regardless of whether your sport or activity has a specific time period when the training/competition intensifies, or participation is continuous throughout the year. As you’re managing your body during a long season, keep these tips in mind.
Sleep is important. When trying to fit additional sport-related tasks into your day, do not sacrifice sleep. Schedule your day in advance, limit screen time before bed, and avoid caffeinated products after 5 pm.
A healthy diet, consisting of non-processed, fresh foods with ingredients that you can pronounce is important for maintaining energy levels required for increased activity. Fruits, nuts, fresh veggies, and grains are all good options. Keeping yourself hydrated with plain water is best to replace lost fluids from workouts, enhance focus, decrease muscle cramping and discomfort, and even increases energy levels. Avoid sugary drinks whenever possible.
When training, focus on quality over quantity. A good balance of short sessions focused on technique and form can help enhance efficiency and decrease common mistakes that can lead to overuse injury.
Lastly, listen to your body! If you are experiencing the occasional bout of soreness, work on recovery (more on that later). However, if there is a specific problem that lingers with consistent training, seek advice from a medical professional or schedule a free screen at the clinic!
What do you do if you are experiencing a lack of motivation while training or participating in your desired activity? Try these tips and re-energize your routine!!
Try something new: Varying exercise programs with cross-training and flexibility/stretching can mix things up and also decreases repetitive stress on tissues
Focus on Recovery: you work hard, it's time to apologize to your body. Common ways to enhance recovery are rolling (trigger point or foam roll), warm-up/cool down programs, stretching/flexibility work, built in rest days, massage, heat, among others
Work out with a friend or group: participating in activities or training with others helps to increase accountability and motivation. It is also way more fun!
Get Inspired: do some reading on talented athletes or performers in your field to remind yourself why you love what you do!
Off Season: Explore other fun ways to enhance your fitness: cross training, alternative activities or sports, hiking, exploring, etc.
Best of luck to all of our spring and summer athletes and performers. Now get out there and enjoy the season!!