If you’re a devoted athlete, you will be interested in discovering ways you can find an edge over your competitors. It’s all about fine margins at the highest level so anything that will help you gain a few milliseconds or improve your reaction will be a welcome addition.
Competition aside, elite athletes are always looking for ways to improve themselves. The last thing you want at that level is to hit a plateau. But even if you’re simply a fitness enthusiast, you might be on the lookout for ways to maximize your workout sessions. Here are a few tips you can try out.
- Have a Healthy Diet
Food is the fuel your body burns to produce the energy it needs for physical activity. Just like your car, you will perform better with the right amount of the right kind of fuel. The wrong kind of fuel can affect your car’s performance and lead to long-term engine problems. The same is true for you and the food you eat.
As an athlete, you need foods high in carbs to give your body a rich supply of energy. You also need to eat foods rich in proteins to build the required amount of muscle for your sport of choice. In addition to foods that directly impact your athletic performance, you need to eat foods that keep your body’s internal systems humming.
Failure to eat your share of fruits and vegetables can result in you succumbing to infections and diseases. Eating the wrong kind of food can lead to dangerous lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and cancer.
- Create a Realistic Schedule
You have 24 hours in a day and you need to make optimal use of them as you strive to get your body in tip-top shape. But you must also remember that your body can only take so much in a day. Professional athletes will usually have two sessions in a day, each not more than two hours long; one in the morning and another in the evening.
As a fitness enthusiast with a full-time job, you may not have the luxury of devoting this much time to exercise but you can push things around to squeeze in a 30-minute session daily.
- Perfect the Fundamentals
The best sportsmen and women are those who take the time to focus on polishing up the basics. Those foundational exercises strengthen the body’s major muscles that bodybuilders need to make a part of their weekly routine. Squats, bench presses, and deadlifts are some of these crucial basics.
Soccer players should spend more time working on receiving the ball and getting their passes right than trying special tricks they will use rarely on match days. The basics may not be the most enjoyable part of training, but they are what will help you be at your best when it matters.
- Find the Right Accessories
Sports accessories will keep you comfortable and well protected from the elements as you work out. They will also keep you safe from harm as you work out or engage in sports that involve a high amount of physical contact.
Winter gloves will keep your hands warm as you play during cold weather, keeping your fingers safe from frostbite. A pair of fleece earmuffs will suffer discomfort around your ears while training in the cold. Such accessories designed for athletes are made breathable to prevent sweat from collecting on your skin and subjecting you to further discomfort.
If you will be working out at home, getting a yoga mat is a good idea. If you will be running on an extremely sunny day, a baseball cap will help keep the UV rays from hitting your face. A pair of sports sunglasses will keep those rays from damaging your eyes through the glare.
Prescription sports glasses will also keep your eyes safe from objects that could be blown into your eyes when working out outdoors. They will protect your eyes from sports-related eye injuries, which are counted in the thousands every year. This eyewear is designed to ensure your vision remains clear while you’re out on the field or court so that your eye condition does not affect your performance.
- Take Time to Recover
Every time you work out or play a match, your muscles suffer micro-tears which need to be repaired for your muscles to grow strong enough to withstand the activity. One of the ways to recover is simply to sleep well. While you sleep, your body gets the time to heal itself after being subjected to high-intensity activities. Other ways you can help your body recover are by getting a good sports massage or applying cryotherapy.
The Ultimate Motivation
While all these steps are important to performing at the highest level, you won’t find the motivation to do them consistently if you don’t have a goal. Whether you’re doing competitive sports or working on your personal fitness, you need to set yourself a target to work towards. From there you can create a schedule and consistently keep at it, knowing where you want to be.