As a sportsman, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and healthy habits is crucial for reaching peak performance and achieving long-term success. From proper nutrition to regular exercise, developing healthy habits can make all the difference on and off the field.
To excel in their sport, athletes must not only train their bodies physically but also maintain a healthy lifestyle. A balanced diet, regular exercise, and good sleep hygiene are all essential for a sportsman to perform at their best.
In this article, we will delve into the specific health habits that are key for athletes to maintain.
5 Healthy Habits of Pro Athletes
1. Consider rest and recovery as important as the rest of your training.
Maintaining a consistent sleep pattern is beneficial for everyone, particularly for athletes. Following a sleep schedule allows the body to repair damaged cells and recover from physical activity. Adequate sleep not only aids physical recovery but also provides a refreshed state of mind, which is essential for overall well-being.
Athletes typically require seven to nine hours of sleep per night to manage their demanding schedule effectively. Adhering to this recommended amount of sleep helps to reduce the risk of injury and illness, leading to improved performance in their sport.
Three-time MLB All-Star and two-time MLB Home Run Champion Jose Bautista has to take every measure necessary to preserve his strength, and one crucial component of his training is rest. “My muscles get sore the next day if I don’t eat enough protein or drink enough water. Recovery time has a lot to do with diet,” he says.
2. Stay hydrated
While maintaining healthy habits, it should not be forgotten that staying hydrated is an essential aspect of an athlete’s regimen. Proper hydration has a significant impact on performance and is understood to be one of the healthy habits.
Apart from energy drinks, water is the most vital element for maintaining adequate hydration levels.
It is recommended that athletes drink at least ten glasses of water per day to keep their bodies hydrated. Proper hydration is essential for maintaining optimal energy levels and can significantly affect an athlete’s performance.
To ensure adequate hydration, it is advised that athletes drink water every 30 minutes, especially during intense physical activity.
Cleveland Cavaliers small forward and two-time NBA champion LeBron James knows staying hydrated is crucial for optimal energy and performance. “It sounds so simple, but I am a big believer in water,” he says. “I start the day with two big glasses, and pretty much drink it until I go to bed.”
3.Special focus on the mind
In order to perform, every sportsperson must put as much effort into preparing their mind as they do into preparing their body. This means taking the time to calm the nerves and focus on the task at hand, rather than getting caught up in external distractions.
The ability to visualize success and focus on one’s goals is key to performing at the highest level.
Success in sports comes from within and is not dependent on external factors such as the crowd or the desire to win a medal for one’s country. The more vividly and accurately a sportsperson can visualize success, the greater the impact this will have on their game.
By preparing the mind, a sportsperson can better control their thoughts, emotions, and focus on what is important, allowing them to perform their best to utilize the best from healthy habits.
4.Prioritize quality over quantity.
Racing through a workout may seem efficient, but it’s never a good — or safe — idea to sacrifice proper form. Two-time skeleton Olympian Katie Uhlaender believes it’s actually much more efficient to do each rep right. “You’ll get better results and ward off injury by doing fewer reps correctly than by doing a bunch with poor form,” she says.
5.Make your warm-up dynamic
Warm-ups prevent injuries, boost performance, and can prevent soreness. A few minutes of jumping jacks, lunges, squats, and push-ups can help your body power through any sporting performance.
Before tackling a high-intensity workout, five-time World Series champion Derek Jeter starts with calisthenics including jumping jacks, arm circles, pushups, lunges, and squats to warm up his muscles. While you may not need a lengthy cool-down post-workout, warm-ups are non-negotiable, because they help prevent injury, enhance performance, and can even stave off soreness. Ease into every fitness session with a few minutes of dynamic moves like Jeter’s.