5 sports performance tips for the everyday athlete
Calling all everyday athletes: yes, you can do it!
Whether you plan to sign up to compete in this year’s City 2 Surf, Sydney to Gong Bike Ride or Bondi to Bronte Ocean Swim – setting yourself a physical challenge is a great way to get active regularly and keep motivated throughout the year.
If you are just starting out, the best thing you can do for you and your body is to set small, incremental goals that build up to the big event. Don’t attempt to cram in your training just a few weeks before the big race. Doing so could leave you victim to pain, injury or other physical consequences.
So, get started! Here’s a bunch of important tips to help you keep your eyes on the prize:
1. Always Warm Up
When we’re pushed for time to complete a jog or workout, it’s the Warm Up that often gets cut from the day’s program. The hard truth is that your Warm Up is an essential part of your physical activity. Not only does it help to prevent injury, it enhances performance and reduces any post-workout soreness.
Next time you’re pressed for time and considering opting out of it, reduce the length of your run or workout to make time to warm up properly. Side shuffles, lunges, some jumping jacks, and a slow run will get your heart pumping.
2. Be Consistent
Ever booked into an exercise class and just not been in the mood to attend? We’ve all been there. What sets apart well-performing athletes to the rest of the field is their ability to ignore the ‘motivation’ emotion and simply … just go.
In the long run, it’s more important that you exercise for half the time you planned to rather than not at all. Therefore, if you just “don’t feel like it”, get yourself up off the couch, put on your runners and get out there. Even just for a little bit. You might find that once you get started, you will end up completing the workout you didn’t think you had the energy for.
3. Rest and Recovery Is Just As Important As Training
Whilst consistency is key, it’s important you are giving your body enough time to rest and recover in between training sessions. Think of it as the yin to the workout yang. After you’ve pushed your body to its limit during your workout one day, it’s essential you allow the muscles, nerves and connective tissue time to rebuild the next.
On another note, you could consider cross training. This form of training – where you vary your exercise regime each day – is an excellent way to work out different parts of your body whilst eliminating the need for rest days. Run one day, do a gym workout the next, and swim the following; this method of sports training allows you to exercise 6-7 days a week without causing injury or suffering muscular fatigue.
4. Stay Hydrated
It might seem obvious – but keeping hydrated when you exercise is important to ensure your body is performing well. The best way to keep your H20 levels on track is to sip water as you go. Gulping down water at the end of your session is best avoided as your body has to work harder to rehydrate in between those catch-up gulp sessions.
For longer workouts, Hydralyte and magnesium can help you stay hydrated and restore essential electrolytes.
5. Listen To Your Body
Lastly, remember it’s your body and you know it best. Take the time before, during and after a training session to check-in with your body. How does it feel? Does any part of your body feel stiff, sore or painful? Do you need to take your next session a bit easier to allow your body to rebuild to its peak potential?
Whatever your fitness goal, as you inch closer to it, it’s essential you are in touch with your body and seek support from a health professional if you have any questions or concerns during your preparation.
At Sydney Spine and Sports Clinic, we put you first. We believe in offering chiropractic care that enables you to make informed and educated choices about your health. If you are suffering pain or injury and would like to talk to us about how we can help you get mobile and active again – get in touch right here.