It’s time for another Austin Sports Medicine 101 class!
The New Year is a time when many reflect on the past year while making plans for a better future. Resolutions are a great way to put new focus on improving one’s self in a variety of ways. For athletes or for those who are thinking about adding regular exercise to their ongoing routines, it’s an ideal time to resolve to make changes that will benefit the body and overall wellness.
“Physical fitness and optimal health are affected by so many aspects of our busy lives that we all need an occasional reminder to make sure we’re taking the best actions for our bodies and our sports performance,” said Dr. Martha Pyron, owner of Medicine in Motion. “Everyone should make a plan to improve at least one facet of their health and wellness regime – once you start, I think you’ll find the positive changes keep coming!”
Here are five resolutions that will make the New Year happier and healthier for any athlete:
- Eat better. For athletes or those at least inclined to athleticism – does it really matter what they consume in if they’re in great shape on the outside? Absolutely. What’s happening on the inside may be a completely different story if the person is ingesting foods high in fats or sugars. Bad food choices can impede athletic performance too. Making better food choices will not only help an athlete play harder and think more clearly, it could aid in a longer and better quality life.
- Drink better. There’s no better beverage for the body than water. Everyone should probably be drinking at least two liters per day (more for those athletes that are constantly sweating it out during exercise). Keep track of water intake, and decrease the number of sodas, alcoholic beverages, sports drinks, etc. Most people are amazed at how much better they feel.
- Rest more. It’s a proven fact – over the long haul, athletes perform better if they’re properly rested. Attempt eight hours each night, and don’t shy away from power naps on those long days. The body will be thankful, and so will the mind.
- Exercise daily. If training for a sport or particular activity, an athlete might be inclined to take a couple of weeks or months off during the off-season, particularly if that’s during the winter months. Attempt to at least get in a brisk walk or jog, though – it will go a long way to helping maintain fitness levels and keep up strength-levels.
- Write it down. Athletes have specific fitness goals – it may be to run a mile at a certain time or bench press a certain weight at the gym. Big fitness goals will require smaller steps along the way, and it’s much easier to keep track of forward progress and the next steps if everything is written down. An exercise journal is also a great place to monitor meals and calories. Journaling may be the best tool in an athlete’s fitness arsenal.