8 Tips Pro Athletes Use To Stay In Shape
By Space Coast Daily // July 16, 2022
It’s no secret that professional athletes must stay in top shape to perform at their best. But what many people don’t realize is that the same principles apply to athletes to anyone who aims to be more creative and productive. In other words, if you want to achieve your goals, you must stay mentally and physically.
It is no secret that to achieve real success, one cannot be a slacker. One of the things that seasoned athletes may have in common is their ability to remain active well into their fifties and sixties. This notion might perplex individuals who are just getting started working out.
So, how do they do it?
The answer is that they have adopted specific habits that help them stay in shape both physically and mentally. If you want to be like them, here are eight tips you can use:
- Eat healthily and take proper supplements
What you eat impacts your energy levels, mood, and overall health. To perform at your best, it’s crucial to fuel your body with nutrient-rich foods.
While there are many fad diets, the best way to eat optimal health is to focus on whole, unprocessed foods. These include fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats.
In addition to eating a nutritious diet, professional athletes also take supplements to ensure their bodies are getting everything they need. Popular supplements among athletes include protein powder, creatine, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and more. Tailwind Nutrition, for example, is a company that makes sports supplements specifically designed to help athletes perform at their best.
- Get enough sleep
Sleep is essential for pretty much everything, both physical and mental recovery. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body doesn’t have time to repair muscle tissue, and you may start to feel run down. This can affect your performance in the gym and day-to-day tasks.
Most people need around six hours of sleep per night. But if you’re training hard, you may need more. Some athletes even take naps daily to ensure they’re getting enough rest.
Getting a minimum of 8 hours of sleep per night is imperative for a person in training, but for the general public, focus on 7-9 hours.
- Manage stress levels
Whenever you’re feeling stressed, your body releases the hormone cortisol. This triggers the fight-or-flight response, increasing heart rate and blood pressure. In small doses, this isn’t a problem. But cortisol levels are constantly high, leading to weight gain, anxiety, and other health problems.
To keep cortisol levels in check, finding ways to manage stress is essential. This might include exercise, meditation, deep breathing exercises, or journaling. Having high-stress levels not only affects your physical health but can also lead to mental burnout.
- Have an active lifestyle
A sedentary lifestyle type is probably one of the most significant risk factors for developing common chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, or cancer. To lower your risk of these conditions, you must be active regularly.
Professional athletes make regular exercise a part of their daily routine. But you don’t have to be a professional athlete to benefit from an active lifestyle. Even having just a moderate exercise has been shown to improve mental health and cognitive function.
So, make a point to move your body every day. This might include walking, riding a bike, or taking a fitness class. And if you have a regular desk job, get up and move around every few hours.
- Practice visualization
Visualization is a powerful tool that athletes use to improve their performance. It involves picturing yourself excelling in your chosen activity. This could be hitting a home run, sinking a putt, or crossing the finish line first.
This kind of visualization aims to program your mind for success. Studies have shown that it can help improve athletic performance, increase confidence, and reduce stress levels.
To visualize effectively:
- Find a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted.
- Close your eyes and imagine yourself in your desired situation.
- See yourself achieving your goal and feeling the associated emotions.
The more realistic you can make the visualization, the better.
- Set goals
Setting goals is vital for any athlete, whether you’re just starting or are a seasoned pro. Specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based (SMART) goals will help you stay focused and motivated.
Your goals should be set to challenge you but also to be realistic. For example, if you’re just starting to exercise, your goal might be to walk for 30 minutes three times per week. As you become more fit and get into shape, you can increase the intensity or duration of your workouts.
Pro athletes set both long-term and short-term goals. But it’s important to focus on the present and not get too ahead. By breaking down your set goals into small, manageable steps, you’ll be more likely to achieve them.
- Be coachable
To improve your performance, it’s important to be coachable. This means being open to various feedback and willing to make changes based on what your coach suggests. It also requires trust—believing your coach has your best interests.
Being coachable is essential for athletes of all levels. Even the best athletes in the world need coaches to help them fine-tune their skills and technique. You’ll likely never reach your full potential if you’re not coachable and open to suggestions.
Sometimes it may seem like your coach is nitpicking. But try to see their suggestions as opportunities to improve. Ask for clarification if you’re unsure why your coach is suggesting a particular change. The more you understand, the more likely you will buy into what they’re saying.
- Manage your time
Time management is a one of the most critical skills for any athlete. There are only so many hours in the day, so you must make the most of them. This means being efficient with your time and using it wisely.
One way to do this is to create a daily schedule. Write down everything you need to do—including training, schoolwork, and family obligations—and block off specific times for each task. This will help you stay on track and ensure you’re using your time in the most productive way possible.
It’s also important to learn how to say “no.” There will always be things competing for your time and attention. But you can’t do everything. So, you need to be quite selective about what you commit to. Otherwise, you’ll spread too thin, and your performance will suffer.
Many demands are placed on athletes, but setting boundaries is essential. By learning to manage your time, you can make sure you can focus on the most important things.
There you have a few tips to help you perform like a pro. While there’s no guarantee of success, following these tips will give you the best chance to reach your potential. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to start training like a champion!