Athletes know that taking care of their bodies around the clock is crucial, and I’d like to share some of my favorite athletic tips with you, whether you’re an athlete or not. Now, note, that I’m no athlete myself, but I have studied fitness, nutrition and exercise physiology for years, along with holistic health. This combination of knowledge has shown me time and time again that certain dietary approaches and athletic tips are things every woman and man can benefit from. Use these simple athletic tips in your everyday life, and you’ll have more energy, vitality, and have a rockin’ body as a result!
1. Change It up
One of the best athletic tips I’ve ever found to help me in my own workout routine and daily life, is to switch things up! Never, ever do the same workout each day. Now, I’ll be honest, this is hard for me, because I’m not one for change, but cross training your body will do many things for you. For starters, it tones various parts of your body and also keeps your body guessing. It can also help prevent injury and overworking one certain muscle group. Most athletes combine a mix of strength training, cardio, HIIT, and flexibility activities like yoga, stretching, or Pilates for the best results. You’ll likely be more flexible in everyday activities and recover faster from your workouts if you use this tip too.
2. Eat before Your Workout
Never go into a full fledged workout on an empty tummy. Your muscles need glucose and protein to fuel them for energy. Many athletes also use coconut oil before a workout because it’s immediately used for energy by the liver, just like glucose. Since it is free of fiber and starches, it’s also seamless to digest. Coconut oil provides immediate energy that fuels your metabolism like crazy! Other options include something with protein and carbs like yogurt and oats, a banana and egg whites, or some nuts and seeds with fruit. Eating before you work out can help you lose weight, manage your blood sugar, and help your muscles improve performance during your workouts.
3. Take a Rest Day
I like to do something active everyday, but I also know to take rest days too. This tip is one all top athletes use, and I suggest you do too. Walking is a fine exercise to do on a rest day, but be sure to stay away from heavy lifting or intense cardio for one day a week. This will help your muscles recover faster and improve your workouts around the clock.
4. Don’t Eat Junk
Another tip all athletes know? Not to give their body junk if they want it to serve them best. Fast food, processed foods, and refined carbs are all some of the worst things to consume if you want your body and health in top form. Fuel up on clean sources of protein, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats for a killer body, amazing energy, and the best lean muscle formation. No amount of exercise or dieting compares to a simple, clean diet.
5. Try Yoga
As I mentioned, most athletes regularly practice some form of flexibility training, one being yoga. Yoga is specifically targeted to improve muscle flexibility, muscle recovery and aids in rest. It also reduces stress, which is essential to any woman’s lifestyle, athlete or not!
6. Refuel the Right Way
Another tip that all athletes know is that after a workout, you need to refuel. Don’t skip meals, and be sure to eat something that has protein, healthy carbs, and some kind of fruit or vegetable after your workout. Since your muscles are depleted, it’s vital to restore your glycogen levels. Having a meal based on protein, healthy carbs and produce will help your body recover and help you stave off hunger. Just be aware you need to stay away from the sugary energy bars and energy drinks. Those will only rob your body of nutrients and they have nasty additives and processed ingredients.
7. Get Enough Rest
Rest is essential to good training and good health. Getting enough rest can ward off stress, depression, muscle fatigue and combat overeating naturally. Be sure you get enough rest each night, which is at least 7-9 hours. I find that I do much better towards the 9 hour range myself, but do what works for you. Rest is one of the most important and most essential things you can do for your body. Don’t deprive yourself of it!
You don’t have to be an athlete to use these tips for your everyday life, and they will make a huge difference in your life. If you’re an athlete, what tip would you give everyday women looking to get healthier that we can use too?