4 Tips to Staying Healthy for Your Spring Season
By: Bri Gwaltney, Sports Performance Coach
Spring sports are about to kick in to full gear, and athletes have been training hard to prepare. Now that we have a few months of competition ahead of us, how do we continue to stay healthy and mentally strong through out our seasons? Here are some things to keep in mind:
Fuel your body!
As athletes we sometimes forget that on days we aren’t competing it is still important to eat and drink healthy. Fueling yourself with food and drinks high in artificial products and with greasy fast food will cause your body to crash and feel fatigued. By staying hydrated and giving your body healthy foods before and after competition you can stay mentally and physically energized throughout your season.
There are ways to help prevent injury both before and after competition. During workouts on non-competition days make sure that you are using proper form for all of your exercises. Doing so will keep joints and muscles more mechanically sound during actual competition. Before workouts and competitions make sure you are fully warmed-up. By increasing heart rate and raising your body temperature you are increasing blood flow to active muscles, preparing them for action! After workouts and competitions it is extremely important to do a cool down, stretch, and ice if needed. Doing a cool down (low intensity exercise to gradually decrease heart rate) is very important for high intensity sports like lacrosse where heart rate stays high through out competition. Stretching and icing will help prevent soreness and aid with small aches and pains that can come about during season. By recognizing these small aches we can keep them from turning into big pains!
Work Out Smarter!
It is important to continue your exercise program throughout your season, but you have to be smart about it! Knowing when your next competition is is key to knowing what type of workout you should do. The last thing you want during an intense game is to only be able to think about how sore you are! When working out 1 to 2 days before competition lighten up on the amount of weight you do, avoid trying new intense exercises, and lower the volume of plyometrics and sprints that you do. Also make sure that you give your body the rest it needs; that includes getting a good night of sleep! A happy body equals a happy athlete!
Control Stress Levels!
It is easy to remember to take care of our bodies but we forget that our minds need just as much care! You can give it the care it needs by keeping your mental stress in check. Give yourself time before and after competition to clear and refresh your mind. This time can consist of positive visualization, meditation, reading your favorite book, or anything thing else to help you reset and refresh your mind, if even for a few minutes. This is especially important after a bad play or a bad day. Take a moment to reset and stay positive so that you are ready to succeed at the next opportunity you have.
Using these tips will help your body and mind stay in top shape throughout your season!