5 Tips on How to Stay Healthy as an Athlete
Want to perform your best every day? Check out these 5 tips for staying healthy as an athlete to ensure you can!
It's no secret that athletes must maintain optimal fitness and health levels to compete at the top of their game. Even if you're not an elite athlete, taking care of your body is imperative so you can feel your best mentally and physically. Here are five tips on staying fit and healthy.
1. Fuel with Fluids
Drinking fluids is vital to ensure you're hydrated before, during and after a workout. If you don't drink enough liquid, your body temperature and heart rate can rise. This can impact motor control and other bodily functions.
When your body's water content is too low, you can experience symptoms such as:
- Mood changes
- Slow reaction times
- Muscle cramps
Properly preparing your body by hydrating before a workout will avoid these negative symptoms in the first place. During exercise, your body sweats to help return the body to its normal temperature. As sweat evaporates from the skin, it removes heat and fluids from the body. Thus, drinking liquids during exercise is essential to replace what your body is losing.
Clean, filtered water is an excellent fluid to drink before, during and after exercise; however, staying hydrated is about more than just drinking water. Electrolytes can be helpful if the activity is over 60 minutes long. Beware – most sports drinks typically contain sugars, dyes, and emulsifiers that can be harmful to the body.
If you're looking for a healthier alternative to the typical sports drinks, look at our HydroHelix. It provides a better energy source and a restorative electrolyte formula. HydroHelix is a no-spiking, zero-sugar, complex carb endurance fuel for serious athletes.
2. Balanced Diet
A well-balanced diet optimizing macronutrients (i.e., carbohydrates, proteins, and fats) will ensure that you can perform to the best of your ability. Each macronutrient plays a uniquely vital role in your body's daily functions.
Carbohydrates increase endurance and high-intensity performance due to glycogen storage in the muscles and liver. Glycogen helps fuel the body. Not enough carbohydrates may compromise your workout capacity.
Protein is essential in a balanced diet because it helps repair and strengthens muscle tissue. Not getting enough protein in your diet can result in your body utilizing muscle for energy and can lead to other health issues.
The third part of the balanced diet trifecta is healthy fats. Fats provide the body with the energy required for activity. Omega-3 fatty acids also aid in regulating the level of inflammation in the body.
Be cautious of poor-quality foods, including highly processed foods, all sugars, sugar-sweetened beverages, refined (white) grains, and high-glycemic foods.
According to Tufts Medical Center's Chief of Sports Medicine, Christopher Geary, M.D., "high-level athletes do a lot of flexibility exercises after working out when their muscles are already and have good blood flow."
This doesn't mean that stretching before a workout is off-limits. Warming up your muscles with a walk or jog first will ensure that stretching before a workout is also beneficial.
Getting in a few minutes of stretching after your workout is essential. This helps with the elimination of lactic acid and may help reduce pain and the chance of injury. Gradual wind-down after a workout is beneficial for both the body and mind.
4. Wear the Proper Gear
Protecting yourself should be a top priority in whatever sport you are participating. Your sport's proper safety equipment plays an essential role in injury prevention or reducing the severity of an injury. Protective eyewear, helmets, mouth guards, safety pads, or proper footwear can make a difference in your body's health.
Check out our line of Medical Grade Compression products for injury prevention and muscle support. Body Helix has taken our state-of-the-art compression sleeves to the next level with form-fit technology and closed-cell fabric science.
Our products won't alter your mechanics of motion when you serve, swing, bend, or run. You can continue to play your game your way without limits. Once you slip it on, you'll never want to take it off.
Other benefits of compression include better proprioception, more oxygen to tissues through improved blood flow, faster tissue repair, and less swelling.
How you treat your body while you're not active is just as important as how you treat it while you are. Getting the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep per night, scheduling rest days, and switching up the type of exercise you do all play a role in recovery.
Taking a day off from your regular workout routines provides sufficient recuperative time. This same idea also applies to injuries. Remember, attempting to ignore minor damage in hopes that it will improve on its own can cause it to worsen, keeping you from your favorite activity even longer.
And the previous 4 tips are all fundamental parts of ideal muscle recovery. Hydration, nutrition, appropriate stretching, and proper compression are indispensable during recovery.
Stay hydrated. Eat a balanced diet. Stretch correctly. Wear the proper gear. And allow time for recovery. If you consistently follow these five tips, you will be on your way to achieving optimal fitness while staying healthy.
At Body Helix, we start with an unapologetic obsession for exceptional quality and make innovative products to serve athletes of all levels. We believe in and promote salutogenesis. Your wellness is our primary directive. We continually research to provide reliable information and actionable tips to optimize your fitness.
Learn. Share. Inspire.
Team Body Helix