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What Can Athletes Do to Better Safeguard Their Physical Health?

There is no doubt that an active body is a healthier body, and you don’t have to achieve professional status to reap the amazing benefits of a fit physique. No matter where you are on an athletic level, however, injuries, fatigue, dehydration, and other issues can occur that may limit or ruin your performance. Athletes of any skill level in any sport or recreation can safeguard their health by following these unique expert tips.

Drink Up

Professional quarterback Tom Brady has recently retired once again, and this time, he means it, but his accomplishments are untouchable. The 45-year-old football icon led his teams to a record seven Super Bowl victories and holds the record for the most regular season wins (251). The incredible thing is that Brady hardly suffered injuries during his career and credits much of his endurance to a method he and his body coach Alex Guerrero created called TB12. It’s built on Alex’s theory that a holistic approach to health and wellness starts with muscle pliability.

One of the most important factors is hydration. The former QB says that without drinking plenty of water, you will not be able to perform at your best. He suggests finding your target water needs by dividing your body weight (in pounds) by two, then drinking that number of ounces of water each day (at a minimum).

Strengthen Core

Your core also plays an essential role in protecting your health as an athlete, and there are a number of exercises you can do to train the muscles in this region to function harmoniously. The core is more than just your abs. Trainers describe the core as the central part of your body that includes the pelvis, hips, stomach (abs), and lower back.

A strong core has a tremendous impact on any athletic venture, and seeking advice for strengthening and recommendations for treatment can help keep you performing at your very best. An orthopedic specialist may even help diagnose and correct more significant ailments that are impacting your core strength. Today’s advancements in hip arthroscopy surgeries, for example, have helped athletes recover quicker, develop less scarring, and return to pre-injury activity levels faster.

Warm Up

Some athletes skip the warm-up, but trainers say this is a major mistake. Before heading into any kind of high-intensity physical activity, your body needs to increase blood flow to the muscles and boost oxygen to the tissues to enable good flexibility and help prevent musculoskeletal sports-related injuries.

Warming up also improves performance and helps you establish a better range of motion to move your joints more fully. Pro baseball players often go through a calisthenics routine of jumping jacks, arm circles, pushups, lunges, and squats to warm up their muscles.

Without prepping the body, you risk common injuries such as muscle strains and pulls, ACL tears, hip and low back pain, ligament sprains, etc.

Eat Right

Athletes should not only eat enough to fuel their performance, but they should also choose the right kind of foods to fuel their recovery. Each individual is unique in the sport they play, so there isn’t a universal professional athlete’s diet, for instance. However, you should find a balance in healthy nourishment and eat according to your size, sport, and training goals. A sound diet helps enhance athletic performance and boost energy.

Dieticians recommend focusing on eating quality foods, such as lean meat, fish, poultry, or vegetarian alternatives at lunch and dinner. Vegetables, legumes and fruits, wholegrain cereals, pasta, bread, milk, yogurt, and cheese are all considered quality foods.

Get Rest

Your body heals itself by resting, and it’s no secret that most folks today lack adequate sleep. Athletes, especially, need rest for their overall health and a strong immune system. Cell and muscle growth and repair occur during sleep. Getting enough rest also benefits mental health in terms of managing stress and anxiety.

Between seven and nine hours of rest is advised for athletes, and at least nine hours of sleep nightly is recommended for elite performers. Recent studies have shown that when an athlete gets their Zs, it pays off in the form of increased speed, accuracy, and reaction time.

Bottom Line

A healthy athlete is a high-performing athlete. When you can look, feel, and perform your very best every day, you will be an unstoppable force. You may even surpass your previously perceived athletic potential.