Whether you’re a student or pro athlete, the odds are that you’re juggling a highly demanding sports schedule, school responsibilities, and social life, which can take a huge toll on your happiness and overall well-being. That’s why you need to stay on top of both your training and diet. The two have to tango together if you want to perform at your peak and stay happy in sports.
You probably have a few tricks up your sleeve on how to stay healthy and fit, but these 10 nutrition & training tips will help you take your life in sports to the next level.
Training Tips for Health and Happiness in Sports
No two athletes are created equal, that’s why one-size-fits-all will not do when it comes to training. Nevertheless, stick to these proven training tips to optimize your performance, avoid injury, and remain energized when you need it most:
#1. Think of Quality, Not Quantity
It’s a misconception among athletes that more is better when it comes to training. Instead of squeezing in as many sessions as possible, focus more on quality exercises.
#2. Mix It Up
On a similar note, avoid dwelling too much on the same kind of exercise; mix it up in terms of volume, duration, and intensity every day. Rather than doing weight lifting and sprints the whole week, try a blend that includes yoga, strength training, swimming, etc.
It is especially important to break out of your comfort zone and work your body properly. If you are the kind of person who is prone to only job or use the elliptical machine, you absolutely need to begin using free weights in order to tear and rebuild your muscle. This applies even if you’re not training to bulk up, muscle growth is extremely important for longterm heart health and stamina during sports.
Likewise, if you are the kind of person who only lifts weights, you are likely in need of some yoga in order to keep your joints flexible and your muscles supple. A lack of core strengthening and muscle flexibility can lead to degenerative disorders, sports injuries, and constant “plateauing” (the phenomenon where you continue to do the same workout without seeing anymore results).
Workout variety is meant to mimic the natural ways in which we would be using our bodies in nature, to take full advantage of our endurance, flexibility, stamina, speed, and strength. You need all of these if you want to become well-rounded in your performance.
#3. Don’t Ignore Rest Days
You’ve heard it many times before, and I’m not afraid to say it again: rest days are crucial! Your body can take a beating from all the training, trials, and competitions. When you take rest days, you allow your body to rejuvenate and re-energize so that it can be ready to take on more.
Periods of rest also allow your muscles to heal. When you perform certain exercises, specifically weight lifting, you are quite literally tearing your muscles. That is only one half of what makes a workout effective though. If you are not getting the proper nutrition and not allowing your muscles the right amount of time to heal, you are not going to be seeing the proper results from your training, and may even be damaging the muscles.
So give yourself periods of time to recharge. Your muscles will thank you!
#4. Mental Exercise is Important
A sport is more than a physical activity; there’s a psychological component to it. Try visualization, yoga or meditation to build mental strength. You can incorporate Betancourt sports nutrition into your routine for optimal mental energy as well. Getting the right nutrition in between workouts is absolutely critical for increasing gains and maximizing both physical and mental results.
#5. It’s Not a Competition
Yes, sports are all about competition, but you don’t need to compare yourself to others. Pace yourself so you can avoid overtraining and exhaustion, both of which can hurt your performance.
Nutrition Tips to Optimize Your Performance
#1. Listen to Your Body
Our bodies provide us with plenty of cues that we often ignore. How do you feel before, during, and after consuming a certain food? How hungry are you? Do you feel full? If you think your body is telling you something is amiss, don’t be afraid to supplement with Betancourt sports nutrition.
#2. Don’t Buy Into Fad Diets
Fad diets came and go. At Betancourt sports nutrition, we urge you to stay away from them, especially low-carb diets. They’re a big no-no for high-performance athletes. Instead, load up on a healthy diet rich in unprocessed carbs, protein, and lots of veggies and fruits.
#3. Eat Real Food
By “real” we mean unprocessed, natural foods that are teeming with good-for-you carbohydrates, proteins, and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals).
#4. What are the best nutrition strategies for your particular type of sports?
Nutrition strategies vary from sport to sport. That’s why it pays to learn how to achieve optimal fueling for your sport. The good news is that Betancourt sports nutrition is engineered to fit the needs of every sport.
#5. Don’t Beat Yourself Up
Your diet doesn’t have to be 100% every day. Some days you’ll slip up – don’t sweat it. The key is to maintain a consistently healthy diet and training regimen, which will condition your body over time and slowly refresh your body with proper nutrition.