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5 Ways to Care for Your Body like the Pros

No matter their sport, athletes have to be diligent about their bodies. It's not enough to commit to strength training without addressing all of your physical needs. However, you don't have to be a professional athlete to care for your body like one. Below are five simple things you can to do make a huge difference in your health and athletic performance.

Hydration

Everyone needs to be properly hydrated in order to function properly, although hydration is even more important for athletes. Experts recommend drinking 17 to 20 ounces of water two or three hours before exercising, followed by eight ounces of water within a half an hour of beginning your routine. While exercising, you should continue to drink water every 10 or 20 minutes. About 30 minutes after finishing, you should drink another eight ounces. Following these recommendations will help lubricate your joints, regulate your body temperature, prevent muscle cramps and increase your energy.

Strength Building

You only need two to three days of strength training every week, rotating your exercises to hit every muscle group. Avoid dedicating each day to a specific muscle group or body part, work your body as a total unit. While I do not recommend weight training for youth athletes, if you do lift weights, you should gradually increase your weights to avoid injury, and be sure to work with a personal trainer to ensure you're not over-lifting. While exercising, maintain good form, which includes tightening your abs, ensuring your hips are lined up over you knees, knees over toes, and keeping your feet straight. Do not train every day because your muscles need time to heal.

Good Nutrition

All of your efforts can be undone if you do not eat properly. In order to perform at your best, you need to have enough calories, carbohydrates, protein, fluids, vitamins and minerals. Doctors recommend that athletes eat complex carbohydrates such as pasta and whole grain breads instead of simple sugars, which, can add unnecessary calories to your diet. Carbs need to comprise approximately half of your total daily calories. You also need protein to feed and repair your muscles, and although you probably don't need to increase your current protein intake, make sure you're eating your protein, not drinking it in shakes.

Injury Care

Professional athletes do not ignore their injuries. You need to pay attention to your pain and seek medical attention for anything beyond normal soreness after exercising. Ignoring these issues can lead to serious medical problems, such as torn ligaments and damaged rotator cuffs.

Proper Rest

Athletes may need more sleep than the eight hours experts recommend for the average person. If you are in training, you should try to get an extra hour or two of sleep each night. If that is not possible, try to schedule a nap on rest days. Your body needs the time to rest and repair.

Finally, don't forget to stop and smell the roses. Train hard while training, then enjoy spending time with friends and family. Taking care of your body, includes taking care of your mind, heart, and soul. Have a great week!

Sources

https://familydoctor.org/athletes-the-importance-of-good-hydration/

https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/strength-training-tips-pro#1

https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002458.htm

https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/sleep-athletic-performance

#trainlikeapro #bodyweighttraining #strengthtraining #weighttraining #hydration #professionalathlete #athletes #studentathletenutrition #studentathlete #restandrecover

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