Performance Tips for Athletes and Sports Players
How amateur athletes can reach their goals and improve their performance using a combination of rest, exercise, sports massage, specific training routines, and nutrition.
Whether you are a runner, cyclist, footballer or mountain biker, you all have one thing in common at amateur athletic level – you want to achieve your own personal health and fitness goals and perform well.
Getting the best possible results from training and competing or participating in events does take planning, but ultimately will help you improve your performance. One of the key factors is tailoring your training and exercise routine – this should match not only your own specific fitness goals and profile (age, gender etc.), but should also match your chosen sport.
You should include adequate rest periods to allow your body to adapt, and how about considering adding nutritional changes and sports massage to your lifestyle as well? You’ll find some hints and tips on both below.
Nutrition And Sports Performance
The positive effect of a healthy balanced diet on our well-being is something that is well-documented, but how does this apply if you are an amateur athlete with both health and fitness goals? The NHS Choices website has plenty of expert tips and guidance for people who train once a day or more.
Look at increasing your energy intake to help your body cope with training sessions. This could involve eating foods rich in carbohydrates such as potatoes, cereals, rice and pasta.
Wholegrain varieties are better, and it’s also good to eat potatoes with their skins on. Your diet should also include the right amounts of protein rich foods that will help repair and build your muscles as you train, and essential fats from products like nuts and seeds, and oily fish.
Athletes training regularly need different proportions of protein and carbohydrate depending on the sport, so it’s best to seek professional advice from a nutritionist who can help you come up with an eating plan to suit your specific lifestyle and exercise routine.
Dehydration can have a significant effect on your performance when you exercise, so you should aim to start any training routine or activity well hydrated. Look at the intensity and duration of your exercise routine and the amount you sweat to help determine how much water to drink. Sometimes, if you have a heavy training schedule, a sports drink can help supply carbohydrates and replace the salt lost when you sweat.
It’s also important to research what to eat and when to ensure you’re comfortable when you’re exercising and have the energy levels to complete your workout. Exercise may require energy, but not allowing time for the food to digest and exercising on a full stomach could cause cramping and nausea. Equally it’s important to eat and drink right after exercise to replace fluid and energy loss, as this will enable you to train consistently.
Sports Massage And Physio
Regular training and participation in events can sometimes take its toll on the body, and at some point you may experience sports or exercise related injuries. Enlisting the help of qualified physiotherapists who specialise in sports and fitness, such as Physio 2 Fitness, will ensure you not only have a good path to recovery, but you have the advice needed to help prevent similar problems in the future.
Some of the benefits of sports massage include:
- You can improve flexibility, as sports massage will help to stretch tissues that you’d not normally be able to stretch. Muscle fibres are stretched both ways, while tension or pressure build-up can be relieved by stretching the sheath.
- Relaxation – Take yourself off to a chilled out place and relax and unwind. Muscles will relax and react to touch, pressure, and heat generated during massage.
- Reduced stress and anxiety – If you have a lot going on in life or your fitness goals are particularly challenging then you’ll feel the benefits on your mental well-being too.
- Scar Tissue Breakdown – If you have previous injuries or trauma then your muscles can be affected, which can be painful. Massage can help reduce the effects in many different ways.
- Sports massage also has positive results breaking down scar tissue and speeding up recovery times from injuries.
Physios can also provide sports massage services to clients, which can have many different benefits for athletes and their performance. The results are both physical and psychological and can help amateur athletes maintain their performance levels for longer. It is not surprise that most sports teams and professional athletes have their own, dedicated physiotherapist on hand at all times.