Now that the fall is here, the sports season is about to kick off. On Thursday, the Patriots and the Chiefs opened the new NFL season, and the Warriors play Denver in the NBA. Then, there is everything from the MLS new season to WWE and MLB. Simply, there are a plethora of games to gorge on in the fall.
But, the fact that sport is back isn’t what is under the microscope. What is under the microscope is professional athletes’ health and well-being. With numerous fixtures and a short recovery time, it is evident that injuries are going to occur. However, it seems that pros from across a range of sports understand how to avoid the pitfalls of injury.
The question is, how do they do it and why is it effective? Here is a selection of answers to consider.
Individual Training Regimes
And this doesn’t only mean different plans for various sports stars. Even within a code, there will be a variety of training methods depending on the needs of the individual. The reason this happens is two-fold. Firstly, sports have realized that the best way to get the potential out of a person is to use sport specific training. If they practice what they do in a match on the training field, they will have a better chance of making the transition. From a health and well-being point of view, it puts less stress on the body. By only doing what they need to, there is no reason to work out longer or harder than necessary. This relieves the pressure and maintains their bodies for the future. Also, a routine helps to deal with stress and mental fatigue.
When you go to the gym, is someone there swilling down creatine and a protein shake? They do this because it is a facet of professional sport which has spilled over. In basic terms, athletes do everything possible to recover after a long day at work. Whether it’s replacing lactic acid with oxygen or having a massage, they cover all the bases. The most important resource, though, is a dedicated team of sports scientists. From a physio to a nutritionist and a dietitian, pro athletes have all the people they need to check their levels. Even when they are performing, these people are checking their output to ensure they don’t work too hard. For example, in the Tour de France, Chris Froome had a car of individuals checking he didn’t hit the “red zone.”
Plenty Of Sleep
The average person gets 6 to 7 hours of sleep a night. Athletes aren’t the same. In a typical evening, an NBA or NFL player will get at least 8 to 9 hours. The reason is simple: sleep aids performance. When a player gets enough rest, they are fit and healthy as the body recovers from the previous session. Sleep is the time when the body gets to rest and regenerate. Indeed, everything from replacing cells to regulating oxygen levels takes place. However, it isn’t only physical. A lot of emphasis is on the mental side of health these days, and sleep helps in this regard. Studies show that a well rested person benefits from lower cortisol and a boost in mood. Plus, tired people can’t think or process information as efficiently.
Reinforce Immune System
Athletes are akin to machines, and that means every part of their body is in optimal shape. One area where this is critical is their immune system. Whether the muscles and joints are working well doesn’t matter if a person is ill. When an athlete has an illness, they can’t perform to their maximum. Indeed, the majority of them can’t perform at all. Scenarios like these tend not to occur and it’s down to their reinforced immune system. By eating foods that are high in antioxidants, athletes can prevent illnesses and boost health. But, it doesn’t stop there. Certain vitamins enhance the immune system as they help create white blood cells. Seen as their diets are tailored, pros take all of these benefits on board.
A lay person would see the point in relaxing. Aren’t sports stars supposed to work intensely for as long as possible? The answer is no because they aren’t robots. No matter how hard they try, they are still human and need to take a rest. Relaxation is the key because it helps them get over extreme training sessions both physically and mentally.
It is one thing for the body to recover, but the brain has to be ready to go again and again.