Whether you’re wanting to just stay fit or lose a few inches from around your waist, exercise is key. It won’t fully help by itself, you need to pair it with a balanced diet, but increasing the amount of physical activity you do is a great start. But it can be hard knowing what to do, what to eat, and when to do certain things.
One good way to look for advice is to see what pro athletes do. You may think that you could never train like a pro athlete, and you don’t have to, but you can mimic some of the things they do. If you look at many pro athletes you’ll see they actually work with many health and fitness companies, from food supplements to exercise equipment, they aren’t limited to just showing off flashy clothes and the best sports betting sites.
So let us take a look at ten healthy habits of pro athletes that you can implement into your own lives.
It may sound like a simple thing, and it really is. But before doing any exercises at all, it’s always best to stretch out and warm up your muscles. This will not only start to get your heart rate rising ready for working out, but it also begins to warm up your muscles too and reduces the risk of an injury happening.
Similar to the tip above, it’s equally as important to cool down at the end of an exercise session. Again, this can be some light activity such as a slow jog and stretching, just to help those muscles recover, and to also bring that heart rate down slowly. Professional athletes will often do a cool-down session following a game because they know how important it is to look after their bodies.
In relation to the cooling down, another aspect of recovery is having physio. If you feel tightness in certain muscles, or discomfort when you move, it could be an underlying problem, and a physio can help you identify what is wrong, and how to fix it. Some issues may also be fixed by a simple sports massage to loosen you up when muscles are tense, other solutions may be little exercises to do to help strengthen parts of your body. All equally important to keep your body fit.
Another simple healthy habit to get into is staying hydrated. You may see lots of pro athletes drinking special sports drinks to help them, these usually contain vitamins that may help give them a bit more energy, but plain and simple water is the best. The more water you drink, the better you’ll feel when exercising, and it’s also good for other aspects of your health too, helping to keep your internal organs clean, giving your skin better elasticity, amongst other benefits.
If you’re going to do it, do it right
If you’re going to perform repetitive exercises, then there are two ways of doing it. Quickly, and in completing many of your reps, or slowly, and getting them right. When you try and push yourself to get a workout over and done with, you end up not completing all your work to the highest standard, and so half the work you’re doing is either ineffective or could lead to an injury.
Doing it slowly and taking your time allows you to complete exercises correctly, getting more benefit from doing them. It also helps prevent any injuries from happening as you aren’t demanding more than your body can handle.
Listen to your body
That last point moves us onto our next point. Listen to your body. It’s not actually going to talk to you, but it will tell you things if you’re pushing yourself too far. Muscles will feel tense, your mouth may feel dry, you may even start to feel pain from cramps. This means you need to adjust your work out, and probably take note of a couple of points raised above. But ultimately, if you listen to your body, and adjust your routines, your body will thank you for it.
Work on your core muscles
Now you’ll find many personal trainers and athletes talk about working on your core muscles, and there is a reason why. They not only help to protect your spine by taking on the strain from excessive loads, but they also help to transfer force around the body, so no matter which part of your body you’re working on, your core will always be working. Strengthen these muscles will prevent injuries and allow you to perform to the best of your ability.
You don’t have to work out for long periods
We all live busy lives, and having spare time is a luxury. Some days you’ll have more than others. So when you have a day where you are pushed slightly, rather than just missing out on exercise because you can’t get your usual one-hour routine in, just do a shorter routine, or maybe something a little different. It’s better to do a short workout than no workout at all, it’s just about making the most of your time.
It’s important to wind down
Mental health is just as important as physical health, and exercise can help with both by pumping endorphins around the body. But it’s also good to wind down too, sometimes you need to take a day off from exercise so your body and mind can recover. You could spend this time reading a book, playing video games, or simply going out and enjoying a nice long walk. However you choose to spend that time, you’ll feel better doing something you enjoy and for giving your body a break.
Get some sleep
Our final habit that pro athletes recommend is getting a night of good sleep. This time allows your body to rest and recover, something we have reiterated through this post. The recommended amount of sleep is 7-9 hours for an adult, and if you’re hitting that, it’ll put you in good stead for your workouts. However, sleep deprivation, as well as over-sleeping, can often lead to some unhealthy side effects such as having a lack of energy and slowing down your metabolism.