take care of bodies
Athleticism and working out can go a long way to help maintain your cardiovascular health, weight, and so forth. However, heavy exercise can also take a toll on the body, especially if you don’t take the necessary precautions. For example, many sports and exercises can lead to muscle tears and fatigue.
How Athletes and Other Active Individuals Can Take Care of Their Bodies
Taking care of your body to prevent exhaustion and muscle aches is crucial if you hope to enjoy the activities you love for years to come. For example, you need to start your sessions with warm-ups, stay hydrated, get enough sleep, and get proper nutrition. These things might seem simple, but they have a significant impact on your overall well-being.
Hydrating before, during, and after your regular exercises is essential to your performance. It also helps in maintaining the right fluid balance in the body, particularly if you sweat heavily. Furthermore, drinking enough water flushes out toxins, promotes weight loss, regulates body temperature, and lubricates ligaments and joints.
For optimal hydration, you should drink roughly 20 ounces of water two to three hours before exercising. During exercises, aim to drink 10 ounces of water every 10 to 20 minutes. After exercising, try to drink another eight ounces.
Warm-up and Cool Down
Warming up before exercising and cooling down in between exercises and after a session helps prevent injury and improve performance.
A warm-up prepares your body for aerobic activity; it increases your blood flow and raises your body temperature slightly to rev up the cardiovascular system. It also relaxes stiff muscles, reducing soreness and the risk of injury.
Cooldown sessions allow your blood pressure and pre-exercise heart rate to recover. They’re especially crucial for competitive endurance athletes, as they help to regulate blood flow.
Make Sure Your Diet Aligns With Your Activity Level
Proper nutrition gives athletes an edge over their competition. With a comprehensive eating plan, you can give your body the fuel it needs for performance. Just bear in mind that your diet plan should align with your activity level.
The energy needs of athletes and other active individuals exceed those of the average person. Caloric intake needs vary based on a range of factors like gender and the type of exercises you perform, which you can read about here.
Generally, athletes and other active individuals need to eat vegetables and fruits daily for energy and rich nutrition. It’s advisable to eat whole-grain carbohydrates and fiber-rich cereals. For protein, always opt for healthy sources, such as fish, turkey, eggs, nuts, chicken, legumes, and peanut butter.
Improve Your Sleep Quality
In addition to your diet plan and physical condition, sleep also plays an essential role in your athletic performance. Sleep helps the body to rest, recover, and restore.
Regular exercises break down muscles and deplete fluids and energy. But with adequate sleep and hydration, the body can fix this. On the other hand, research shows that sleep deprivation results in increased cortisol levels, a stress hormone.
One way of improving your sleep is by investing in a high-quality mattress that’s right for your body type and preferred sleep position. The right mattress should have excellent pressure relief to soothe joint pain and muscle aches after exercising. For example, Nolah mattresses with air foam provide support to common pain sites like hips and shoulders.
Address Specific Pain Points
It’s easy to ignore pain, especially when it’s mild to moderate. Some exercise enthusiasts might claim that pain is weakness leaving the body. However, simple pain can be a symptom of an underlying condition.
There are different types of pain you should always pay attention to if you work out frequently. These pain types include sharp pain, pain with swelling, localized pain, painful pops, and pain that worsens when you exercise. Bear in mind that discomfort is expected during exercises, but the pain is not.
When you feel pain while exercising, stop what you’re doing. Some pain cases can clear with short rest, but if the pain is extreme, taking a break for one or two weeks is advisable. Should the pain persist, see your doctor or physical therapist.
Protect Your Body
If you’re an athlete or an active person, taking care of your body is paramount. Exercises make your body tired, so you need to get adequate rest, stay hydrated, and eat healthily. Ignoring the needs of your body only reduces your athletic performance, making you less competitive. To stay in the game, listen to your body, and make adjustments when necessary.