The Off-Season: Stay in Shape
It is very important for athletes to keep up with any kind of physical activity like an organized sport or simple body-weight exercises. Many people do not realize how easy it is for one to get out of shape. Fortunately, staying fit is a lot simpler than many people think, and below are five tips and lessons to help athletes for maintaining your fitness during your off-season:
1.) Do cardio exercise at least four days out of the week
You need to make sure that you perform cardio exercises at least four days out of the week for 45 minutes at a time. Cardio exercises help you maintain your stamina, which will prepare you for the next season. Jumping rope, jogging, cycling and swimming are examples of some exercises that can keep you in shape.
2.) Do resistance training three times per week
You also need to keep your muscles strong, so you should include resistance training in your regime. Incorporating resistance exercises at least three days out of the week will help keep your body conditioned. Sit-ups, push-ups, squats and lunges are a couple of resistance exercises that you can do without stressing the body too much.
3.) Eat right
It can be easy for some athletes to get into the habit of eating junk food and becoming lax in their diet during their off-season. However, you should still continue to eat healthy even when you are not playing a sport. Sugary, fatty and fried foods should be eaten sparingly, if at all. Fruits, vegetables and lean protein should make up the bulk of your diet. Additionally, you also need to make sure that you are drinking plenty of water. A proper diet can be a huge deciding factor in terms of staying in shape or becoming sluggish.
4.) Move as much as possible
Even on the days that you do not exercise, you should still make sure that you get at least thirty minutes of physical activity in each day. Cycling instead of driving and taking the stairs instead of the elevator are two very simple ways that you can get more activity into your day.
5.) Get plenty of rest
You need at least seven hours of sleep every night. Not getting enough sleep can impair your performance and make you more prone to gaining weight. You should also get into the habit of going to bed and getting up around the same time every day.
At times, it can be hard to stay motivated especially when spending time away from the team. Gaining motivation can be as simple as watching others play sports. Seeing other fit people is motivating. Go watch a professional sports team practice. Pick up some North Carolina Tar Heels Basketball Tickets or tickets to another favorite team. Grab some friends and watch how they perform. Get motivated.
Before jumping into any sport you need to make sure that you are doing all that you can to keep in decent shape. Doing cardio and resistance exercises, eating right, moving as much as possible and resting are all keys to staying in shape while in the off-season.
Guest Post provided by Becky W