exercise

Square One: Healthy Habits to Help Improve Your Athletic Performance

Your body is complex in the way that it handles all the demands of athletics. From the proper coordination to the way that it consumes and converts energy, your body requires the appropriate maintenance in order to run like a well-oiled machine. Much of what you will experience during your training and performance will be a uniquely personal endeavor. However, there are some basic, healthy habits that you can implement to help ensure the success of all your hard work.

Hydration

You are probably aware that staying hydrated during exercise is a necessity. However, what you may not be aware of, is the consequences of overhydration while you are working out. Simply, you cannot effectively replace the fluids you are losing on a one to one ratio. Constant fluid intake at the appropriate rate can help ensure that your body is adequately hydrated while helping you avoid the negative effects of consuming too much fluid. You should try to replace fluids at approximately 550 to 800 ml per hour for optimal results. By starting at this standard you can adjust your fluid intake to properly hydrate your body depending on the level of intensity of your workouts.

Caloric Intake

Your body cannot process the intake of calories as quickly as you are spending them during your workouts. In order to avoid a situation where your stomach is fighting you, reducing the effectiveness of your exercise, you should try to limit your caloric intake to approximately 240 to 300 calories per hour during workouts. This should provide the adequate fuel that your body needs without causing nausea, bloating, and potentially inducing vomiting.

Soy vs Whey

Before and during your exercise you may want to transition to or start using soy in place of whey proteins. This simple switch could help you avoid ammonia build up in your muscles. Since whey protein has added glutamine which can rapidly break down into ammonia, it can actually increase your chances of experiencing muscle fatigue.

If you are going to use whey protein you should try to use it after your exercise. This way, the glutamine can effectively boost your immune system, glycogen production, and the rebuilding of muscle tissues.

Electrolytes

You might have heard about electrolytes before, but do you know why they are so important? Electrolytes are minerals in your body which carry electrical charges. A lack of the necessary electrolytes during physical activity can greatly impair the function of your body as a whole. The electrical charges that they assist with transmitting help your body regulate the functions of your heart, nerves, and muscles. They also supply information concerning the hydration levels of your cells. Imbalances in your electrolytes can quickly lead to reduced reaction times, fatigue, and dehydration.

Sleep

You probably want to get the most out of every day. Often times, when looking at the activities that you can afford to sacrifice, sleep can go to the wayside pretty quickly. However, this may be hurting your performance more than it is helping. Despite the added time that you may have, it has been shown that getting the appropriate amount of sleep each night can significantly boost your performance.

When you sleep, your body is releasing vital hormones that assist with the reproduction and repair of cells. In addition to the release of these hormones, there are restorative processes that occur nearly exclusively during your sleep such as the synthesis of proteins and muscle growth. You may also find that sleep has a serious impact on your body’s metabolism as well as your response to stress.

Apart from the physical benefits of getting the appropriate amounts of sleep, approximately eight hours a night, you may also find that cognitive function can improve vastly. This can ensure that you have the mental wherewithal to deal with decision making and risk assessment when engaged in physical activity. It can also help to ensure that you are emotionally able to handle the challenges that you may face day to day.

Orthotic Aids

Orthotic aids can help to improve athletic performance by providing support to muscles, ligaments, and tendons in areas that are susceptible to injury or illness such as joints. Aids such as braces and compression sleeves can help to ensure that additional stability and support are provided to trouble areas during physical activity. They can also help to reduce irritation and inflammation in these areas while assisting with the prevention of muscle fatigue. Orthotic aids can be especially helpful for the prevention of, as well as during your recovery from an illness or injury.

Wrapping It Up

When it comes to your body, it is important to make a conscious effort to maintain its homeostasis. This equilibrium should help you significantly improve your athletic performance and keep you reaching for even higher levels. It can also drastically reduce the likelihood of injury or illness that can result from imbalances in your body. You should also find that sustaining balance while optimizing your body for athletic performance can seriously impact your mental and physical well-being.

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