Professional athletes may seem like aliens to people struggling to get into fitness, but there are some things that most athletes do, and we can incorporate them into our lives to get better results. While it is their job to stay in the best shape possible so that they can survive in the competitive world of sport, you can adopt these simple habits, and you will notice a shift in how you feel and look.
Here are great fitness habits that you should try to develop to become a better version of yourself:
- Athletes set specific goals. Whether you goals concern your weight or eating habits, you should spend some time deciding what you actually want to achieve so that you have a clear direction of where you’re moving. Also, it’s important that your goals are realistic so that you don’t get burned out, are able to achieve them, and get motivated to work harder. Set specific time frames for different goals and see whether you can achieve them before the chosen dates, which can become quite an exciting challenge.
- They choose personalized training. While a generic workout is better than none, athletes realize that having a program designed specifically for them according to their goals and body type is what will bring them closer to success. It’s even better if you have an opportunity to work out with a trainer, as they will be able to motivate you and make sure that you don’t get stuck doing the same exercises over and over again. It’s only natural that most people stick to the exercises that are easier, but a personal trainer will be able to push you beyond your limits.
- They pay attention to pre-workout nutrition. You should never underestimate eating right before going to the gym as it can affect the way you feel during your training, and professional athletes know this too well. The food that you consume has to provide you with enough energy to continue your workout. Your meals should not be too large, and you should eat at least half an hour before starting to exercises. The foods such as vegetables and lean proteins are always great options that will help you get the most from your workouts.
- They make sure to cool down. Warming up before workouts or any physical activities is something that the majority of people are aware of, but the process of cooling down gets ignored quite often. If you are into interval training or other intense cardio exercises, it is especially important to cool down by doing some low-intensity exercises and stretching. Cooling down helps your body recover faster by relaxing your muscles and processing metabolic waste products. Moreover, it helps you get into the right mindset to go on with your day.
- Post-exercising nutrients. Once the workout is finished, it’s quite important to take care of what you consume afterward. It makes sense that you have to eat something to help your body restore its energy levels and make sure that you can grow the muscles. You can go for special protein shakes or simply consume the foods rich in protein and carbohydrates, such as chocolate milk.
- Athletes drink sports beverages. You have probably seen athletes drinking sports drinks, and there is a good reason why they do that. Proper hydration is absolutely essential when you are working out, which is why there are so many articles on drinking plenty of water throughout the day, even when you don’t exercise. When it comes to sports drinks, they offer a combination of electrolytes and fast-digesting carbs that ensure that you don’t get dehydrated and suffer mineral imbalances during intense physical activities. Also, these drinks keep your blood sugar levels stable so that there are no severe drops and peaks in your energy.
- They view fitness as a lifestyle. As opposed to many people that see exercising as something that is occasionally done at the gym, athletes try to find every opportunity to stay active even when they are not training. These physical activities can range from hiking with friends to playing volleyball at the beach, and what is great about this lifestyle is that exercising doesn’t start to feel like a chore, and you can enjoy it and have fun.
- They know about the rest days. Some people who are only getting into regular exercising decide to work out seven days a week in hopes that such approach will bring them the results that they need. However, having days off is just as essential as exercising, because your muscles need some time to recover or you will risk getting an injury.
- Athletes have a high-quality sleep. As you know, your body rejuvenates itself while you sleep, repairing the muscles, restoring the balance of hormones, increasing your energy levels, and much more. For this reason, it is absolutely essential to get 7-8 hours of undisturbed rest. Professional athletes know about the important of sleep, which is why they tend to go to bed and wake up around the same time and ensure that their environment is suitable for sleep i.e. dark, free from distractions, and not too cold or hot.
- They choose right workout clothes and shoes. Yes, proper running shoes can be on the expensive side, but they are a necessary investment that will minimize your risk of injuries and make your workout more effective. If you plan to exercise on a regular basis, you should take care of your workout clothes so that they are weather-appropriate, comfortable, and suitable for the activities that you do.
The majority of athletes have great fitness habits that we can all learn from even if we don’t have any plans on becoming professionals. A combination of the mentioned steps will definitely allow you to bring your fitness routine and health to the next level.