How To Take Care of Yourself as an Athlete

Updated on March 28, 2022
How To Take Care of Yourself as an Athlete

Joining a sport is a great way to get your body moving and keep yourself healthy. However, athletes need to pay close attention to key areas of health to properly maintain this new routine. Before you take up this lifestyle, jot down this advice on how to take care of yourself as an athlete.

Get Enough Rest

Rest is the key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and is even more important when you become an athlete. This is because when you sleep, your body has time to recover and repair any damaged tissue. The average adult needs at least 8 hours of sleep a night, and some health experts advise athletes get around 10 hours so their muscles can completely repair themselves.

In addition to sleeping enough, you should set aside time for rest days—you’ll need a minimum of one to two per week. By exercising every day, your body will grow more fatigue and, as time goes on, this increases the chance of injury.

Visit a Doctor

While it may sound odd, it’s best to make an appointment with your general practitioner or a sports medicine doctor before joining a sport or training your body. Professionals at a sports medicine and orthopedic center can evaluate your medical history and determine whether it’s safe for you to play sports. Additionally, they may provide advice on essential exercises for you to do if they determine something is wrong.

For example, if you want to join a sport that requires a lot of running, you may need to do certain stretches or warm-up exercises to lessen the risk of pulling a muscle.

Nourish Your Body

Fuel up on the right foods for your workout routine. Most experts say that you should consume plenty of carbs before a cardio workout since they burn quickly, giving you the energy you need. As you plan meals, also remember to eat a balanced diet with plenty of protein, carbs, and natural fats.

Create a Routine

A routine creates balance in your life and allows you to get in training time while also remaining connected to the people in your inner circle. Health is all-encompassing, and you shouldn’t sacrifice your social needs in the name of getting fit. By creating a routine that works for you, you’ll have a structure to follow regarding when you work out and when you take breaks.

Listen to Your Body

Listening to your body and acknowledging the signs it gives you is key to knowing how to take care of yourself as an athlete. This can help you create a routine, nourish yourself, and more. If your workout routine feels a bit difficult or straining, slow your pace or take a break altogether. Athletics are about having fun, and that becomes a challenge when a training routine goes from enjoyable to obligatory.

Taking care of your body is perhaps the most important part of being an athlete. Joining a sport or taking up an activity like running is about feeling free and loving what you do. Take care of your body so you can continue doing what you love.