Professional athletes wow their fans with feats of strength, endurance and speed. Sports heroes make their successes look effortless, but in reality, elite athletes devote themselves to focused training regimes to stay fit and alert. Although many professional athletes’ success can be attributed to traditional cardio and weight training, some of their accomplishments are due to maintaining good habits outside of the gym. Here are five healthy habits of successful professional athletes.
Professional athletes know that positivity wins over negativity every time. Therefore, they surround themselves with people who want them to succeed. The good company that athletes bring into their circle promote effective habits and hold them accountable.
Accomplished team-sport players know that the team is greater than the sum of its parts. As leaders, they foster relationships among their teammates and encourage them to learn new skills and show up everyday.
Staying hydrated is an all-day affair. Accordingly, many professional athletes start their day with several glasses of water. This habit of starting to hydrate in the morning prepares the body to operate at optimum levels. For the rest of the day, successful athletes continue drinking water and sometimes sports drinks to replace lost electrolytes and prevent dehydration. Adding red superfood powder to water is a good source of antioxidants.
Dehydration can dull reaction speed and hurt concentration-consequences that elite athletes cannot afford. What’s more, there is no quick way to rehydrate. In general, replacing lost fluids takes several hours. Thus, professional athletes adopt the habit of carrying a water bottle with them wherever they go throughout the day.
Many professional athletes have adopted the habit of visualization. The technique of visualization is based on the idea that if an activity or goal is first pictured in the mind’s eye, then an athlete has a better chance of achieving that objective during a game. For example, a football quarterback will picture specific plays and how they would like to react to opponents rushing through the offensive line.
Recently, professional athletes have taken visualization a step further to what they call “imagery.” Imagery includes picturing oneself performing well, but also brings in the other senses. For instance, professional football players will imagine the smell of the grass on the field, the noise of the fans and the feel of the ball in their hand. The habits of visualization and imagery alleviate anxiety, which even elite athletes have to overcome.
Meditation and Yoga
Meditation has long been associated with the world’s spiritual traditions. However, in the past few decades, meditation, and mindfulness mediation in particular, has proven beneficial in athletic settings. Many successful athletes who have added meditation to their toolbox credit the practice for reduced stress and improved focus.
Professional athletes have also taken up yoga. In addition to increased flexibility, yoga helps one achieve greater body awareness and states of calm that can last long after the time spent on the mat. Meditation and yoga are complementary, providing a mind and body wellness program that contributes to success on and off the field.
Finally, professional athletes get as much quality sleep as they need. Experts encourage sports figures to sleep from seven to nine hours per night. Depending on the individual, they may require more or less sleep than this recommendation. For some players, trainers recommend squeezing a nap into the middle of the day to improve performance.
One technique used by athletes when they are trying to get on a regular sleep schedule is to go to bed a little earlier each night until they find their optimum bedtime. To this end, they stop watching television or using social media at least twenty minutes before trying to sleep. Athletes are also advised to get up at the same time each day to maintain their routine.
These five habits of professional athletes are directly related to their success. Let them be an inspiration for all who seek athletic glory.