Health is an ongoing journey and a full-time job. By learning the ins and outs of self-care at a young age, maintaining good health can be very manageable. Keep reading to learn what it means to be kind to your future self and what student athletes can do to stay in good shape long term.
One of the first things we think of when we consider health and wellness is diet. Some of us dread the thought, but sticking to a nutritious diet can be extraordinarily interesting and even fun. Healthy eating isn’t just sticking to fruits and veggies, it’s all about balance—just as every other element of wellness (exercise, sleep, mental health, etc.) is a balancing act. The best way to get started towards a healthier diet is to consult a dietician and learn more about your body’s specific needs. Once you and your dietician figure out a good diet plan for you, you can begin to explore and get creative with your food. Don’t view a nutritious diet as a punishment and a burden, think of it as something kind you are doing for yourself that you won’t regret in the future. This is being kind to your future self.
Of course, the second thing we think of when we consider health and wellness is exercise. Even athletes sometimes dread going to the gym or getting up early for practice, but we all know how good we feel after we complete a solid workout. During the off season, athletes are given the opportunity to get more creative with their workouts. Instead of showing up for practice, maybe they can try their hand (safely) at rock climbing or hiking. If they’ve never tried yoga for building muscle tone and core strength, perhaps they should—dancing workouts are also loads of fun. There are, quite literally, hundreds of ways to get some exercise and they don’t all occur in the gym. Get out there and explore what your community has to offer by means of fitness!
This combination of a nutritious diet and exercise will help athletes (and non-athletes) build a strong foundation for a healthy mental state. Strong mental health is imperative for maintaining physical health as it influences every aspect of our lives from motivation to overall happiness and focus. Taking a few moments every day to sit and rest in silence is a good way to get in touch with your mind and the current state of your body. Once you allow yourself to unplug, you can get a better grasp on what your body needs and what you can do for yourself.
Even though there are plenty of things you can do to maintain your health, it’s important to check in with professionals on a regular basis. Visit Optimum Health & Rehab to receive sports therapy or treatment. We also offer deep tissue massages to help you heal. Although massages are usually portrayed as special treats, they are actually a necessary part of taking caring for your muscles and flexibility, especially as an athlete. During the off season, athletes should try to get a massage at least once a month.
You are now equipped with information on how to maintain your good health—now it’s time to rest. Adequate sleep is an essential element of wellness, as it aides in restoration and repair of the body and mind. It’s off season, so sleep in!
We wish you the best of luck in your health and wellness journey, as well as tending to your future self!