Elite Sport Performance

10 Elite Sport Performance Enhancement And Pain Prevention Tips

For many athletes, improving performance and preventing injury and pain sort of go hand in hand. As an athlete improves strength, for instance, his or her changes of strain related injuries might be reduced. This is just one example of how elite sport performance and injury and pain prevention can be very intimately related. Through the use of better training and preparation, tools and supplements, diet, exercise and more, an average athlete can become an above average athlete with more confidence and better results by understanding a few key elements of elite sport performance. Ten of the most valuable can be found below and are worth a second look for every athlete!

  1. STRETCH: It’s best to get the no-brainer out of the way. Even non-athletes understand the importance of loosening up before exertion, and whether trying to prevent hockey injuries or increase endurance, healthy stretching before hand is very important. The benefits of this routine can be further enhanced by selecting muscle or muscle group specific stretches that can add an extra boost to performance.
  2. SLEEP: Phrases like “I’ll sleep when I’m Dead” and “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked” make excellent T-Shirt Slogans, but they’re a terrible representation of what’s actually needed for peak elite sport performance. Naps and a good night’s sleep are both useful to healthy post-performance recovery, and the rebuilding of muscle tissue best occurs during an appropriate night’s sleep. Healthy amounts of rest can also provide relief to sore and tired muscles and provide natural pain relief. If you struggle with sleep, whole body cryotherapy might help!
  3. CONSIDER SUPPLEMENTS: The wide world of performance enhancing supplements grows exponentially each and every year. Unfortunately not everything on the market is exceptional. However, there are many plain, regular vitamins that can help athletes achieve optimum elite sport performance. Vitamins C, E, D and even good ol’ calcium are essential. Proper nutrition also can help reduce the risk of common sports injuries by allowing for strong bones and healthy muscles.
  4. ENSURE A HEALTHY DIET: It may seem unusual to equate eating right with a reduced risk of football injuries, but the simple truth is that a balanced diet can affect every aspect of an athlete’s performance, including susceptibility to injury and pain. Muscles require nutrients found in foods, such as potassium. And, nerve health relies on the ingestion of minerals and other nutrients found in many whole foods. Supplements are useful to fill in nutritional gaps, but an overall healthy diet is one of the most important parts of elite sport performance and injury and pain prevention.
  5. DRINK WATER: Water is important to keep hydrated for numerous reasons. Even just the beginnings of a stint of dehydration can seriously impact performance. Interestingly enough, dehydration is also a very commonly overlooked cause of muscle cramps which can lead to injury and discomfort. Though normally associated with soccer and baseball injuries, a simple lack of water can seriously dampen elite sport performance and lead to pain, discomfort and a heightened injury risk.
  6. IMMOBILIZATION IS IMPORTANT: Athletes often possess a natural desire to keep moving, even following injuries. However, it’s absolutely essential that medical advice is followed after an injury and that proper healing time is allowed for. This is because resuming regular activity too soon can not only lead to serious pain and discomfort, but also a reduction in performance value too. Unfortunately, resuming regular physical activity before rehabilitation therapy is complete can also lead to permanent weakness and instability in certain muscles and joints.
  7. PERFORM IN A WIDE VARIETY OF LOCATIONS: It can be very tempting to stay indoors and train and exercise on a machine, however there are many benefits to training and exercising outdoors and changing things up as often as possible. Not only will performing outdoors help introduce the body to a wide variety of terrains that can help reduce injury risk down the road, the routine also is likely to be more varied which may reduce pain and soreness afterwards because larger amounts of muscles and joints get to be involved, reducing repetitiveness and overuse, both important to elite sport performance.
  8. USE ALTERNATIVES: Today’s athletes are luckier than ever. Both in terms of performance enhancement and pain and injury prevention, the technology of today has made reaching goals in a healthy way easier than ever. The use of whole body cryotherapy is one such example, and it’s no surprise that Tony Robbins was heard in a recent podcast praising the benefits of the cold technology. From reducing inflammation to speeding recovery post performance and relief, whole body cryotherapy can affect every aspect of elite sport performance from helping heal damage from tennis injuries to reducing muscle soreness after a big game.
  9. KEEP TRACK OF DATA: Not all athletes understand the importance of recording their own physical fitness data, but doing so can not only help people understand gaps and flaws in their regimens, but also better understand how long their recovery periods are lasting and what types of activities are able to reduce the length of time recovery takes. This is a very beneficial component of elite sport performance because when athletes identify things that improve their stamina or endurance they can better choose their activities. Additionally, tracking data also helps identify movements that occurred in the same periods of time as pain or injury, potentially helping to prevent that discomfort or repetitive injury from occurring.
  10. AVOID REPETITIVE USE INJURIES: Unfortunately, tears and fractures are much less common sources of pain and injury than that which occurs as a result of repetitive use or overuse. Because most people tend to stick with the same activities and exercises over and over, joints and muscles become sore, painful and tired. This not only can increase recovery time but also contribute to poor performance. Knee, elbow, arm, leg and shoulder pain relief is possible by adding variety to movements and resting if discomfort begins. Additionally, alternative treatments like cryotherapy can provide additional relief when overuse becomes apparent.

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