Your quick guide optimizing performance and avoiding injury
BY DR KIRSTIN LAURITZEN DC MS
As we all enter into preseason training excited for races after a rough year of rescheduling and cancellations, there are a few things we can prioritize to help get to competition day with healthy, injury-free, well fed bodies.
PRIORITY #1: STRENGTH TRAINING
For all athletes, strength training is vital for performance, healthy bones, muscles, and joints and plays a large role in injury prevention. For women specifically, lifting heavy weights helps promote bone health and stronger muscles, which translates to less osteoporosis after menopause.
PRIORITY #2: FOCUS ON FOODS THAT ARE NUTRIENT-DENSE
Foods like liver, grass-fed and finished beef, wild elk/deer, fresh caught/not farmed fish, and a wide variety of colorful plants support the foundational nutrients that each of your cells need in order to keep all of your tissues and joints healthy. On the other hand, sugar, food dyes, food coloring, processed foods, and refined oils are pro-inflammatory and low in nutrients; they will have a negative downstream effect on overall health and performance.
PRIORITY #3: MANAGE YOUR STRESS
Training and exercise for athletes is often part of a daily or weekly routine, and will also help lower stress. Just be aware that your routine can also be a cause of stress if you aren’t managing your nutrition properly.
In addition, psychological and emotional stress can increase your risk of injury, something to consider after a tough year. A study published in 2014 in the Military Medicine journal found that higher personal and occupational stress was associated with higher risks of injury.
As you head into your preseason this coming year, develop a daily stress management routine that includes good quality sleep, deep breathing, daily meditation, and/or visualization.
Preseason training is a great time to prioritize strength training, a balanced and supportive nutrition routine, and stress management practices for a successful competition season. Keep Hammering!