5 Essential Habits for Athletes

Part of taking care of your body as an athlete means living a healthy lifestyle. Here are five healthy habits that will keep your body running in optimal fashion:

1. Get plenty of rest.

Your body has to recharge everyday, especially after intense workouts and competitions. Muscle growth occurs when we sleep, and our organs that work overtime during the day have an opportunity to rejuvenate during this time. Sleep is when the recovery process is at its optimum levels, so be sure to get adequate amounts of rest on a regular basis.

2. Stay hydrated.

As you workout, your body loses a great deal of water that constantly needs to be replenished. I recommend carrying around a water bottle or jug of some sort to keep you drinking all day long.

3. Avoid processed food.

A rule of thumb is to stay away from anything packaged in plastic. The longer the shelf life, the more likely chance it's not good for you. This means that there are incredibly high levels of sodium, sugar or both; excess in either will dehydrate you.

4. Don't drink or smoke.

Consuming large amounts of alcohol and smoking have debilitating affects on your body.

5. Snack with fruit and nuts.

The best way to snack between meals is with fruits and nuts. Fruits in general are usually low in calories with the perfect amount of sugar. Nuts have protein and essential fatty oils that are healthy for the maintenance of our bodies. Combined, these powerful snacks provide flavorful fuel for our bodies throughout the day.

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