How to Increase Your Sports Performance

This month is the National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, recognised by the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition; therefore I will dedicate this and my next post to this great cause. By the way this year’s campaign motto is ‘Move in May’.

The principles of good nutrition in relation to sport performance

Good nutrition is given when we include all 5 food/nutrition groups (Vitamins and Minerals, Fibre, Protein, Carbohydrates and Fat) into our daily consumption in the right constellation. Always consider a well-balanced diet, because except maybe for Sumō wrestlers ;-), excess weight is an obstacle in life and especially when you try to take part in a sports activity.

The principles of hydration & The signs and symptoms of dehydration

Principles of hydration; A human body consist of 70% water, therefore it is vital to drink water regularly during the day, about 2-3 litres. When exercising you should add additional fluid, before, during and after in order to avoid dehydration and if you exercise longer than one hour, you should add sodium enriched water and ingest carbohydrates, as it  can be beneficial to sustain a high level of endurance during your training.

Signs and symptoms of dehydration ; A person who is dehydrated might show signs of fatigue, dizziness, overheat, faint, produce dark-coloured urine, feeling thirsty, or other physical effects as well as psychological effects.

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The principles of weight management as appropriate to specific sports

In order for you to be able to perform as best as possible it is vital to have an ideal weight, in accordance with the BMI index; which takes the amount of body fat and muscle mass into account.

Too much…

An overweight athlete might find it difficult to move, become tired or fatigued quicker and be slow overall, because of the extra weight he/she has to carry around.

Too little…

Being underweight might be the cause of lacking energy, due to the low percentage of muscle mass, and hinder to take part in competitions and perform well. Therefore you could try to gain body weight through weight management in combination with weight training.

Way too much…

Athletes, who have gained excess muscle mass, might not be able to do certain movements or even might perform in a slow pace. Perhaps reducing weight training and increase endurance training might be the way to go.BMI Index Chart NaomiMcLaughlan.com

Do’s*:

  • Identify a target weight, for example by using the BMI index chart and also note your current weight.
  • Then either follow a specific plan or create a deficit in calorie intake by cutting out high calorific food. It might help to keep records of all foods and drinks in a food diary.
  • Aim for a weight loss between 0.5-1 kilo per week. In order to achieve this goal, you need to cut out at least 500 calories per day.
  • If you wish to gain weight, you should to do the opposite, by adding ca. 500 calories per day, by eating regularly during the day (3main meals, plus 2 snacks)
  • The additional calories should be chooses wisely though, for example eating more protein instead of sugary snacks (cake, cookies etc.) with saturated fats. Weight training might also be a good way to add weight.

5 Principles of injury prevention

  1. Use proper equipment, for example a helmet or other protective clothing.
  2. Warm up and Cool down between 5-10 minutes, which ensures that your body has enough time to warm up as well as cool down before and after an exercise.
  3. Stay hydrated before, during and after training or competition.
  4. Use of the right technique, for example by reminding yourself how to stand or move.
  5. Do not over-train.

How to manage injury

  • Always get your injury checked by a medical doctor, physical therapist or other professional
  •  Remember that the recovery depends on the particular level of injury and personal decisions
  • Stays active in this phase
  • Stay positive and set achievable recovery goals and celebrate them
  • Try to view the injury as an opportunity, rather than a negative situation
  • Stay on track, for example by keeping up activities that are still possible, for example if you have a broken arm you could work on your aerobic fitness (walking etc.) and maintain your eating plan.

Whats your favourite Activity? NaomiMcLaughlan.com

The key components of physical and skill-related fitness are: Speed, Stamina, Strength, Suppleness or Flexibility, Power and Agility (change the direction by combining balance, speed, strength, co-ordination).

Three methods for training different physical components:

  • Strength

Repetition, sets and frequency

To give an example; a weight lifter improves his/her strength by increasing repetition, adding sets and/ or frequency when lifting weights.

  • Speed

Power training, speed training,  plyometrics, callesthenics

To give an example; a sprinter could run downhill as well as alternating uphill  to increase his speed.

  • Suppleness

Static stretching

To give an example; a ballet dancer uses static stretches to increase the ability to do a split.

2 Methods that can be used to enhance  recovery time from session to session are;

  • Sleep
  • Massage

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All the Best,

Naomi x

 *When you start a new exercise regime or diet program, always consult your medical doctor or GP.

 

 

 

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