When we think of athlete wellness, our minds go directly to what we eat. We have discussed healthy and easy nutrition for athletes all over our blog here at iSport360. One of our favorites is about protein bars. But that is’t the only thing to think about when you think about wellness.
Sleep is so important for an athlete. It helps form memories and contributes to improved performance. It can also help improve or maintain mental health which can improve someone’s overall mood. The guidelines from the Sleep Foundation state that adolescents should be getting between eight and 10 hours of sleep every night. For student athletes in particular, research suggests it’s better to get at least nine4 or 105 hours. School-age children (ages 6-12 years) need at least 9-11 hours.
The American College of Sports Medicine says, Sleep is an important aspect in the recovery and performance of athletes. Recently, there has been increasing interest in exploring the various effects that sleep has on performance in athletes. Youth athletes represent a unique population in that not only do they have demands in training schedules and training load, but they also have demands in academics. There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that youth athletes do not get the recommended required amount of sleep and that this has negatively affected performance and well-being.
Yes, your athlete should have a REST day. Rest days are great because it allows your athlete to take a break, slow down and get back to feeling better. These days also allow for muscle repair and prevent burn out or fatigue.
There’s a reason everyone – yes, even pro athletes – schedule quality rest into their training schedule. Downtime gives your body the chance to repair and grow stronger so you can perform at your best. It allows your mind to focus, boosts motivation, and it reduces your chance of injury from overuse, too.
From the National Athletic Trainers Association, Whether you’re a novice or seasoned athlete, regular rest is crucial. It’s necessary for muscle repair, preventing fatigue, and overall performance. To make the most out of your rest days, do low-impact workouts like yoga and walking. These activities will help you stay active while letting your body recover.
Incorporate Yoga and/or Stretching
Stretching is important for youth athletes. Proper allows your core body temperature to warm up slowly and enables your muscles and joints to loosen up, giving you a better range of motion. It’s critical to prepare the body for specific movements by warming up the parts of the body that will be utilized while playing. For example, a soccer player should focus on warming up their knees and feet, while softball players should focus more on stretching their shoulders and arms.
For more about injury prevention in athletes, check out the Benefits of Core Training and 3 Tips for Getting Faster.