With the Olympics just around the corner, the Total Physio team are dedicating this newsletter to providing some valuable tips on gaining the ultimate performance edge. For all those in our community trying to achieve their personal best in their rehab or on the football field, netball or tennis court, in the ocean, on the running track or whatever your sport may be – we have a list of rules that will help you achieve your goals and improve performance.
Rule 1: Get to know yourself – Monitor your morning resting heart rate, your sleep quality and quantity, training intensity, muscle soreness and fatigue.
“A change in your average morning resting heart rate of 7BPM (beats per minute) is often the first indicator of fatigue and illness (Jeff Gaudette, 2014).”
Rule 2: Avoid overloading – If you exercise/train or compete more than your body can cope with, injury or illness is inevitable. This is especially important when returning from injury and for children/adolescents who might participate in a number of sports.
“A change in training of more than 50% from the average of previous weeks will increase your risk of injury (Australian Institute of Sport, 2015).”
Rule 3: Nutrition – Maintain your energy balance. Protein before exercise, carbohydrate and protein mix during exercise and protein after is the general guideline. But how much of each will depend on your body weight and exercise intensity.
Rule 4: Hydrate – Drinking regularly during exercise prevents decline in concentration and skill level, helps control excessive heart rates and body temperature.
“Dehydration by 2% of body weight significantly impairs performance (Cheuvont, 2003).”
Rule 5: Core stability, strength and endurance – Know your weaknesses and the demands of your sport/exercise. What is the area you need to target to maximize your performance and minimize your risk of injury? This is one of TOTAL PHYSIOTHERAPY’S areas of expertise.
“The greater your core stability the greater force production is possible from the upper and lower body (Jeffery, 2007).”
Rule 6: Mental training, balance and recovery – The brain is often working just as hard as the body and needs to be monitored and allowed to recover. Always debrief after training or competition – ”What went well?” and “Even better if?” type questions alongside, asking yourself how you felt (moods, thoughts, behaviours). Then relax, turn the brain off – sleep, colour in, watch TV or do light exercise.
Rule 7: Physical recovery will be helped by – Cold showers/contrast showers or baths help reduce inflammation in soft tissue, reduce muscle stiffness and enhance blood flow – just in 5 minutes. Compression tights helps reduce muscle soreness, reduce swelling and improve clearance of metabolic waste. Massage therapy helps to assist the release of shortened tight muscles and sleep is the best form of recovery
“Sleeping less than 7.5 hours per day increases the risk of injury by 61% (Choi, 2006).”