Many athletes know that in order to succeed, you must constantly try to improve yourself and have a clear, focused plan for achieving max physical performance. As an athlete, you must push your limits to achieve your goals and adjust those goals based on their personal, specific needs.
With the new year here, there's no better time to plan and write down your New Year's resolutions for your health & fitness - including boosting athletic performance.
From health & wellness to fitness tips, here are some resolutions that may inspire you and give you a push in the right direction to increase your athletic performance. Here are some of our favorite health & fitness resolutions you may consider and follow-through this year!
1. Diversify Your Workouts
Diversifying your workout can do 2 things for your health and fitness journey. First, trying a different type of workout or physical activity can prevent you from getting bored with getting physical. Boredom can make it easier to fall out of routine.
Secondly, your body can get used to specific physical activities which can plateau physical performance so it’s important to switch up how you move to keep your body (and mind) engaged. Plus, you get to workout different parts of your body to get better overall fitness and cross-training minimizes injuries.
For example if weights are your go-to, try swapping in cardio like running or going for a swim once a week. If you usually stick to running or biking, swap in some swimming or bench presses. You can even try learning a new sport that interests you. Just keep trying different activities and have fun with it until you find a new workout that works for you.
Consider starting here:
- One day a week, try a new physical activity/workout
- Learn a new sport by the summer
- Train for a marathon or triathlon (if you haven’t done one before)
2. Take Regular Ice Baths
Regular ice baths are a great way to improve your athletic performance as they'll help decrease stress and inflammation in the body, enhance recovery time, and boost overall muscle strength and endurance. They also help build mental and physical reslience. As you see, there are many reasons why athletes and health-warriors incorporate scientifically-backed ice baths into their weekly and daily routines.
If you’re a beginner start by committing to one 2-minute ice bath a week then slowly move up to more ice baths a week and or longer ice baths (we recommend 2 to 5 minutes).
3. Venture Into Nature More Often
It’s a well-known fact that the exposure to our natural environment is essential to our mental and physical health and well-being. Being in nature has been found to decrease stress, reduce anxiety, promote creativity, and help provide relief for depression. In fact, according to a recent study, being out in nature for least 120 minutes a week can improve happiness levels while reducing stress levels.
If you’re not sure where to start getting some nature time in your routine, here are some great ideas:
- Spend time outside for at least 5 minutes per day.
- Choose one outdoor activity each week like hiking or fishing. Have the activity planned out in advance so that you don’t forget about it.
- If you have access to a backyard or a park nearby, walk there for 10 minutes every day after work.
As you get into a good routine, try adjusting your natural goals like spending a few more minutes outside each day until you get to at least 120 minutes a week. You don’t even have to stop there - the more time outside the merrier.
4. Track and Measure Your Performance and Progress
If you're serious about any changes you want to make, the first step is to measure and track your physical performance. After all, hitting goals is a marathon not a sprint so long-term tracking is the best way to track progress. This will be helpful in making sure that you're achieving your goals and also give you an understanding of what’s working and what’s not.
Plus, one of the best ways to motivate yourself is through tracking your progress and seeing the tangible results in the form of data like quick wins and overall progress.
5. Get More High Quality Sleep
Athlete or not, sleep is essential part of overall health. Lack of sleep can even increase your risk of depression, hormone & metbolism imbalances, heart disease, injuries, sickness, and weight gain. It’s safe to say getting quality sleep is an important part of being at your top athletic performance.
Consider one (or a few) of these to help you get better sleep:
- Decrease/stop screen time before bed
- Reduce light pollution in your bedroom (i.e. black out curtain or light reducing blinds)
- Cut back on caffeine before bed (at least 5 hours before)
- Commit to a set bedtime and wake up time (adjust as needed)
Consider doing a nice cold ice bath 1 to 2 hours before bed to help get your body ready for sleep in addition to your other bedtime rituals.
Boost Your Recovery & Athletic Performance This Year
Your best athletic performance is just a few resolutions and planning sessions away. Whether to improve your recovery routine or improve your health & wellness (or both), consistent sessions in our Cold Plunge may be just the health tool you need this year to hit new personal heights. Just a few tweaks, like adding ice bathing, can make all the difference to boosting your athletic performance and making this your year!