With the amount of time athletes put into practicing and preparing for games or routines to perform at competitions, it is important to remember that taking a break is essential. Resting allows your body to recover from difficult workouts, ultimately helping you power up and perform to the best of your ability! Breaks help you prepare both physically and mentally and can mean the difference between a touch down and a foul.
Here are some tips to keep in mind:
Don’t Overdo It!
Take short breaks in between practice, drink some water, and take a seat. Taking short breaks often will help you refuel so you can jump back into the game with energy!
Breaks can also help prevent injuries. If you are playing non-stop during strenuous activities, you can easily wear yourself out. Side effects include nausea, dizziness, and an upset stomach. Don’t put too much physical pressure on yourself!
AVOID: Resting too much. When you or your team start taking too many breaks this can lead to laziness and counter-production. Make sure you stay on track to make your routine or game plan that much stronger and better. If you have good momentum going, try to keep pushing a little longer before taking a break. You don't want to stop in the middle of a good play or routine unless you really need to. Whatever you do, always trust your body. It will tell you when it can't push any further.
Relax and Refuel
H2O. There are few things that the body needs as much as it does water. The key is to drink the right amount. The more active you are, the more water you should drink. Don’t forget to pack plenty of water in your sports bag! Hydrate before, during and after practice because:
1) Every system in your body depends on water.
2) 60% of your body weight is water.
3) Water keeps you hydrated, it maintains normal bodily functions and keeps you energized.
4) An absence of water can lead to dehydration and cause fatigue, headaches, muscle weakness, and dizziness.
Nutrition. During a break or after a long practice, consuming electrolytes and the right carbohydrates and protein is important for recovering. Making the right choices with nutrition will help increase your performance level. Here are some healthy snack choices to enjoy on your breaks to keep your body going at full speed:
1) Protein bars, filled with vitamins and plenty of protein and fiber to keep you energized and full
2) Cottage cheese and fruit
3) Nuts and seeds
4) Grilled chicken breast
5) Hard boiled eggs
6) Veggies and hummus
7) Apples and peanut butter
Taking a break eventually results in working towards your personal and team goals. Once those are accomplished, reward yourself and your team! Play a team bonding game, like Simon Says, that involves using athletic skills.
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