EXOS Fit Bits of the Month

Each month the experts at EXOS and Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine with be providing you with some amazing tips to help you with your Performance and Nutrition goals.  We are excited to offer our first two tips.  Enjoy and here’s to being our best!

 

Nutrition:

 

1. Including a high-quality FUEL source with each meal provides you with the energy to perform at your best. The best sources are whole grain bread, bagels and pasta, brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal & granola.

2. Adding a high-quality PROTEIN source to each meal & snack helps maintain a strong, lean body. The best sources are chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, lean red meat, beans, lentils, Greek yogurt & other low-fat dairy or milk alternatives.

3. Eating HEALTHY FATS helps reduce inflammation and muscle soreness, while also providing protection for your joints & brain. The best sources are fish, olive oil, almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, avocado, flax seed, chia seed & fish oil supplements.

4. FRUITS & VEGETABLES are essential for optimal performances. Include a serving with every meal & snack. Choose a variety of colors to get the maximum intake of the performance-enhancing nutrients.

5. Get your motor running first thing in the morning with a high-quality BREAKFAST. A great breakfast includes a fuel source, protein source and fruit or vegetable. An easy meal to prepare would a small bowl of Greek yogurt with some fresh berries and granola.

6. SNACKING on high-quality foods throughout the day will ensure that your body gets all the nutrients it requires to perform at a highest level on a consistent basis. Include mid-morning, mid-afternoon and evening snacks, such as fruits & vegetables, trail mix, Greek yogurt & cheese strings, and homemade granola bars.7. Drinking water throughout the day is the best way to stay HYDRATED and maintain a high-level of performance. Drink water with every meal & snack, and sip on water throughout practices & competitions.

8. Set yourself up for success by eating a well-balanced meal 2 – 4 hours before practice or a competition, and a high-quality snack 1 hour before starting. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

9. Drinking water during practice or competition will keep you performing at a high level. If the activity goes longer than an hour, include a fuel source to keep you energized, such as fruit, a granola bar or a sports drink.

10. Start the recovery process immediately after finishing practice or a competition by having a high-quality snack within 30 minutes. Eating a well-balanced meal 1 – 2 hours later ensures you give your body the nutrients to re-build, re-fuel and re-hydrate.

11. Great performances are built on a foundation of good nutrition. Make sure to develop a good, healthy eating routine before considering any supplementation. If supplementation is required, please discuss with a sports nutrition expert, such as a Registered Dietitian.

12. Making changes to your diet can be difficult. Instead of trying to overhaul your entire diet, make 1 or 2 small changes at a time. Meal planning is a great way to incorporate these changes in your eating habits.

 

Performance:

 

1. A strong pillar or core is crucial for maximizing performance as well as prevention of injury. To achieve a strong pillar, include isometric exercises like front and lateral pillar bridges into your workout.

2. Movement Preparation is an active series of warm-up exercises that efficiently increases the core temperature, activates the nervous system, lengthens, strengthens, stabilizes, and balances muscles; and prepares you for more challenging movements in your training session.

3. Through training Plyometrics, you can improve your body’s elasticity, its ability to generate and reduce force. Elasticity decreases the potential for injury and allows you to produce more force (or less, if needed) in less time.

4. Medicine ball exercises are a great way to help you master fundamental movement patterns while generating power across all three planes of motion.

5. Hard work doesn’t mean beating the crap out of yourself every time you train. Too much work with too little recovery will bring down anyone. If an activity hurts, stop doing it. Because a pain is tolerable, or familiar, you might think it is ok to keep going. It isn’t. You’re only making matters worse.

6. Incorporate stretches into your strength training workout. These “complimentary exercises” will help improve the quality of the movement pattern being trained, helping you move more efficiently, bust through plateaus and prevent the onset of aches, pains, and injuries.

7. A good rule of thumb for selecting a proper weight when performing a strength training exercise is to use a weight that’s challenging but allows you to complete all of your repetitions with proper form. If the last 1-2 reps aren’t hard, it is too light; if the speed or tempo, of your reps drops off significantly during the set or you can’t complete all of your reps, it’s too heavy. You want to challenge yourself with weight without sacrificing technique.

8. If it’s your first time trying a movement, err on the side of caution. Go light. Try it with bodyweight first. At first, simply focus on learning proper technique. Once you’ve honed the skill, it will be far easier to move more weight, and you’ll derive greater benefits as a result.

9. Work on balancing your strength by training your legs with unilateral movements, or exercises that work your legs individually. These movements not only strengthen each leg individually, but also improve the overall strength of your legs together to give you better stability, balance and power.

10. Adjust your rest periods for your exercises. The amount of rest between sets varies with the exercise being performed. Training larger muscle groups requires more rest between sets than training smaller muscle groups.

11. Pay attention to your sleep and tissue quality. Rest and regeneration will help your body bounce back stronger the next day and stay mentally and physically fresh. Five minutes of foam rolling and five minutes of stretching can go a long way in reducing injury risk and maximizing performance.

12. You can actually speed up your body’s recovery process by alternating between hot and cold temperatures in your post-workout shower. Your blood vessels will dilate and constrict, which will increase blood flow. This is important for muscle recovery.

13. Workouts stand alone, while programs consist of a series of workouts that are planned over time, progressive and personalized for your goals and schedule. It is common to bounce from one workout to the next in search of something new, but if you’re serious about making long-term gains, we strongly recommend following a program.

 

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