The Olympics are back! While we're entertained by the best athletes in the world, let's take advantage of the competitive nature of the Olympics and think like an athlete as we pursue our own goals to live a healthy and balanced life! What can we learn from Olympic athletes to foster our own competitiveness?
1. Move with intent
Olympic athletes train specific to their sport. Every movement and exercise they do is specifically designed to get better at their craft. Think of movement as a skill; like riding a bike. We don't just pick up a bike and start riding along smoothly. It's a skill we must practice time and time again to get better at. We can think of our workouts the same way. Take a few minutes to think about your personal fitness goals. What is it you want to accomplish? If you want to get stronger, how are you going to make it happen? What steps are you going to take? Having a structured plan of attack is essential if you want to see progress and results.
Not sure where to start? Consider our free group training classes to start on the right track.
2. Eat to perform
You won't catch Olympic athletes eating off their kids plate, grabbing fast food on the way home or scooping a few extra servings of ice cream late at night. All of their hard work requires just the right fuel, which means planning meals ahead of time full of whole, nutrient-dense foods. They have a sport-specific diet to maximize their potential and performance. We aren't saying you have to go this far, but being aware and mindful with the foods you're fueling your body with is important for your health, athletic performance, and even overall well being. Before you make a choice, ask yourself, "how will this make me feel?" "Will this fuel my body in a positive way?" "Will this choice bring me closer or further away from my goals?"
If you need guidance on what this may look like for you, schedule a Nutrition Consultation with our dietitians to come up with the perfect plan for you and your lifestyle.
3. Sleep like a baby
If you want to perform like an athlete, be prepared to go to bed at the same time as the kids. Do you think Olympic athletes let themselves run low on sleep? Absolutely not. They understand how critical proper sleep is for recovery after hard workouts. Remember, you don't build strong muscle in the gym. It's quite the opposite actually. Resistance training creates tiny micro-tears in the muscle fibers, which the body repairs and adapts the muscles to better handle the stimulus that caused the damage. How do our muscles repair and grow stronger? In our sleep. This is why rest and recovery should be of top priority if you're looking to maximize your athletic potential.
4. Stay positive
Having a workout and nutrition plan are necessary for performing at your best. However, when Olympic athletes push themselves to their limits, injuries are almost inevitable. In comparison, having a structured road map laid out to achieve your goals is great, but what happens when “life” throws a curveball at you?
Whether it be an injury, family emergency or other life events, setbacks can get in the way. And sometimes, they can send you on quite the detour from your original route.
But do you think Olympic athletes let these setbacks stop them from achieving their goals? Of course not. A setback is a set-up for a greater comeback! It’s important to stay positive. Accept what happened, learn from it, and continue to move forward.
“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” -Charles R. Swindoll
5. Have a goal
Just because you’re not competing in the Olympic Games, doesn’t mean a Gold medal isn’t in your future. Think of your “end goal” as your Gold medal. It’s important to have a strong “why” for the effort you’re putting in day in and day out, because the truth is you won’t always be motivated. You must learn to be disciplined and have a goal, just like the Olympian’s.
Olympic athletes train for years for one moment. Just like the Olympic Games, establish a long-term goal you would like to accomplish. Once established, break it up into short-term goals and steps on how you’re going to make it happen.
"Follow your dreams. If you have a goal, and you want to achieve it, then work hard and do everything you can to get there, and one day it will come true." -Lindsey Vonn
Not sure where to start creating your goals? Set up a free Wellness Consultation with one of our Health & Wellness Coaches.
6. Compete against yourself
In a society of comparing ourselves to others, it’s important to focus on your own work. Like our teachers told us as kids before a test, “keep your eyes on your own paper.” Or like when road rage has you screaming, “hey you, stay in your own lane!”
Olympic athletes are focused on bettering themselves everyday. We are all different in our own unique ways. It’s not fair to compare your Chapter 1 to someone else’s Chapter 20. This is an unnecessary way to get discouraged.
“The principle is competing against yourself. It’s about self-improvement, about being better than you were the day before.” -Steve Young
There's only one person you can truly compare yourself to. Yesterday's version of you. That’s your competition.