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If you’re looking for all-natural ways to improve athletic performance, then this article will prove invaluable to your goal. Though, it’s important to know there’s no magic button to enhance your athletic performance. It’s all about consistency, hard work, being patient, and integrating a healthy lifestyle and sports habits into your workouts/training. However, these tips are scientifically-backed or logical enough to help you improve athletic performance over time:
1. Track your performance
We’ve all heard the phrase, “What gets measured gets managed.” If you would like to improve your athletic performance, then the first key to unlocking your unlimited potential is to get in the habit of tracking your performance in each session, if you’re not doing so already. Track everything, from the weights, the duration, the sets, repetitions, exercises, everything. Not only will you be able to improve over time gradually, but tracking your progress will feed your motivation to keep you going. When you look back and see how far you’ve come, you’ll only be inspired to get even further! Having a small notebook or tracking your sessions through a simple excel sheet can go a long way.
2. Visualize your goal(s) and improve your athletic performance
Many haven’t heard of the power of Visualization. Others think it is useless and wasted time, which could have otherwise been spent in actual training. However, we can drop that myth and acknowledge the facts. Visualization refers to the act of imagining or mentally rehearsing a scenario positively, over and over again. Athletes can visualize themselves shooting the perfect free throws, scoring penalties, or crossing the finish line. One study found that those who visualized throwing free throws had an 84% chance of a beneficial effect on their free throw performance, for up to 2 free throws. (1) Another famous study by Dr. Biasiotto at the University of Chicago found that mental training could be as practical as real practice. The key is to combine both imaging techniques and practice. (2) When you’re resting, you can still use sight, smell, sound in your Visualization to train without the physical effort.
3. Consume Bananas to improve your athletic performance
Bananas are small, easy to carry, sold almost everywhere, and have numerous benefits, making them the ideal snack for athletes. Bananas are rich in potassium, which may help lower blood pressure, boost energy, improve muscle recovery, and reduce cramps and soreness.
4. Get away with some Dark Chocolate
A 2016 study at London’s Kingston University has shown that Dark Chocolate can give athletes a competitive advantage. Dark chocolate contains a chemical substance called Epicatechin. The substance increases nitric oxide production, which dilates blood vessels and reduces oxygen consumption. The research found that participants who consumed dark chocolate could cover more distance while cycling with less oxygen. (3) Like Bananas, Dark Chocolate is also easy to carry and accessible anywhere. THey’re also rich in magnesium, which combats stress. The high cocoa percentage contains plenty of antioxidants and calories as well. So, be cautious with your intake!
5. Red Light Therapy
Red Light Therapy’s name explains it all. It uses red or near-infrared light to stimulate, repair, and regenerate damaged tissues. The science behind it is simple – an RLT device emits scientific red light photons, which stimulates the mitochondria in the cells. Many peer-reviewed studies prove the efficacy of RLT as a method for increasing muscle mass naturally post-workout while decreasing inflammation. (4) It can also accelerate muscle recovery and reduce soreness.
“Meditation is a vital way to purify and quiet the mind, thus rejuvenating the body.” – Deepak Chopra. The mood-boosting benefits of Meditation are countless. Meditation increases your awareness, enhances your focus, and helps you remain calm under pressure. It can also relieve stress, anxiety, and fears before a big performance. What’s even more important is that it can promote faster recovery by boosting your immune system and encouraging deep sleep.
7. Varying your workouts
It’s important to avoid the plateau of performance. Every now and then, it’s necessary to change up your routine practice by modifying your workout or practice. Consider hitting different muscle groups with a variety of exercises. Varying your workouts will also create a new stimulus. On top of that, you will reduce your risk of injury by targeting different muscles. Over time, you can notice improved athletic performance.
8. Getting new shoes, frequently
Sometimes, replacing your sports shoes can make a marginal difference in your athletic performance. The cushions and foams in your shoes deteriorate over time. They lose their ability to absorb the heavy stress on them. The result is an unbalanced or reduced functionality from your shoes. It is vital that you change shoes frequently, depending on the sport and how rigorous your workout is.
PEMF stands for Pulsed Electromagnetic Frequency, a non-invasive technology scientifically proven to stimulate your body’s natural healing process. It improves blood circulation, reduces inflammation and lactic acid, prolongs lung capacity, and much more. Numerous studies have proved PEMF to be an invaluable tool looking for improving their athletic performance.
10. The importance of recovery
Lastly, dedicating plenty of time for rest. The actual growth and strengthening of your muscles occur during recovery. THat’s why you must be patient to avoid overtraining and let the course of time do its thing. After training, your muscle fibers are damaged and require time to regrow to become stronger. Resting them is vital to come back powerful and perform better each time.
“The day you plant a seed is not the day you eat the fruit.” – anonymous. With these 10 all-natural tips, you will see a considerable amount of improvement in your athletic performance. The key is staying consistent, remaining patient, and converting these tips into lifestyle habits to empower your workouts.
(1). Kanthack, T.F.D., Bigliassi, M., Vieira, L.F. and Altimari, L.R. (2013). Efeito agudo da imagética no desempenho de lances livres e percepção de autoeficácia em atletas. Revista Brasileira de Cineantropometria e Desempenho Humano, [online] 16(1). Available at: https://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?pid=S1980-00372014000100047&script=sci_abstract [Accessed 22 Oct. 2020].
(2). Ekeocha, T.C., Osborne, R., Seay, O. and Huber, J. (2015). THE EFFECTS OF VISUALIZATION & GUIDED IMAGERY IN SPORTS PERFORMANCE. [online] Available at: https://digital.library.txstate.edu/bitstream/handle/10877/5548/EKEOCHA-THESIS-2015.pdf?sequence=1.
(3). ScienceDaily. (2016). Eating dark chocolate as a daily snack could help boost athletic performance. [online] Available at: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160419120151.htm#:~:text=Eating%20dark%20chocolate%20as%20a%20daily%20snack%20could%20help%20boost%20athletic%20performance,-Date%3A%20April%2019&text=A%20team%20led%20by%20postgraduate,showed%20it%20can%20improve%20performance. [Accessed 22 Oct. 2020].
(4). Ferraresi, C., Huang, Y.-Y. and Hamblin, M.R. (2016). Photobiomodulation in human muscle tissue: an advantage in sports performance? Journal of Biophotonics, [online] 9(11–12), pp.1273–1299. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5167494/ [Accessed 22 Oct. 2020].