Olympic and Paralympic athletes are often idolised in the way that they live their lives and treat their body, as it allows them to compete to the best of their ability in their sport. Although we can't copy their lifestyles exactly (that would be very difficult!), there are certain tips that we can incorporate into everyday life.
1. Get Enough Sleep
As you’ll probably know, sleep is vital for the body to function and recover to the best of its ability. A study showed that the loss of even 2 hours of sleep a night can make you feel the same way as if you had a blood alcohol level of 0.05! It can improve productivity, concentration and can reduce the chance of developing health issues such as strokes, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
All athletes are big advocates for a healthy sleep routine, as it can help to improve their athletic performance and general wellbeing. They also are required to travel to different time zones to compete, and so need to know how to adjust as quickly as possible to get the best nights sleep.
Michael Phelps is the most decorated Olympian in the world and stresses the importance of sleep for a healthy lifestyle. When speaking to a magazine, he revealed that he begins to get ready for bed at 8.30pm, and ensures he stays away from electronic devices and is fully hydrated. These are tips that we can all easily apply to our own lives to improve our sleep.
2. Exercise Regularly
The benefits of exercising regularly are endless, but some include:
- Allows you to prevent or manage a range of health issues such as arthritis, anxiety, depression, strokes and type 2 diabetes.
- Linking to the previous tip, exercising can help you to fall asleep quicker and deeper, which is really important in improving everyday life as you will have much more energy and your mood will be boosted.
- Exercising can also allow you to be more social and meet new people! You can join a gym or class at a community centre and get the chance to meet people that you wouldn’t have come across otherwise. This is especially important if you are feeling lonely or want to see some new faces. You can also invite an old friend to go along with you to exercise and catch up at the same time!
There are many ways that you can exercise, such as weightlifting using Jordan Fitness Olympic Weightlifting equipment, or High Intensity Interval Training with our popular HIIT Bench. If you don’t fancy any of those options, Everly Stevens, the fastest female cyclist, uses yoga as another form of exercise – our Yoga mat is a great addition to your equipment collection.
3. Allow Time for Recovery
Although exercising is very important in your daily life, it is also important to allow time for our bodies to recover. This can be done by just taking the day off to watch TV and chill out, or you could copy many athletes by taking an active rest day and going for a walk or casual bike ride.
Team GB Olympic Athlete Mo Farah is an ambassador for the Theragun, a massage device that aids recovery by treating sore muscles and body pain. This is a great way to speed up your recovery when you need it.
4. Eat Well
Ensuring you have a healthy diet is very important if you want to improve your everyday life, as good food is responsible for fuelling your body and protecting you against a wide range of diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. This doesn’t mean that you have to completely cut out ‘unhealthy’ foods such as those high in sugar, salt and fat – just eat in moderation.
For Paralympian Triathlon Athlete Allysa Seely, nutrition is a key part of her wellbeing routine to ensure that her body is healthy and ready for her training.
5. Set yourself goals
Being a successful athlete is not always about restriction and intense training. For many like Scout Bassett, a member of the Paralympic USA track and field team, wellbeing is so important. Scout likes to treat herself to one self-care activity, such as getting her nails done or eating a cheat meal, in order to feel better and reward herself for all her hard work.