Fitness

3 Ways to Improve Your Athletic Performance

Whether you’re a rookie to regular exercise or a seasoned pro, there’s always something you can do to push yourself further and streamline your workouts. Try out these three tips to maximize athletic success no matter your sport or fitness routine.

1. Eat the Right Foods Before and After Workouts

The food you eat is what fuels your body, so if you eat heavy or greasy foods before your workout, your body won’t produce the best results. Matthew Propst, MD, physician at CHI St. Joseph Health Sports Medicine, says, “Foods rich in healthy carbohydrates, such as fruit or whole grains, will give you the energy to power through your workout. After exercising, grab some protein to support muscle growth and repair.” Don’t forget to drink plenty of water before and after your workout to stay hydrated.

2. Learn About Functional Exercises

Functional exercises focus on particular sets of muscles to improve the effectiveness of frequently used movements. These exercises train muscles to work in the safest and most efficient way possible to reduce the risk of injury and optimize your skillset. You can utilize your newfound muscle memory in workouts, sports, and everyday life.

If you’re a runner, try out some functional exercises focused on the muscles that help you propel forward, such as your glutes and abdominals. Strengthening these muscles often results in enhanced athletic performance and a better all-around workout. Functional workouts are specialized, so it’s best to find a coach trained in these types of exercises for your specific sport to help you reach your athletic goals.

3. Try Cross-Training

Variety is the spice of life, and so cross training, the act of incorporating several different types of workouts into your weekly fitness routine, is a great way to keep yourself excited for each new day. Cross-training also helps ensure that every part of your body is getting the physical activity it needs.

If you usually run on the treadmill for your workouts, switch it up! Try weightlifting one day to work on building strength in your arms and your core, and try yoga the next day to work on your flexibility. Keep your exercises fresh to get a full-body workout.

Ready to take the next step in your fitness journey? Join the CHI St. Joseph Health Run Club for the resources and motivation to get into the best shape of your life. You can also visit the trusted sports medicine team at CHI St. Joseph Health for assistance in getting your body moving in the healthiest way possible.


Sources:
OrthoInfo | Cross Training
CHI St. Joseph Health | Fitness Fuel: The Best Pre and Post-Workout Snacks
TRX Training | What Is Functional Training And Why Does It Matter?
Human Kinetics | Four Reasons Athletes Should Embrace Functional Training

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