5 Tips to Staying Healthy During Football Season

Image via Harvard Gazette

If you’re a football player, you want to make sure you’re always feeling 100% so that each and every game day, you’re out on that field. Live by these 5 simple tips to ensure you’re the healthiest you can be:

Pre-season Health
If you’re a football player, you’re not only focused on the season itself, but have a lot of preparing to do beforehand. In order to ensure your best performance when it really matters, you need to work hard during preseason. This is the time that a player proves himself to his team. Everyone is looking to improve themselves in order to make that first string position once it’s game time.

Set goals for yourself with conditioning and weight lifting. Perform daily drills to decrease the time of your 40-yard dash and increase your agility. Put on some healthy weight of muscle if you feel that this can benefit you in your position. If you’re a quarter back, practice your precision with passing and dodging the defense.

Taking these extra steps will positively impact your game out on the field.

Proper diet and nutrition
Football players should be watching what they eat 24/7, whether in season or offseason. The proper amount of protein intake should be met daily to help build and keep muscle mass. Avoid food that is high in fat so that you are not gaining unwanted weight.

In general, your diet should also consist of a variety of veggies and fruits. A high carb meal is encouraged before games, which helps stimulate the muscles and enhance performance.

Remember, a lot of exercise never balances out an unhealthy diet.

Hydration
Everyone should be drinking plenty of fluids. This is even more important while training or during a game. What you lose through constantly sweating needs to be replenished in the body. Not only can dehydration hinder athletic performance, staying hydrated also plays a crucial role in digestion.

Water is the go-to drink for hydration, although Gatorade is popular amongst many athletes. A benefit of Gatorade that water does not have, which is important for athletes, is replenishing the electrolytes that are lost with physical activity. 

Prevent Football Injuries
Football, being such a physical sport, means that injuries are very common. To ensure that you’re ready for each game, perform thorough stretching before each practice and game. This warms up the muscles and prevents a great number of injuries. As injuries can happen unexpectedly, the most important thing is to listen to your body and communicate with your coach and athletic trainers.

 

Concussions are also very common amongst football players. Many times, you may not be diagnosed with a concussion directly after the impact, collision, etc. Some symptoms may come out hours or even a few days later. Any of these symptoms can be an indicator of a concussion:

·         Concentration and memory complaints

·         Irritability and other personality changes

·         Sensitivity to light and noise

·         Trouble sleeping

·         Psychological adjustment problems

·         Depression

·         Changes in taste and/or smell

 

Cleanliness
With contact sports like football, it is easy to pass around germs. Once one player on the team is stick, it is only a matter of time before the rest of the team catches the disease. Be sure to wash your hands whenever possible and take full showers after each practice and game. When showering, use your own products and towels, as opposed to sharing with team members. Sharing personal items is an easy way to spread germs.

Keep your own equipment clean by using a sports disinfectant spray. Spray down items like uniform padding, shin guards, any balls or other pieces of equipment that is used regularly. Doing so is one of the easiest and most effective ways to stop the spread of MRSA, methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus.

 

Follow these five simple guidelines and you’re sure to be your healthiest and out on the field playing your best each and every game. 

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