Whether it’s a career-ending injury or you aren’t participating in sports anymore, it’s a hard reality to face when you are no longer an athlete and your daily routine changes.
You don’t have your teammates pushing you through tough workouts. You may not be paying close attention to your diet so you can’t perform at the highest level like you once did.
However, there are a number of different things you can do to live a healthy lifestyle after sports. Learn how to deal with the end of your sports career and read our tips you can implement into your daily life.
Nutrition tips for former athletes
It can be easy to lose track of your nutritional goals after your sports career ends. Follow these tips to help keep yourself on track.
- Pack your lunch: You not only will be able to control portion sizes, but you will save money by packing your own lunch.
- Plan your snacks: It’s tempting to grab the first thing in sight when you are hungry, and preparing healthy snacks beforehand can eliminate that temptation.
- Be mindful of what you are eating on the weekends: It’s easy to lose track of what you are eating on the weekends when you fall out of your weekly routine. Maintaining healthy eating habits on the weekends can help keep you on track.
- Adjust your calorie intake based of your activity level: Since you aren’t working out as much, it’s important to make sure you are eating the correct portion sizes based off the amount of activity you are doing.
How do athletes stay in shape after ending sports career?
Sports have been a big part of your life and you should keep exercising. Follow these tips to help maintain an active lifestyle.
- Exercise with a friend or take group exercise classes: You are used to practicing in a team setting so try to recreate that environment.
- Don’t fall into a routine with your workouts: When playing a sport, you are constantly training the same muscles and they are often overtrained. Try incorporating new types of exercises into your daily routine to work new muscles.
- Make time to workout: Your workouts used to be planned for you, but now it’s on you to make time for them. Look at your weekly schedule and plan your workouts.
- Listen to your body: Now that you are no longer an athlete, you don’t have to workout like one. Rest when you need to and stop an exercise if it’s causing you pain. This can help prevent injuries.
- Warm up and cool down after exercise: Warming up and cooling down used to be mandatory when you were playing a sport, but it’s still an important piece to incorporate in your daily exercise routine. This is even more important as we age. Aging muscle groups benefit from a warm up and cool down period before and after exercise.
- Make working out fun: Try new workouts that you have never done before. The more fun the workout is, the more likely you are to do it.
- Create goals for yourself: Keep the competitiveness in your life by creating goals for yourself and rewarding yourself when you complete them.
Dr. Michael Thieken, an OrthoIndy sports medicine physician, knows that being realistic about the intensity of your workouts is important. “After any period of inactivity, it is important to slowly progress back to a regular exercise program,” said Dr. Thieken. “Overuse injuries are common when an individual attempts to resume more aggressive workouts without a realistic time frame.”
By following these tips, you can maintain a healthy lifestyle after your sports career ends. Transitioning out of sports can be tough, but focusing on both a nutritious diet and an exercise routine can help you reach your goals.
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