Is your athletic game weak? How to make it strong
If you’ve been having a difficult time working out, alone or when competing, you may feel like age is catching up with you.
“Beginning in our 30’s, our bodies start to become fatigued more easily,” Vital4Men says. “You lose muscle mass, mental sharpness, and libido (sex drive) begins to decline.”
However, hope is not lost. Here are some tips for getting out of your athletic slump by conditioning your body for peak performance.
Exercising may seem like an obvious suggestion for improving athletic performance, but it’s often overlooked. If the only time you work out is to compete in an occasional pickup basketball game, for instance, you’re not going to perform as well as someone who regularly exercises.
No matter what you do, whether running, cycling, skiing, or any other workout, it will help increase your overall strength and contribute to better athletic performance.
Exercising will work better if you keep at it, so find your motivation for days when you’d rather skip the workout. If winning pushes you, rope in a few friends to train for a marathon or meet for regular bouts at a boxing gym. If staying healthy so you can play with your kids motivates you, involve the family in group workouts.
From there, stay motivated by doing exercise you enjoy. Experiment by signing up for a water aerobics class, joining a community baseball team, or giving rock climbing a shot at an indoor gym. And don’t be afraid to continually try new sports, as mixing it up will help prevent you from quitting in boredom.
Repeat, repeat, repeat
The best way to form a habit is to, well, keep doing something.
“One of the most effective tools in an athlete’s training box is repetition,” according to Active. “By repeating certain training sets over time, triathletes can improve motor skills, develop intuitive understanding of their body, and more efficiently track their performance.”
Additionally, make sure you practice good form by, for example, adjusting how you weight lift or hold poses during yoga to avoid creating bad habits.
The best way to get the nutrients you need to perform well is to eat a healthy diet. If you want personalized help beyond the many resources available, hire a registered dietician, who will be educated and credentialed — nutritionists or other health coaches might not be.
You can also take a daily multivitamin because, just as testosterone deficiency affects your health, vitamin deficiency has long-term consequences. Keep in mind, though, that a vitamin can’t replace a healthy diet.
“Foods provide more than vitamins and minerals,” according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. “Many foods also have fiber and other substances that can provide health benefits.”
Check your testosterone levels
Low testosterone affects the health of multiple systems in your body. A weak athletic game is one example of those effects.
“Testosterone is the predominant male hormone and is responsible for the normal growth and development of the male sex organs, bone density, muscle mass, and is essential for health and well-being in men,” Vital4Men says.
In healthy males, testosterone levels between 350 and 1,000 nanograms per deciliter — a nanogram is one-billionth of a gram, and a deciliter is one-tenth of a liter — are considered normal. You can start by taking a testosterone level test and, if you have low testosterone, get it treated.
For more information about how testosterone affects your body and to schedule a free testosterone level test, visit Vital4Men.com.