As the New Year kicks off, it’s the perfect time to start thinking about your routine, positive changes and habits you can build into your life. Here are five tips to help your martial arts performance this year.
Fuel with food
Instead of going straight for the New Years resolution diet, consider how fueling yourself and your workouts with nutrient-dense food could positively impact your health. Simple goals like eating enough protein daily to support your workouts and lifestyle can result in increased muscle growth and performance.
Instead of focusing on what foods you can cut out, try focusing on eating lean protein sources, carbs to replenish glycogen stores, healthy fats and a variety of fruits and vegetables to your diet to ensure you’re not only eating enough, but also getting the micronutrients and vitamins you need to support your best self.
Take recovery days regularly
While the ‘no days off’ mantra is a popular one for exercise, recovery and days off of training are vital to improving your performance through recovery. Without recovery days, your muscles never get a chance to repair themselves and you risk overtraining, which can result in injury and decreased performance.
Overtraining can also impact your sleep, which can negatively impact your performance on the mats as well. A rest day doesn’t have to mean laying around and doing nothing; go for a walk, take the time to deep clean your home, stretch and mobilize. Each of those tips are great ways to get daily movement in, without compromising your recovery. Aim for 1 to 2 recovery days per week.
Training in martial arts means we move our bodies A LOT. And with that comes the increased risk of injuries from overuse or overtraining. Stretching and mobilizations are an essential part of recovery and injury prevention, so make it a regular thing in your routine this year.
Set aside 1 to 2 days a week to work on mobilizing and stretching. Need some tips for this? We’ve got you covered. Check out our stretching and mobilization routine: Stretching for Recovery, Performance and Injury Prevention
Get more sleep
Sleep is one of the best tools in our arsenal for recovery. Your body repairs muscles during sleep, and increased sleep can improve your performance in the gym and daily life. According to the Sports Institute, insufficient sleep can negatively impact both your endurance, cognitive and precision abilities in athletes.
Beyond just physical performance, decreased sleep can also negatively impact your mental health. Aim for 8 – 10 hours of sleep per night for maximum recovery.
Consistency is key
Consistency is the best way to progress in the gym and in your martial arts performance. But it’s more than just consistently showing up at the gym.
Be consistent in your daily performance habits: strive to consistently eat enough to fuel your workouts, strive to regularly stretch and mobilize and always ensure you are getting consistent sleep and recovery days.