June is Men’s Health Month! Men’s health is a priority that often is overlooked, especially in sports. So to acknowledge and celebrate this month, we want to bring attention to men's health to empower men to push their limits, enhance athletic skill, and achieve their goals.
While most athletic tips can be applied to both genders, it is important to recognize the unique physiological and psychological differences between men and women. A tailored approach should be used to guide men to their optimal athletic potential.
Here are some tips to improve men’s athletic performance:
- Vary endurance and strength training
It is not uncommon for men to have a preference between endurance and strength training. While this is fine, it is important to include both into your routine. Strength training helps build muscle, enhance bone density, and boost hormone production. Endurance training works to improve cardiovascular health, aerobic capacity, and stamina. A balance of endurance and strength training will help optimize your athletic performance, as each training focuses on different aspects of men’s health.
- Optimize good nutrition
It’s true when they say “you are what you eat”. Maintaining good nutrition is extremely important in improving athletic performance. Certain foods are necessary to obtain the proper nutrients, vitamins, and calories to support muscle growth and cardiovascular health. In addition to eating the right foods, it is also crucial to avoid others, like excess fat, sugar, and salt, to avoid health complications that could impede on your athletics.
- Stay hydrated
Hydration is arguably one of the most important aspects of working out. Dehydration will cause depletion of electrolytes and high blood pressure associated with headaches, dizziness, and exhaustion. Drink water before, during and after a workout to ensure peak health and performance.
- Don’t ignore recovery
Ignoring recovery and overtraining can lead to fatigue, decreased performance, and increased risk of injury. Let your body rest, recover and adjust to your workouts. Stretch, roll, and massage your muscles to avoid stiffness and prevent injury.
- Keep a good mindset
While athletic performance is based a lot on your physical health, it would be nothing without your mental health. Utilizing mental conditioning techniques such as performance visualization, positive self-talk, and goal-setting will help. A good mindset will help improve your motivation, focus, determination, and cognitive flexibility for peak athletic performance.
Following these performance tips designed for men will help improve athletic potential, boost performance, and prevent injuries. Hinsdale Orthopedics at Munster offer expert orthopedic care in sports medicine for athletes recovering from sports injuries.
Author: Dr. Ronak Patel is a fellowship trained orthopaedic surgeon specializing in all sports medicine injuries for adolescents and adults, including knee, shoulder and elbow. Dr. Patel provides comprehensive care for the musculoskeletal system treating acute injuries in Munster, Indiana.