Transitioning to a post-sports career is an endeavor that touches every facet of an athlete’s routine, including exercise. From recalibrating your expectations to pointers for healthy eating, here’s how former athletes can transition from high performance to fitness exercise.
Recalibrate Your Intensity Levels
Not having to train for competition means that you will have to change your approach to workouts. The level of intensity required for high-performance sports may not be appropriate for your day-to-day fitness routine, so you’ll need to recalibrate your expectations.
For example, lifting weights with the frequency and intensity that competition requires works for an athlete, but it may cause orthopedic issues if you were to embrace that type of routine long-term.
Find New Motivators
As you know, any type of physical activity has a mental side as well. Without the incentive of high competition, you may find it difficult to find the motivation to work out regularly. Navigate this psychological pitfall by finding new motivators. For example:
- Improving your health
- Healthy competition with yourself
- Friendly competition with someone else (a buddy system)
- Managing stress
Pay Attention to Nutrition
Nutrition is a complementary aspect of fitness you shouldn’t overlook as you transition to a post-competition routine. You will be burning less calories on a day-to-day basis, so you may want to work with a nutritionist to discuss some adjustments to your diet.
These are some other quick tips you should keep in mind:
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
- If you don’t know how, learn to cook your own healthy meals
- Don’t skip meals
- Moderate your consumption of alcohol
Give yourself time and space to adapt to your post-sports career, and know that statistics are on your side. In fact, a 2016 Gallup poll revealed that former student-athletes were more likely than other college graduates to be thriving in four out of five well-being categories, including physical and social well-being.
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