The most important thing for an athlete is their health. A healthy athlete is one playing at its full potential. Becoming a professional athlete requires a lot of hard work and sacrifice for some of the things you love doing.
People that are physically active and don’t get enough sleep or exercise are more prone to injuries. Injuries are one of the most hated things in the professional NBA league just because it is a major setback in an athlete’s career.
Healthy habits are crucial if you want to build a professional career. Even if you are not professionally playing NBA, you can still use some of the habits from professional athletes in order to stay in shape and be healthier.
In today’s article, we will go through some of the basic physical and mental health habits of professional basketball players and learn more about treating our bodies the right way.
Getting Enough Sleep
Balancing your daily activities and sleeping is the first thing coaches try to teach young basketball players (read more about the youngest NBA players in history here).
For many young people, basketball is like a full-time job that doesn’t leave a lot of time for socializing and school.
Maintaining a good sleeping schedule is crucial for being more energetic and always give a 100% on the court. Sleep-deprived players or people are not as share and aware as they should be, and they are not playing to their full potential.
Physical and mental health is strongly related. Poor sleep can increase the risk of having poor health, and poor health can make it harder to sleep.
Proper Nutrition is Crucial
One of the most important things when it comes to professional athletes is nutrition. Food is the fuel that powers your body, and you need to pay attention to the type of food you eat. Creating a healthy eating habit involves many things and it is important to understand that there is no diet that works for everyone the same.
Professional NBA players have custom diets made by their nutrition team by measuring aspects of their body and the goal that they want to achieve.
Most NBA athletes go for a protein-rich diet which allows players to increase their metabolism, build muscle quicker, and achieve a lean body that can handle physical contact.
NBA stars have a strict meal schedule (without skipping breakfast) and it is the best way to stay healthy.
Rest and Recovery is Just as Important as the Training
Most people think that the more that they work out the better results they’ll have. But if we follow some of the workout routines from professional NBA players we can see that all of them have a day for resting and muscle recovery.
Let’s look at how LeBron James is recovering from hard workouts or post matches.
- Get from 7-10 hours of sleep
- Hydration is crucial which is why water is important for your rest day
- Eat lighter foods
- Heat, ice, and compression
- Quiet Time 30 minutes (mental relaxation is very important)
- Stretching (stretching helps performance and will relieve you from pain in your muscles)
- Foam rolling / Self-Myofascial Release
We live in a dynamic world where stress is common in our everyday activities. This can have a serious effect on our mental health, and the same thing goes for NBA athletes. Most professional players are dealing with a lot of stress from matches, from training, from fans, and much more, and you need a strong personality in order to handle all the things ahead of you.
Keyon Dooling was hospitalized and effectively ended his NBA career just because he was suffering from paranoid delusions and hallucinations.
He credits the mental health treatment for saving his life and he is now back in the NBA but with a different role. He is now the wellness conciliar in the NBA’s Mental Health and Wellness Program.
NBA professional athletes say that mental health is very important. It is important to know that your mental and physical health are connected.
You need to stay active, drink sensibly, and eat well if you want to improve your mental health. It is also good to talk about how you feel and socialize with your friends and family.