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Healthy habits for future footy stars - Scott Prince guest blog

Wednesday 11 October 2017

Scott Prince sits in front of a group of children talking about exercise.>
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Exercise is important, whether you're planning to rise to the top of your footy team or just want to stay fit and healthy. DAE Photo / Shutterstock.com

Whether your dream is to represent a national footy team or help your local or school club win the grand final, healthy habits can help you achieve your goals.

Even if you don’t play footy, the below tips will help you do your best at your chosen sport and feel happier and healthier.

Fuel the day

Before you lace up your boots or pull on your training kit, provide your body with the perfect start to the day by making a healthy brekky the very first step in your training routine.

Fresh fruit, a good, healthy cereal or an egg on a piece of multigrain toast is a great way to start your day. This will make sure you have the energy and fuel you need to work on your skills and be ready for the weekend’s big game.

Not only does a good breakfast give you more energy for the day ahead, it can also kick start your metabolism and increase your concentration levels.

With breakfast sorted, it’s important to set healthy eating habits for the rest of the day. Now, no-one loves a snack more than I do, but I am very careful to make sure that my junk food type snacks are a treat and not my “go to” food choice. Get some ideas for healthy snack recipes from Healthier. Happier.

Eating well is not only important for your sporting efforts, but for your health and continued development. A balanced diet means eating a variety of food groups, and should include five vegetables and at least two pieces of fruit each day.

If you are really looking to improve your diet, stay away from fast food during the week and cut down on sugary drinks.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

Your second important routine should be hydration, which is absolutely crucial to training and on field success. I carry a water container with me everywhere I go and make sure that I drink at least two litres of water every day.  Dehydration doesn’t only affect your performance, it can be really dangerous for your overall health.

Keep yourself hydrated by drinking before you become really thirsty, have a dry mouth or a head ache. These are signs you are already suffering from dehydration. Drinking the right amount of water regularly will also reduce the risk of soft tissue injuries and allow you to perform at your best for longer.

Stretch it out

The next important step is to stretch. Now, when I say stretch I don’t mean for two minutes before you train or play, although that’s important as well. Make time two or three times a week to work on your flexibility with regular stretching. Yoga or Pilates are exercises which can help with flexibility. Stretching will assist your body to recover from training and games and minimise your risk of injuries.

An A for effort

If you really want to be the best at your sport, achieving this goal won’t come without effort.

Take some time at the end of your training session to do some extra work: it may be a passing drill, kicking practice or even a few sets on the tackle pads. Make sure you take your time and work on improving your technique. Work on the advice your coaches have passed on after matches or practice sessions.

But remember: the most important thing is to have fun and be healthy!

Last updated: 18 October 2017