“See ya later, 2017! New year, new me! I’m actually going to make a commitment to my health and fitness this year.”
Sound familiar? Ever said that to yourself before?
New Year’s brings about all sorts of good intentions and resolutions to “get in shape,” but we often go about accomplishing our health goals in the wrong way. Everyone is looking for the latest and greatest tips, tricks, techniques and secrets to get the results they’re looking for. The natural place to look for those “answers” is in pro sports.
Just like the average Joe, our team, the Bakersfield Condors, is always looking for the latest technology, training methods, equipment, etc. The difference is that we’re looking for a 1 to 2 percent improvement in performance, whereas the average Joe probably just wants to look good naked. Even with all of the “sexy” exercises and equipment that we’re fortunate enough to have, our primary focus is making sure that our players are healthy, mobile and living an active lifestyle away from the rink.
Before we start worrying about how many reps and sets we want a player to do in any given exercise we worry about basic health first. Are they getting enough sleep? Are they drinking enough water? Are they getting enough calories to fuel themselves to perform? Are they staying on top of their mobility? Are they finding healthy ways to decompress from the stresses of pro hockey? Having strong legs doesn’t mean anything if a player isn’t healthy or fit to deal with the rigors of life, let alone the physical stress of the game.
Here are the deep, dark “secrets” to getting real, long-lasting results:
• Get enough sleep. Seven to nine hours will suffice for most people.
• Drink 2 liters of water (8 cups) each day and more than that if you’re active. Quit drinking soda. And by the way, you don’t need Gatorade if you’re not exercising.
• Eat like an adult. Mac and cheese is for kids, not adults. Your meals should consist of:
• 1 palm-sized portion of protein
• 1 fist-sized portion of vegetables
• 1 cupped palm of carbs
• 1 thumb-sized portion of healthy fats
(Double these amounts if you’re male.)
• Move more! Don’t be a desk jockey.
• Stand more and sit less. Sitting is the new smoking.
• Learn to meditate. You’ll be a better person for it.
• Find some sort of physical activity that you enjoy doing and do it as often as you can.
Are you doing all of those things?
Well let’s start there before going paleo/keto and crushing yourself into submission at the local gym.
You wouldn’t teach kindergartener quantum physics, would you? Master the basics of health and wellness and you’ll be well on your way to getting the results you’re looking for. ￼
Patrick Love, a native of Plano, Texas, is in his third season as the strength and conditioning coach of the Bakersfield Condors and has been with the Edmonton Oilers organization for the past four seasons. He holds a master’s degree in wellness management – exercise science from the University of Central Oklahoma where he was also a member of the club hockey team and later served as a coach. He previously worked in the AHL with the Oklahoma City Barons.
The views expressed in this column are his own.