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Train your mind and body like a winter athlete


January 19, 2022 Posted in: Blogs , English

 

Professional winter athletes spend a lot of time working on their specific sport. However, to be the best athlete and team member, they train their minds and entire bodies with a variety of exercises. When hockey players are out on the ice and preparing to make the game-winning goal, they’re grateful for the time spent working on mental toughness and overall conditioning. Read on for tips on how you can train like a well-rounded elite athlete.

Getting in the zone with mental toughness training

Elite athletes don’t just spend time perfecting their skills; they focus on their minds and mental toughness as well. Compassion is an essential part of mental toughness or mindfulness training. When you introduce gratitude, loving-kindness, and compassion into your practice, you begin to live more in the present moment. Becoming too focused on what it takes to win could lead to losing sight of what is happening around you and affect you or your team.

Mindfulness practices can start as simple as you need them. Begin with a deep breathing exercise: slow breaths in, slow breaths out, and keep your mind focused on the present. 

Work your way up to more intricate practices like loving-kindness meditation, low-intensity bedtime yoga, or aerobic yoga flows. Even the simplest flows that get your mind in the zone can improve your athletic performance and day-to-day life.

Benefits of mental toughness and mindfulness for elite athletes

When you introduce mindfulness into one area of your life, it begins to flow into others. Your mind and body are connected and each can impact the quality of the other. Benefits of mindfulness for athletes include:

  • Better eating habits. Bringing the process of mindfulness into your life not only helps you to calm your mind before a workout but can also enable you to think about what you’re eating. Mindful eating has steered people away from processed foods to healthier options.
  • Improved sleep quality. Research has shown that people who practice conscious thinking perceive themselves to have better control over their mood, emotions, and behavior throughout the day. This can lead to a more relaxed nighttime and better sleep.
  • Sharpened focus. The act of mindfulness involves drawing your attention in to be fully aware of what is presently happening around you. Regularly practicing mindful meditation will help to improve your day-to-day focus.
  • A decrease in stress. For athletes, mindfulness and mental toughness help them cope with the stressors of the game and everyday life. When you feel overwhelming pressure, you can return to a focused state of mindfulness to push the negative feelings aside.
  • Keeps you safe. Mindfulness centers on attention and awareness. Safety is essential when working in a team or doing activities like cycling or running close to others.

What does cross-training mean, and what are the benefits?

Cross-training means practicing more than one skill or action to be more well-rounded. Professional athletes mix up the workouts they perform, focusing on a different part of the body on different days. One day might be for leg exercises, while the next could be for arms, and the following focusing on cardio. Cross-training is especially important for athletes who participate in winter sports who might have to modify their training in the summer.

Benefits of cross-training include:

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