5 ESSENTIAL STRATEGIES YOU NEED TO IMPLEMENT TO REJUVENATE YOURSELF THIS HOCKEY SEASON

Want to know how to rejuvenate your body during the hockey season so that you can reach peak performance? Listen up! Because I’m providing the 5 essential strategies you must do to rejuvenate yourself this hockey season!
During the winter, which is also the peak of hockey season, a lot of energy is needed for a high performance. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to just hit pause and rejuvenate your body during these demanding times? For some, that might mean a vacation or simply just a space in your day to relax. Due to hockey player’s demanding schedules, it can become very challenging to find time to rejuvenate.  

What I wish I had known as a hockey player

I wish I would have done a better job rejuvenating my body as an athlete. When I played Division 1 NCAA hockey, I would get to go home for a few weeks over the holidays. I would be in desperate need to rejuvenate after a demanding first semester, but I didn’t always know how to. I like to think my good nutrition helped me out here. One year during the holiday break, my mother gave me a pedicure to help with my calluses I had built up. First practice back after the holiday break, I got an awful blister because the calluses I had built up to protect me were gone. Safe to say, a pedicure wasn’t a good rejuvenation plan over the holidays…

If you are an athlete or have athletes playing sports during the winter, I want to offer you the following 5 strategies to rejuvenate during the holiday break that I wish I had known!
STRATEGY# 1

Get mental clarity by listening to your thoughts

As an athlete with a busy schedule, you may not take time to listen to your thoughts. To really peak for performance, your mind needs moments of clarity. I want you to use those time periods when you have a quiet space to listen to what you are thinking about. Do your thoughts create feelings of anxiety? stress? negativity? relaxation? Explore those thoughts so that you can bring mental clarity to your day. Find a one minute time period each day, sit quietly and listen to your thoughts to understand where you are.

STRATEGY # 2

Get enough sleep

Most athletes are not getting the sleep they require to fully rejuvenate. Children aged 5-11 need 9-11 hours of sleep per night, and children aged 14-17 need 8-10 hours of sleep per night. Are you getting these hours? Start thinking about your pre-sleep routine to help you get your best sleep. What is your pre-sleep routine? Do you watch TV until you fall asleep? Do you meditate? Before you fall asleep is a great opportunity in your day to relax your body, stretch or try restorative yoga to help you get that recommended amount of rest!

 

STRATEGY # 3

Eat for performance

Hydration is the first step to a high performance diet. At Eat This For Performance, we encourage you to be thinking about hydration every 2 hours. While rejuvenating, you will likely need less water than during play. Carry a water bottle with you and make sure you hydrate every 2 hours. The second step to performance eating during rejuvenation is to eat superfoods! When you are rejuvenating, you are not as active and therefore do not need to focus on eating Energizers. The superfoods give you superpowers from the vitamins/minerals in them that your body needs to really rejuvenate. During the rejuvenation period, everyday you should consume an Immunity Enforcing Superfood (e.g. zucchini, onion, cauliflower), a Breath Easy Superfood (e.g. celery, arugula), and a Bone Strengthening Superfood (e.g. spinach, almond milk). In addition, you should eat Energizers at 3 moments in day, Superfoods at 3 moments, and Muscle Builders at 4 moments. Don’t have our Eat for Performance Food List yet? You can get it here: www.et4p.com 

STRATEGY # 4

Visualize your most superpowered rejuvenated self

 A strategy that athletes often use is visualization during their sport. A hockey player may visualize scoring a goal, or stopping a puck. You can visualize your rejuvenation too! What does your best bone structure and muscle structure look like? What are your energy levels like? What do you feel like? This will be different for every hockey player. During your rejuvenation, visualize your most rejuvenated superpowered self!

STRATEGY # 5

Consume gelatin to build collagen and help make tendons, bones and muscles stronger

During a rejuvenation period such as the off-season or over the holidays, you often have more time away from your sport. Functional training is a strategy you can use to train your body for your sport and increase the function of your bones, muscles and tendons. Tendons attach your muscles and bones, and around tendons is the extracellular matrix. Big word, right? In the extracellular matrix, there is something called collagen which can reinforce and strengthen the area around the tendon. For athletes who are just practicing their sport, they might get stiff tendons putting them at a risk of injury. We don’t want stiff tendons and that is why functional training is so important. Luckily, you can consume collagen through your diet before functional training to help build collagen and make ligaments, bones and tendons stronger, and reduce your risk of injury.

PRO TIP: An easy way to get collagen in your diet is to consume gelatin, often found in Jell-O, an hour before training. It’s easy and only requires two ingredients: Gelatin and Vitamin C rich juice. I wish I had done this as an athlete and benefited from it!

Recipe

RECIPE:

-80g (½ cup) of gelatin powder

-1½ Cup vitamin C enriched juice

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Bring 1½ cup of Vitamin C enriched juice to a boil
  2. Add the juice to the gelatin and whisk until dissolved
  3. Pour gelatin mixture into molds or an 8” square pan
  4. Place in the fridge to set
  5. Cut into 8-10 pieces

As you peak in rejuvenation, you are getting ready to get back to play! However, you can be doing other types of play as you rejuvenate to keep the fun going. Find a way to have fun outside of your sport. Then you will come back even more ready to be a champion!   As you head into this high demand period in the hockey season and into the holidays, use these strategies to make sure you come back more prepared than ever to take on the second half of the hockey season!

How do you rejuvenate? Let us know in the comments!

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