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Self-Care for Busy Sports Professionals: 5 Tips to Increase Efficiency

Whether we choose to call ourselves entrepreneurs or self-employed sports professionals, we all need to maximize our efficiency, increase our daily energy, and care for ourselves on several levels. The 5 tips below will propel you forward toward a healthier vocational life.

1. Think Nutritional Plan, NOT Diet

A diet is associated with deprivation. A nutritional plan is choosing the right foods so your body and mind can operate at maximum efficiency. As a sports professional, you have freedom to plan your weekly meals much in the same way you started your own business. You didn’t go into business haphazardly; you proactively planned, you purchased the right equipment, and you had a vision of what you wanted your business to become.

Here are some simple changes to proactively plan your nutritional program:

  • Choose fresh produce and food products.
  • Combine a portion of protein and carbs with each meal. Eat carb portions the size of your fist and protein portions the size of your palm
  • Graze throughout the day, eating 5-6 smaller meals instead of 3 big ones.
  • Water. Water. Water.

Benefits – *Feel better overall

*A higher metabolism will cause you to burn calories more efficiently

*Your energy and strength will be steadier during the day

2.  Exercise/Stretch the EZ Way

Being a solo sports professional means you have the freedom to go to the gym when you want to. It also means you can creatively create your own exercise program without leaving your home. Helpful websites to help you develop your unique program design are: www.stretching.name and www.exercise.about.com.

Benefits – Exercise:        *Reduces body weight and body fat %

*Builds healthy muscles, bones, and joints

*Improves psychological well-being

Stretching:   *Increases flexibility

*Improves range of motion for joints

*Promotes better posture and relieves stress

3.  Sleep – Yes, you need it!

As a solo sports professional, you are the Janitor, the CEO, the Administrative help, and Accounting dept. Proper project planning will allow you to pace yourself with enough time to successfully complete your projects. Consider outsourcing the less desirable or time-sucking activities.

Benefits – *Rejuvenation of mind and body

*Gives internal organs a chance to detoxify and cleanse themselves

*Restores the body’s natural energy and rhythm

*Promotes clarity of mind and thought

4.  Self-Time – turn “them” off – emails, cell phone, Blackberries, t.v., radio

You’re a devoted, dedicated sports professional who still needs re-grouping time. Tell the key people in your life of your decision to turn off your gadgets for a certain time each week.

If you’re a single parent, it may be possible to trade time with another self-employed parent. Have a set time one day a week to remove yourself from the cyber-world and all things electronic, even for an hour. Take a walk, go for a swim, or cook something if that is your happy place. Take time to do something just for you.

Benefits – *Renewed energy

*Refreshed mind

*Gives your ears and eyes a rest

*Greater sense of autonomy and power

5.  Personal/Spiritual Meditation – it’s worth the time to stay balanced

Whatever your religion or belief system (everyone has one), it’s important to spend time cultivating it. Take a few minutes every day for personal reflection or spiritual meditation – learn to develop a quiet mind. Feel stress leave your body. Read the Bible or other spiritual meditative book to gather some wisdom.

Meditation encourages us to have a positive view of the world and helps us release anxiety and stress. Your entrepreneurial endeavors will reach a higher level because of the insights you gain during your personal meditation time.

Benefits – *Inner peace

*Improved health and overall sense of well-being

*Inner discovery

*Develop concentration & focus

To be your best entrepreneurial self, put these five simple tips into action to fuel yourself, stretch yourself, rest yourself, quiet yourself, and renew yourself. My guess is you will find your creativity increase, your productivity will gain speed, and your soul of success will soar.

Photo by h.koppdelaney

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