Anyone can become an athlete! | Daily News

Anyone can become an athlete!

It’s not how well you play; it’s how hard you try. Here are seven ways anyone can become an athlete-you and me included.

Find a sport you can be passionate about

Gym - going is a healthy habit, to be sure, but you won’t find many people devoting their lives to keeping up in step class. For real athletic potential, find a sport or activity you truly love and commit to getting better at it. As a bonus, doing something you enjoy will actually make you more successful because lower stress levels lead to better muscle recovery, according to Brendan Brazier, a former professional Ironman triathlete and author of Thrive Fitness.

“If you enjoy exercising, your stress level is lower than if you’re trying to do things you dislike all the time,” he says. Define yourself as a member of the community

What makes someone who runs a “runner?” It’s not the amount of miles they’ve logged-it’s the moment when they define themselves by what they do. The same goes for tennis players, figure skaters, rock climbers and yoga devotees: their sport is a part of their identity.

Make your sport a priority

Pro athletes make their sport a full-time job. That’s nice, but most of us can’t manage that on top of…well, our regular full-time jobs. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make your sport a priority in your life. Work dates with your sport into your calendar and treat them like you would any other important appointment-as a requirement, not an option.

Test yourself

Even if Olympic gold is out of reach, you can still set milestones in your training and record when you’ve reached them. Love to swim? Time yourself in a monthly 50-metre sprint and see how fast you can get. Prefer basketball? Set a target-say, number of baskets in a game, or perfecting your three-point shot-and see how quickly you can get there.


Professional athletes treat their bodies really, really well. That doesn’t just mean getting regular massages to loosen tight muscles (but go for it!)-its about knowing your body, understanding what your sport does to it, and making sure to strengthen and stretch the right muscles to keep yourself in balance. Consult a physiotherapist or coach about the stretches that are important for you to do regularly, or even sign up for a private yogasession to get a tailored routine.

The pros pay a lot of attention to their food intake to make sure they’re consuming optimal fuel before a workout and the best foods to help them recover after they’re done. You can do the same by making sure you’re eating nutrition-packed meals all day long and targeting your pre- and post-workout snacks to your body’s needs. Before a workout, aim for some easily digested carbohydrates, such as half a banana or a carb-heavy energy bar, suggests Brazier, who transformed his personal research on performance-oriented nutrition into Vega, a line of all-vegan nutritional supplements. When you’re done, make sure to eat something light but protein-rich within 45 minutes to speed recovery. “A fruit smoothie with some protein added is good,” he says.


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