Ten simple ways to get healthy and stay healthy during the off-season
1. Drink plenty of water. Water accounts for about 70% of the mass in each individual cell in our bodies. The body uses water to aid in digestion, break down and absorb nutrients, carry oxygen, fight off illnesses, speed up recovery and so much more. Always keep a bottle of water with you throughout the day and monitor how much you’re refilling it. Try to at least ½ gallon of water per day. If you’re exercising or sweating a lot, drink at least 1 gallon per day.
2. Get up early. The early bird gets the worm. This saying is so true. Getting up early will give you a jump start to your day and will leave less opportunity for excuses later on in the day.
3. Workout in the morning. Like I said above, getting it done earlier in the day will leave significantly less opportunity for excuses later on. Get up before the hustle and bustle of everyday life takes over. Set aside time in the morning to get your exercise done. This way you will be able to participate in any activity you want to throughout the day without missing your workout.
4. Focus on your mental health. Make it a point to work on your mental strength this summer. Often times, our mental state is put aside and the focus is purely on physical training. The plain and simple truth is that our mental health is just as important as our physical health. If you ask any professional athlete, they will tell you the same thing. A few of my favorite ways to work on strengthening my mind are through meditation and reading. Try downloading the free app: Stop, Breathe, Think. A book that I highly recommend for any athlete is Mind Gym by Gary Mack and David Casstevens.
5. Eat seasonally. Summer is a great time to work on eating seasonally. There are so many delicious fruits and vegetables that are in season during the summer. Not only are these foods healthy, but when you buy local you are also supporting the local economy and benefiting the environment! (Pro tip: seasonal fruits and veggies are typically cheaper when they are in season so you can try several new ones without breaking the bank!)
6. Get outside. Get outside and enjoy all that nature has to offer. Take a walk through the woods or visit the local park. Being outside is beneficial for the physical, spiritual and the mental being. I recommend getting a state park pass and visiting the state parks in your area. It’s pretty likely that there are several hiking opportunities in your area.
7. Seize the day. A lot of students (and adults) have the summers off. This is the perfect opportunity to seize the day and improve on your well-being. It should always be your goal to come back to your team at the end of the off-season and be unrecognizable because you got that much better.
8. Relax. There is a certain balance that is needed between working hard and relaxing. The body cannot and will not reach it’s full potential unless there is adequate recovery time. Take time to recover, both physically and mentally.
9. Pack a lunch. During the summer, it’s easy to get caught up in the rush of being constantly on the move. Avoid eating fast food by packing healthy snacks and bringing them along with you. Some of my favorite snacks to bring along are almonds, a Cliff bar, fresh fruit and vegetable sticks. Fast food can leave you feeling groggy, weighed down and uncomfortable. They’re often packed with calories and carbohydrates while they lack protein and nutrients. Bring a lunch along with you and you’ll save money and feel so much better.
10. Set aside Sundays. Set aside some time on Sundays to prepare food for the week. Use the day to get groceries and prepare any meals for the week. After all, failing to prepare is preparing to fail. At the very least, make some hard boiled eggs, slice up some veggies or put some frozen fruit in individual bags (for a grab and go breakfast smoothie).
Breanna Simon-Seibel has played hockey since age 4. Breanna played in the New Richmond, WI youth hockey association until age 13. Prior to eighth grade, she transferred schools and attended Shattuck St. Mary’s in Faribault, MN where she played 5 years of hockey including winning a U19 National Championship with her team in 2011.
After graduating from Shattuck in 2011, she played collegiate hockey for Sacred Heart University and Hamline University. Breanna currently coaches Team Wisconsin U19 girls, Stillwater (MN) HS team, and is a coach developer for USA Hockey. Breanna has an undergraduate degree in Biology and a master’s degree in Health and Wellness Management. She is currently working on a second master's degree in Nursing.
She is a published author with the book "Lion Mind" which is sold currently on Amazon and can be purchased HERE.