By Lisa Abramson, Ochsner
The Winter Olympics are streaming soon on NBC and other NBC outlets. If you're getting fired up for the competition, maybe it's time for you to train like an Olympian, and not just watch from the sideline. Why not? The winter days are long, and the inspiration is right in front of you!
Olympians train smart, long, and intensively for two to four years. Maybe you want a shorter time goal, but you can nonetheless train like an Olympian. Here are some useful guidelines to get you started. Just remember, your training should include a goal that makes it fun. Choose a sport that you like a lot because you'll be spending some time training like you mean it!
Keep focused on your goal
If your goal is to run a 5K (3.1 mile) race, decide what your goal is. Is to finish, or is it to hit a certain finish time? Does your goal include survival or excelling?
Be specific in training
Read up on training strategies. Train for the distance. Build up to that 5K distance gradually and do some speed work with it. Train at the time of day the race will take place. Create a schedule for training days. Find a partner to train with.
Make sure you're fueling for top performance
It's New Orleans, so electrolytes and water are a necessary part of the formula even in winter/spring. So is eating for optimal health. Limit your fat intake, increase your consumption of lean protein and eat lots of fruits and vegetables. If you think about food as fuel, you won't under eat or over eat. Cut out the junk food, empty carbs and sugars.
Think about your form
Good posture is important, and so is how you perform the exercises you do. If you're considering that 5K, have proper body positioning with shoulders back. Concentrate on breathing from your diaphragm, and find a comfortable stride with regular turnover.
Forget that weekend warrior stance but rest and recover well to do it again. Sleep 7-8 hours a night, limit alcohol intake, and remember YOU'RE AN OLYMPIAN.
So, if you want to feel as though you're in step with the Olympians and can't travel to China to be there, you can implement an Olympic training program of your own. Just pick your sport, find your focus, be specific in your training, fuel for peak performance, keep an eye on your form, and train regularly with rest and recovery in between workouts.
Obviously, the best motivation every Monday is a Saints win on Sunday but the NFL season only lasts so long. Motivation Monday will be a year-round feature on NewOrleansSaints.com as the Saints and Ochsner recognize we all have been through a lot the past two years and we want to do our part to improve the health and wellness of our Saints family. If you have any ideas or questions for our experts we want to hear them. You can email us atSaintsLiveWell@saints.nfl.com.