When it comes to becoming an elite athlete, there are differing opinions on what it takes to win gold. However, emotional intelligence – a set of emotional and social skills that influence the way people perceive and express themselves, develop and maintain social relationships, cope with challenges and use emotional information in an effective and meaningful way – shows that athletes often score high in self-regard, self-actualization and flexibility.
3 Keys to Becoming an Elite Athlete
(Family Features) When it comes to becoming an elite athlete, there are differing opinions on what it takes to win gold.
Sports analysts and commentators often reference sprint times, body weight, height or age as differentiating factors, but Dr. Steven Stein, CEO of Multi-Health Systems and emotional intelligence expert, has a different idea.
Emotional intelligence is a set of emotional and social skills that influence the way people perceive and express themselves, develop and maintain social relationships, cope with challenges and use emotional information in an effective and meaningful way.
Using The Emotional Quotient Inventory 2.0 model to test emotional intelligence, Multi-Health Systems found athletes around the world often score high in self-regard: the ability to know their strengths and weaknesses; self-actualization: doing what they love and continually trying to improve; and flexibility: their ability to learn, change and take direction.
“Confidence, as part of self-regard, can be a key differentiator among medal winners,” Stein said. “At the highest level of many sports you have a number of athletes with near-equal skills and talent. Often, having the right mental toughness can make that millisecond or single point difference among judges.”
“Self-actualization allows an athlete to continue to learn and improve, as many athletes start out with a vision that helps define their passion,” Stein said. “For example, you frequently hear stories of athletes who come from challenging childhoods – deaths of parents, early injuries or difficulties with school – who commit fully to their sports, find success and go on to become role models for others in both athletics and overcoming adversity.”
“Sometimes, high-level draft picks in various sports who have difficulty taking instruction don’t make it as professional players,” Stein said. “Great athletes are often great learners, and when athletes think they already know what’s best or don’t listen to coaching, it can derail their performance.”
Learn more about emotional intelligence and the role the mental side plays in becoming an elite athlete at mhs.com .
Photo courtesy of Getty ImagesSOURCE:
(BPT) - Setting intentions is a powerful thing. Then when you have that shiny new gym membership in hand, you feel like nothing stands between you and your goals to get in shape once and for all.
Trouble is, lack of motivation, unpreparedness and busy schedules have a way of interfering with our plans. If you find yourself struggling to stick to your goals, you’re in good company. A whopping 67 percent of people surveyed by Statistic Brain in 2017 said they have gym memberships they never use.
Even after a great start, you may find yourself struggling to find motivation to stay on track. Try one of these tips to make it easier to make your fitness regimen stick and most importantly — feel good while getting fit!
Get a workout buddy: If getting out of bed or off the couch is your biggest challenge, it’s time to use the phone-a-friend solution for some motivation. Find someone you like who’s at a similar fitness level and make plans to meet up for a workout. Psychologically, you’ll be much more likely to show up for the class, the weight session or the morning run when you know someone’s waiting for you. Plus, working out will be a breeze with your buddy!
Streamline your routine: Don’t let your fear of sweat keep you from getting fit. With a few tricks, you can get back to glam in minutes, even when you lack time to shower. First, make smart use of the tools they have on hand at the gym. Grab some extra towels and pound out that treadmill run with the high-powered fan on full blast. In the locker room, hand dryers (and a dab of dry shampoo) are great for getting your tresses looking great again. Cleansing cloths at the ready can also be a lifesaver. Summer’s Eve Cleansing Cloths let you freshen up on the go and are balanced to a woman’s natural pH, so you’ll always leave the gym feeling fresh and ready to take on the world.
Inspire your ears: Let’s face facts: Workouts get tedious. If the thought of sprinting and lifting your way through the next circuit bores you to tears, try uploading your playlist with fast-paced music that gets your heart racing. Don’t worry what others think — this is for your ears only! If it makes you feel good, you’ll be more likely to experience a positive workout.
Be ready for action: As soon as you’re home from your session, re-pack your gym bag as soon as possible so you’ll never waste a moment hunting around the house for your workout gear, such as sneakers, earbuds and products that help you ease back into your day. Stash essentials like Summer’s Eve Cleansing Wash in your bag as well for days that you can fit in a quick shower after your workout. It not only gently cleanses and freshens your skin after a grueling workout, it removes odor-causing bacteria, so you’ll feel fantastic, inside and out.
Update your attire: Ever notice how easy it is to get out of bed when you know you have a new outfit to wear to work? Feeling good about how you look can put a spring in your step and motivate you to get up and out the door. When you notice that your fitness routine is lagging, maybe it’s time to spruce up your workout attire. Bonus: If you’ve lost a few pounds, you'll get an extra lift from that ego boost!
(BPT) - Whether you're an athlete looking for an extra competitive edge or would just like to increase the effectiveness of your daily workout, you have most likely considered adding nutritional supplements to your fitness routine. Diet, exercise and everyday lifestyle are all factors that can help determine the right supplements for you.
“It’s not uncommon for people who’ve never tried nutritional supplements to have some misconceptions about them,” says Don Saladino, a fitness and nutrition expert who trains celebrities and is a brand advocate for Garden of Life(R) SPORT. “People may think supplementation is only for die-hard athletes, but every human being is an athlete. We do things each day like move, carry items and change direction. Carrying a baby, hauling groceries or running across the street — these are the exact same patterns an athlete needs to perform, which is why it’s important to learn about all the options available and how they can help.”
As you’re considering nutritional supplements, keep these important points in mind:
* Power up with protein — Adding a protein-rich sports supplement to your diet provides many benefits. Protein fuels workouts, aids in muscle recovery after exercise and extends energy throughout the day. Supplements can provide needed nutrients that are difficult to get through diet alone. Adding protein powder into a smoothie or snacking on a protein bar can help incorporate necessary nutrients like antioxidants into your daily diet.
* Match your supplement to your objective — An exercise regimen can greatly benefit from a system of supplementation. Various nutrient-rich supplements are designed to be taken before you exercise, and others following exercise. For example, pre-workout supplements such as Garden of Life SPORT ENERGY + Focus incorporate ingredients intended to improve focus, such as organic coffeeberry, and optimize energy production, such as B12. Post-exercise supplements such as SPORT Organic Plant-Based Recovery can help your body recover faster from the rigors of vigorous exercise.
* Pick your best protein — Protein is a key component of sports nutrition, since it helps build muscle mass and supports muscle recovery post-workout. When a supplement contains all nine of the essential amino acids that the body can’t produce on its own, it contains “complete proteins.” You can get these essential amino acids from different protein sources, such as plant-based protein or whey protein. Plant-based proteins are great for people following a vegetarian or vegan diet, and they are especially effective at enhancing post-workout recovery. Whey protein is designed to refuel and repair muscles and can help maximize muscle growth when supplementing with regular exercise.
* Keep it clean — It’s important to be aware of what’s in your supplement. Just as you choose organic foods and beverages for their ingredient transparency, you wouldn’t want a nutritional supplement that’s made up of chemicals. Look for a truly clean sports nutrition system that’s designated with the Certified USDA Organic and Non-GMO Project Verified seals, as well as by Informed-Choice for Sport and NSF(R) Certified For Sport.
“Working out is good for you — whether you choose to supplement or not. But the right nutritional supplement can help maximize the benefits of your exercise regimen and improve how you feel during everyday life activities,” Saladino says.
Nutritional supplements may be the fuel your body needs to reach the next level of performance, whether it's putting that extra weight into your workout or lifting an extra child at home.
To learn more about clean sport supplements, visit www.gardenoflife.com/sport.
Keeping a fitness routine while traveling can be tough, but it all starts with a coordinated effort to pack all the necessary gear, such as running shoes, headphones and chargers for all your devices.
Staying Focused On Fitness
Keeping a fitness routine while traveling can be tough, but it all starts with a coordinated effort to pack all the necessary gear, such as running shoes, headphones and chargers for all your devices. Don’t leave out DAILIES TOTAL1 ® contact lenses, which fitness entrepreneur Cassey Ho recommends so you can see the beauty around you while out for a run. The all-day comfort the lenses provide allows you to concentrate on your workout, not your eyes.
For more fitness tips while traveling, visit dailiestotal1.com.SOURCE:
Most people recognize the importance of a healthy lifestyle when it comes to physical and emotional well-being, but you may not realize that some health-related activities can pose a safety risk if you don’t take proper precautions. Making safe habits, such as these, part of your healthy lifestyle can help ensure you’re able to enjoy the results of your efforts.
Health and Safety Go Hand-in-Hand
(Family Features) Most people recognize the importance of a healthy lifestyle when it comes to physical and emotional well-being, but you may not realize that some health-related activities can pose a safety risk if you don’t take proper precautions. Making safe habits part of your healthy lifestyle can help ensure you’re able to enjoy the results of your efforts.
Warm up your workout. Exercise and physical activity are essential to a healthy lifestyle, but failing to approach your workouts with the proper warmup and know-how can really backfire. According to the experts at WebMD, a warmup is important because it gets blood circulating and eases muscles into more vigorous activity, getting them loose, warm and ready for the challenge.
Know that technique matters. Another potential safety pitfall when it comes to working out is improperly using weight machines or employing improper technique for activities like yoga or core training. Failing to execute your exercises correctly can not only produce sub-par results, you may actually end up hurting yourself by causing a sprain or other injury. Even if you tend to be a loner when it comes to working out, enlist the expertise of a trainer or coach who can show you the ropes before you set out solo.
Exercise caution outdoors. A few hours spent in the great outdoors can leave you feeling refreshed and invigorated; fresh air is good for your body and your spirit. However, spending too much time soaking up the sun can have a detrimental impact on your health – overexposure to UV rays is a major risk factor for developing skin cancer. Exposure to the elements, such as strong winds or harsh cold, can also take a toll on your body. The American Melanoma Foundation recommends lathering up with a sunscreen that has a Skin Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 15 any time you’ll be outdoors for more than 20 minutes. Even winter conditions pose a threat to bare skin, as snow can actually reflect UV radiation.
Be wary of expiration dates. Most people at least periodically use prescription drugs or over-the-counter medicines as part of their commitment to staying healthy. However, for people who rarely use medicines, their cabinets may be filled with potentially dangerous, expired medications. According to the FDA, both prescriptions and over-the-counter meds can lose their effectiveness over time and even become unsafe. Especially concerning are the medicines that can change chemical composition or become a breeding ground for bacteria over an extended period of time. That’s why it’s important to properly discard medicines after their expiration dates have passed.
Make reasonable eating choices. With countless diet options available, it may seem impossible to know which is most likely to help you achieve your desired results. When evaluating eating plans, be careful to avoid diets that are excessively restrictive, as these can have a serious impact on bodily organs that rely on nutrients to function. Also be wary of diets that recommend cutting entire food groups; a balanced diet with moderate portion sizes is the best approach for delivering your body the nutrition it needs for top performance.
Committing to healthier living is an important step, so be sure you can reap the rewards by making your journey to better health a safe one. Find more tips for living a healthy lifestyle at elivingtoday.com.
Contact Lens Safety Tips
“Many consumers consider these lenses a fashion or costume accessory when, in reality, decorative lenses are also classified as medical devices and still pose the same potential safety and health issues as corrective contact lenses and require a prescription,” said Andrea P. Thau, O.D., president of the American Optometric Association (AOA).
The AOA recommends contact lens wearers take proper steps to protect their eyes and maintain a consistent hygiene routine, including:
See your optometrist immediately if you experience redness, pain, irritation or blurred vision while wearing your lenses.
For more information about contact lens hygiene and safety, the risks associated with decorative contact lenses and to find an optometrist near you, visit aoa.org.
Photos courtesy of Getty ImagesSOURCE:
4 vital fuel sources your teen athlete needs
(BPT) - High school can be intense, but being a student athlete can intensify expectations.
As the start of spring sports approaches, the stakes are even higher for your student to maintain the success they had first semester. There are practices, matches and conference finals that have to fit in with exams and semester-long projects. Being a standout in the classroom and on the field requires expert-level planning and execution.
That’s where parents play a huge role in helping their teen athletes keep it all in balance. Here are four easy tips to help you ensure that your teen is ready for a great season, on and off the field.
Food: Allison Maurer — a sports dietitian and Gatorade consultant who has worked with high school and collegiate athletes — says, “The important thing to remember is that food is fuel. It gives athletes the energy they need to perform and also helps them recover. When planning your athletes’ meals, look for whole food sources that provide high-quality fats, lean proteins and complex carbohydrates. Talk to your athlete about his or her fuel strategy before, during and after practices and games, and offer support by providing healthy, energy rich snacks.”
Hydration: When exercising hard, the body cools itself through sweat. If body mass is reduced by about 2 percent, which would be 3 pounds of water weight loss in a 150-pound athlete, it can negatively affect performance, according to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association’s (NATA) Position Statement on Fluid Replacement for Athletes.
“Athletes lose more than water in sweat, so it’s important that they take their hydration seriously since it can impact performance,” Maurer says. “There are a number of products to meet an athlete’s hydration and fueling preferences. For those looking for an organic fueling option, I recommend G Organic, Gatorade’s latest product. It’s made with only seven ingredients and provides the same hydration benefits that athletes expect from Gatorade.”
Rest: Although teens may seem to bounce back easily from a night with too little rest, the truth is that good sleep helps both learning and athletic performance. Sleep helps athletes recover, especially after they’ve pushed their limits in an intense workout. Being rested can also improve reaction time, as well as speed and accuracy. In addition, teens with earlier bedtimes had better grades than those who stayed up later and slept less, according to a study of 3,000 subjects cited by the National Sleep Foundation.
Talk about these benefits with your athlete, and encourage them to go to bed and rise at the same time each day. Also, the glowing light of electronic devices can also interfere with sleep. So, help your teen come up with a strategy to power down an hour or so before bedtime in order to prepare their minds for a night of restorative sleep.
Planning: Schedules have a way of colliding, and this especially happens when a huge test and a game are scheduled for the same day. Each week, sit down with your student athlete and walk through that week’s schedule. Look at practices, games, homework assignments and tests, and create a calendar. That way, if a midterm and a game take place on the same day, he or she can plan accordingly. This will help avoid a late-night, stress-filled cram session that will steal from their performance in the classroom and on the field.
Life as a student athlete means keeping everything in balance. By focusing on the body — from nutrition to time management — athletes can focus on giving their best performance this upcoming season.
(BPT) - To lose weight and/or get in better shape consistently ranks as one of the top New Year's resolutions. However, many resolutions to reach this goal fall short or last less than a month because a great idea is seldom successful without a plan to make it happen.
If you've tried and failed to get in shape or lose weight as part of a New Year's resolution, it's time to put a plan behind your passion. Below are five tips from BiPro's 31 Ways in 31 Days challenge. They are appropriate for all ages and fitness levels, so use them to start your own wellness resolution, whether it's on Jan. 1, March 1 or whenever you're ready to make a healthy change.
* Measure your success. Minneapolis fitness expert Chris Freytag says celebrating those small victories will keep you motivated to pursue your final goal, and there are ways to measure your results beyond stepping on the scale. She recommends keeping a workout journal to record improvements in your weight training, biking or running. Record each session in detail so you can review them later and see how your numbers have progressed. It's the perfect pick-me-up.
* Balance your protein intake throughout the day. Most Americans consume barely any protein in the morning, a fair amount for lunch and a lot with dinner. For the best results, you should try to balance your protein intake throughout the day. That way, your body has a constant stream of the nutrients it needs to function at its best. You can estimate how much protein you need each day using the protein calculator at BiProUSA.com. Once you've found your number, be sure you're consuming a steady and balanced portion of protein not only at dinner, but also at breakfast and lunch.
* Get motivated to work out even when you don't feel like exercising. Sometimes you just don't want to work out, but instead of putting it off until tomorrow, Jordan Hasay, a record setting professional runner, says it's important to set small daily goals. "It's all about winning the day," she says. "As a professional athlete, my workouts every day are difficult. It's all about taking baby steps and really looking at one step at a time and setting individual goals for the day."
* Don't let a pre-existing injury postpone your workout. After a decade of playing pro football, Ben Leber had trouble running without pain due to his worn-down knees. So he took up boxing, as his twice-per-week cardio workout. The sport is physical and gets Leber's heart rate up, all without putting unneeded pressure on his knees. Find the sport that appeals to you. Be it boxing, swimming or bike riding, there is a solution out there that works for you and your existing injury.
* Start the day with a protein-packed breakfast. You know starting the day with protein is important, but your busy schedule means cooking eggs and bacon every morning isn't possible. Instead, start your morning with a protein smoothie using this recipe:
- 1 scoop unflavored protein powder
- 1 cup strawberries
- 1/2 banana
- 1 cup almond milk
Blend them all together until they are thoroughly mixed and load them in your travel mug. You'll have a great healthy breakfast to start your day.
While Jan. 1 is a popular day to kick off a health and fitness goal, any day of the year can mark the start of your new life, you just have to set a plan and follow through. So don't delay. The better you is out there, so seize it before the new year rolls around again. To find more tips from the 31 Ways in 31 Days challenge, as well as other healthy recipes, visit BiProUSA.com.
(BPT) - Wearable health technology first started in hospitals as a way to help people with injuries heal faster. Now, the trend has gone mainstream and pro-active; one in five online adults uses a wearable device, and the majority of those devices are health-related, according to Forrester Research.
"Americans are using a variety of wearable devices to help them reach their wellness goals," says Mike Nohilly, an expert in wearable technology for Slendertone. Once, people would have needed a doctor's visit to find out key wellness numbers like BMI or blood pressure, or needed gym equipment to monitor their heart rates while exercising. Wearable devices allow them to do all those things, and even tone specific muscle groups, at their own convenience."
Here are five wearable health devices and how you can use them to help build fitness and better health:
* Fitness trackers - If it seems like everyone is wearing some kind of fitness tracker, you're not imagining it. The top wearable of 2015 was a fitness tracker that shipped more than 21 million units last year and represented nearly 38 percent of the wearables market, according to International Data Corporation. Fitness trackers allow wearers to monitor key health indicators such as heart rate or calories burned. You can also use them to set and track exercise goals, such as walking a certain number of steps per day, or monitor your heart rate while exercising to ensure you reach a target zone.
* Pain relief braces - Worn like traditional braces, smart braces use neurostimulation sensors, built into the fabric, to ease pain with low-level electrical impulses. Wearers rely on the bands to help relieve joint pain from chronic conditions like arthritis. Some come with a smartphone app that allows you to track usage and sleep patterns.
* Ab toner - Instead of spending hours in the gym doing crunches, you can enhance your workout by wearing a piece of technology that works to strengthen, firm and tone your abs. The Slendertone Connect Abs wearable belt uses electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) to stimulate the major abdominal muscles, and can be worn and used at any time - even under your clothes. Users report visible results in six to eight weeks when used at least five days per week for 30 minutes. You can control this FDA-cleared device through an app on Android or Apple smartphones, and choose one of five goal-driven programs, from essential toning to post-natal and even advanced toning. The app also tracks and shares data on your progress. Visit www.slendertone.com.
* Sleep trackers - Getting the right amount of sleep is critical for overall health, so sleep trackers have gained popularity as aids to help people get better rest. Many types are available and some are wearable. Sleep trackers monitor such sleep metrics as REM phases, how long per night you spend in light sleep versus deep sleep, wake times, how quickly you fall asleep, what time you sleep each night and more.
* UV detector - An emerging form of wearable technology, UV detectors monitor skin exposure to harmful ultra-violet radiation - the portion of sunlight that causes sunburn, tanning and skin cancer. Multiple versions are under development, and one commercially available detector is a small patch that you wear on your skin and then scan using your smartphone that's been equipped with a special app. The app allows you to read the information recorded in the patch so you know your UV exposure, and offers tips for sun safety, including what level SPF sunscreen you should wear.
"Many health care and tech industry watchers say the wearable health care device trend is really just getting started," Nohilly says. "Technology has great potential to help make it easier than ever to achieve our health and fitness goals, whether we want to get a better night's rest, improving cardio-vascular health or get toned abs."
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