When someone has the opportunity to spend time in an NFL athletic training room, they usually come away saying the same thing: “I never realized how hard these guys work to stay in shape!”  They see the players’ dedication to the maintenance of injuries just to stay healthy enough to play the game of football.  Like almost every professions, there’s much more work going on behind the scenes than anyone can see from the vantage point of the fans.

Be it the multimillionaire professional athlete or the weekend warrior, my theory is simple:

There’s a price for fitness & it’s always a winning investment!

Staying on Top of the Maintenance

Professional athletes have had to work extremely hard to get to where they are.  Overcoming fierce competition, weathering critical scouting hurdles and managing injuries are common-place to simply get a shot to taste the NFL life.  For those who are talented enough to play at this leve of the sport, it’s the injuries that pose the most challenges obstacle for the gifted athletes.

I have a great deal of respect for my Jaguars’ players for their dedication, sweat and tears to get better every day.  90% of them aren’t on the injury report but that doesn’t mean they don’t have extra work to do to address physical issues to be at their best.  They come in to see our athletic trainers for assistance with sports medicine needs such as decreasing pain, increasing muscle mobility, improving core strength, increasing flexibility and accelerating their recovery.

It’s common for professional athletes to spend 3-4 hours per day “paying the price for fitness” with maintenance work!  They realize the importance of investing in their health for today and tomorrow.

How much of an effort are YOU putting into your health?

Take Home Points

You may not be signing a multi-million dollar professional contract anytime soon but if you want to significantly enhance the likelihood of being healthy and active when you’re in your 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, NOW is the time to develop a physical maintenance plan.

Here are some tips to help you invest in your body and mind for a healthy tomorrow:

Do Something – “Paralysis by Analysis” is a common problem with those looking for the “perfect” workout plan or the dream diet.  Getting out and moving while eating very little fat and sweets and drinking more water will enhance the health of all of us quickly and safely.

Lengthen What’s Tight – Stretching will improve posture, increase blood flow, decrease pain and promote the body’s natural endorphins.  Find where you’re tight and simply stretch it….that’s an overly simplified statement but I’m sure you understand the concept.

Only the Strong Survive….to Live Better – Nowhere in my medical journals can I find a statement that says: “weakening your body will help you live longer”.  We all need stronger muscles, bones, tendons and joints.  Adding exercise that improves our overall strength at any age is a good….no, a GREAT thing.

Ice What Hurts – – You know my thoughts on ice:  It’s our best friend.  Sure it hurts for a few minutes but it can help decrease real pain for hours.  Toughen up and ice the joints and soft tissue that’s limiting your lifestyle.

Ask for Help – Google “health tips” and you get 1.12 billion links.  Don’t try to figure it all out on your own.  Seek the assistance of those who can help you get healthy for the long run.  It will prove to be time and money spent wisely.

Make 2012 the year when you turned your health around by taking an active role in determining the path of your health.  It’s your body and it’s the only one you’ll get.  If you know more about your iPhone, wardrobe and FaceBook page than you do your own body, it’s time to change your priorities! MikeRyanFitness is here to help make it easy and fun for you.