Four Ways That Olympians Can Enhance Performance – Naturally

  • English: The Olympic Flag flying in Victoria, ...

1. Increase Blood Oxygen Levels

Every cell in the body needs oxygen to function properly.  When the body is deprived of oxygen, hypoxia occurs causing circulatory problems, respiratory problems, the build up of  lactic acid in the muscles and fatigue. Lack of oxygen can also cause short-term memory loss, confusion, and disorientation.  By increasing the oxygen in your blood  your body can more readily remove harmful toxins and increase your energy and alertness.  Physiologically the lungs extract oxygen from the air that you breathe in an exchange for carbon dioxide at the lining of the alveoli. Oxygen will then pass through the alveolar capillaries into the blood.  The following can increase the oxygen in your blood and prevent unwanted symptoms and illnesses.

  • Breathing deeply  can maximize your oxygen intake and flood your cells with oxygen. You can accomplish this through daily  yoga deep breathing exercises.
  • High impact exercises for 30 minutes daily or training at a high altitude increases the pathways in your body that take oxygen to your cells. The result is an instant increase in energy and oxygen usage.
  • You can help your lungs take in more oxygen with good posture. Roll back your shoulders, keep your chin up, push your chest out squeeze your shoulder blades together and stand straight.
  • Foods high in complex carbohydrates drastically enhance your blood’s capabilities to transport oxygen to all your cells.  Avoid foods high in fat which lowers the oxygen carrying capacity of your blood.
Livestrong 2

English: A comparison between human red blood ...

English: A comparison between human red blood cells differing in oxygenation state. The cell on the left presents an oxygenated appearance as it would while in arterial circulation (after loading oxygen and unloading carbon dioxide in the lungs). The cell on the right appears as it would when deoxygenated, or in venous circulation (after unloading oxygen and loading carbon dioxide in the oxygen requiring-tissue capillaries). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2. Improving Biomechanics –

Biomechanics in sports is defined as the muscular, joint and skeletal actions of the body during the execution of a given task, skill and/or technique. Proper understanding of biomechanics relating to sports skill has the greatest implications on sport’s performance, rehabilitation and injury prevention, along with sport mastery. As noted by Doctor Michael Yessis, one could say that the best athlete is the one that executes his or her skill the best. 

Swimmer’s Biomechanics Can Lead To Gold

English: Page sample with illustrations of bio...

English: Page sample with illustrations of biomechanical studies. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

3. Nutrition

    1. Aim for 3 balanced meals and 2 healthy snacks each day.
    2. Include a pre-exercise snack. (3:1 carbs:protein) such as fruit & nuts, pita & hummus, yogourt & fruit, rice cakes & almond butter
    3.  To replenish electrolytes before, during and after exercise naturally, try coconut water, fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice, bananas and dates.
    4. Examples of good post-exercise snacks (which should be consumed within 30 minutes after you have finished your workout) include smoothies, natural energy bars, bananas, nuts and seeds.
    5. Reduce your intake of foods that slow you down.  For example, refined sugar, flour and caffeine.
    6. Drink at least 8-10 glasses of purified water daily with electrolyte replacement as necessary.
    7. Take advantage of superfoods – salba, quinoa, pomegranate, dulse, green tea, tumeric, green leafy vegetables, berries, hemp, flaxseeds.

The above steps were taken from the article Improve Athletic Performance Through Nutrition by admin on Nov 22, 2010 in Balance Point  Healthcare, Inc.

Improve Performance Thru Nutrition

English: Fruit stall in a market in Barcelona,...

English: Fruit stall in a market in Barcelona, Spain. Français : Étal de fruits dans un marché à Barcelone (Espagne). Deutsch: Obststand auf einem Markt in Barcelona, Spanien. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

4. Equipment

Over the years there has been tremendous advancement in the equipment used by today’s athletes.  Weather it is the streamlined suits worn by swimmers or the various athletic shoes seen in track and field, the specialized equipment has led to increased performance.  World Records are being broken and amazing athletic feats seem common place in part due to the technology used in the manufacturing of equipment.   The site below has specific information on the shoes used by today’s athletes in the Olympic Games.

The Shoes

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 10:  The personali...

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 10: The personalised shoes of Na Li of China are seen during her second round match against Chanelle Scheepers of South Africa during day three of the 2012 Sydney International at Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre on January 10, 2012 in Sydney, Australia. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

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