Do you ever watch the Olympics and wonder what the athletes do for training and what they eat for fuel? Since many are not professional athletes, they have to fit their training and meals into their otherwise hectic lives. They need to schedule their workouts around their work day, and plan out their meals in order to get in enough quality calories. By following the tips below, you won’t necessarily be ready to break world records, but you will take your fitness to the next level, and find it easier to build muscle, increase speed, and become more agile.

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Get plenty of rest

I know this sounds nearly impossible when you are already juggling training, work and family commitments. But it is difficult for your body to repair and build when you are constantly active. Optimal anabolic conditions occur when you are sleeping and giving your body time to recover.

Stretch

Stretching is equally important pre and post workout. If you have knots, or your muscles are tight, they won’t be able to properly fire during exercise. That will hinder your ability to get all that you can from your workout, and will also increase the chance of injury. Use a foam roller, lacrosse ball or massage stick until you feel knots release. Stretching after you train will help prevent knots from forming.

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Plan and pack meals

When you are more active, you need more calories, but they have to be quality calories. Back in the day, athletes would just try to get calories for energy, but we have since learned the importance of nutrients in building and recovery. Whether you are trying to get stronger, faster, or more conditioned, protein is an essential building block, as are minerals and vitamins. Bring 3 meals and two snacks with you each day, and make sure to include vegetables or fruit in each meal. Drinking cold pressed juice (especially green juice) makes it easy to incorporate nutritious produce into your diet.

Do circuits

Circuit training consists of moving from one exercise to the next, each exercise targeting a different muscle group, with very little rest between exercises, perhaps 30-60 seconds. In addition to building strength, circuit training enhances muscle endurance, and cardiovascular fitness.

Explode

Focus on explosive movements to build athleticism and improve conditioning. If you are a runner, do sprints to increase speed. If you play basketball or volleyball, jump. Squat jumps, pop squats, and vertical jumps will all transfer to sports with a vertical component. Work on the mechanics of landing as softly as possible and getting back into the air as quickly as you can.

Drink up

Staying hydrated is crucial to athletic performance. Dehydration will negatively affect your performance, cause cramping and make you more injury prone. High performance athletes should aim for at least 0.6 ounces of water per pound of body weight.

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About Lori Kenyon Farley:

Lori Kenyon Farley is a Certified Nutrition Consultant, specializing in wellness, fitness and anti-aging. In early 2010, Lori co-founded Ritual Wellness, Southern California’s premier purveyor of USDA certified organic and non-GMO verified, cold-pressed fruit, nut and vegetable juices, with business partner Marra St. Clair. In 2013, the pair co-authored “The Juice Cleanse Reset Diet” and until early 2015, delivered their products and services to help people achieve optimal health, through Ritual Wellness. In March 2015, Kenyon and St. Clair merged their company with Northern California based, Project Juice, to bring their certified organic, non-GMO, cold-pressed juices, nut mylks, cleanses and plant-based foods to a wider audience across the country, creating the West Coast’s leading certified organic retail juicery.

Lori has been featured on numerous media outlets, including Access Hollywood, Extra and Fox News. In addition to her many endeavors, Lori also writes regularly for magazines, blogs and trade publications, with editorial contributions featured in The Huffington Post, Livestrong.com, MindBodyGreen, Fitness RX and more.

About Project Juice:

Project Juice is the country’s leading certified organic, non-GMO verified, cold-pressed juice and plant-based food company, delivering the ultimate wellness experience through retail stores and local delivery in both Northern and Southern California, as well as nationally through overnight delivery. For more information, visit projectjuice.com.