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Carolina Panthers

Advanced Health Tips from Atrium Health

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Constantly and consistently drink small amounts throughout the day. BASELINE hydration needs are ~1⁄2 body weight in ounces (oz). If activity is greater than one hour, or in hot elements, be sure to utilize electrolyte sports drinks for replenishment. Always carry a water bottle with you during the day to encourage intake! Be sure to salt your food and/or consume snacks that contain sodium to help in promoting proper hydration balance.

Before Activity:

· 2-3hr before = 16oz

· 15min before = 8oz

During Activity:

· Every 15-20min = 4oz

After Activity:

· 16-24oz for EVERY pound (lb) of body weight lost

Know the 4 "R's" of recovery:

· Replenish with carbohydrates

· Repair and Rebuild with lean protein(s)

· Reinforce with fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats

· Rehydrate with fluids and electrolytes

Keep in mind that recovery is a 24-hour process!

― Jaelyn Shipman, RDN, CSSD, LDN, Senior Dietician Nutritionist, Atrium Health Musculoskeletal Institute


Stretching is essential for athletic performance and recovery. Dynamic and sport-specific stretching and functional movements prior to a workout, practice, or game are key in muscle activation and recruitment. The increased blood flow to the muscles primes them for activity and can reduce the risk of soft tissue injuries. Static and elongated stretching directly after a workout consisting of low intensity long duration can help with muscle recovery and increased range of motion.

― Zachary A. Brown, MS, LAT, ATC, Athletic Trainer, Atrium Health Musculoskeletal Institute

Mental Health

While mental health concerns such as depression, anxiety, or other mood disorders are not unique to the athletic population there are unique stressors that can put these athletes at risk. Risk factors for the athletic population would be social life pressures, bullying/hazing, academic pressure, self-identify as an athlete only, family pressure, injury/return to play pressures, and substance use/abuse.

It is important that athletes have a coping mechanism established to help handle the added pressure of competition and training, especially as training or academics increase (high school to college). Things that athletes can work on are making sure they get enough sleep, having healthy outlets, having a social support system, and getting help when needed.

When treating athletes with mental health concerns it is typically a holistic approach with many different parties involved such as the sports medicine physician, sports psychologist, athletic trainer, as well as coaches and teammates.

― Dr. Jeffrey Ham, Sports Medicine Physician, Atrium Health Musculoskeletal Institute

Focus/Limit Screen Time/Routine Building

People of all ages, activity levels, and occupation are constantly looking for ways to increase the quality of their time, whether that is for a better workout, more productivity throughout the workday, or to simply have more free time with family and friends. Routine building is very important to achieving these goals and improving quality of life. Setting good daily habits not only improves efficiency but also reduces stress levels and anxiety in our lives. In this modern era where technology is more ingrained in our everyday lives, limiting screen time and distractions is extremely important to having an efficient and structured routine, especially in children. Studies have shown clear improvement in sleep, mental health, and physical fitness in adults as well as children. Positive daily routines and focus on goals is a good place to start to tame the hectic lives we are all living today, but don't forget to build in some time for fun with family and friends.

― Dr. Matthew Duffin, Orthopedic Physician, Atrium Health Musculoskeletal Institute

Goal Setting

A goal without a plan is just a wish. For athletes, setting goals is all too often developed incorrectly or inefficiently. Proper goal setting, however, can help athletes maintain motivation, identify weaknesses, establish healthy habits and routines, and reach the next levels that they are seeking to attain. When it comes to goal setting, a common method of creating goals is to use the "SMART" method. "SMART" stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-based.

  1. Specific: Setting vague goals such as "score more free throws" looks easy but is difficult to decide how to go about achieving the goal without specific criteria or actions. Try instead to set clearly defined goals such as "bend at the knees for 50 shots."
  2. Measurable: Quantifying goals makes it easier to measure your progress. An example would be, "I want to score 15 goals and provide 10 assists this season."
  3. Attainable: Setting small goals that are attainable and build towards larger goals will help you build confidence and momentum.
  4. Realistic: Setting goals that are somewhat difficult to attain but not impossible will keep you motivated and pushing for success. Setting goals that are too easy will make you bored and will fail to challenge/change you. Meanwhile, reaching for impossibly difficult goals will end up making you discouraged.
  5. Time-Based: Goals should have timelines attached to them – this will help you measure and keep track of your progress.

Other habits that can be beneficial include writing your goals down and reviewing them daily, set goals for practice as well as games, and don't be afraid to seek out help/support from your family and teammates to achieve your goals.

― Zachary A. Brown, MS, LAT, ATC, Athletic Trainer, Atrium Health Musculoskeletal Institute

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