The world of sports is packed with athletes whose physical capabilities seem beyond comprehension to the average man or woman on the street.
Marathon runners have incredible endurance, boxers boast remarkable resolve, golfers have pinpoint precision and baseball pitchers have practically mechanical arms.
However, there is one sport which requires its athletes to have all of these qualities and then some. Pro basketball players, and those who compete in the NBA especially, at times seem like they are built from different stuff than the rest of us mere mortals.
That said, there are some secrets they have up their rather long sleeves that make them this way, and if you copy their nutrition and fitness routines perhaps one day you too can rise to the pinnacle of human athletic prowess.
Or, if you just want to get in shape for your holidays, here are some things NBA players do that will help you out.
Eating the Right Foods at the Right Times
When it comes to diet, basketball players tend to opt for variety rather than a fixed and regimented eating plan. The best players to keep an eye on for diet advice tend to be the more experienced ones, who need all the help they can get to recover post-game or workout.
LeBron James is no spring chicken, but he keeps fans that back his NBA odds happy by eating healthy so that his talent can look after everything else. He tucks into carbohydrate-rich foods before a game in order to have the energy stores required to keep going hard till the final buzzer, as well as sipping on additional energy boosting drinks during a game.
When the game is done he then makes sure he boosts his recovery efforts by consuming amino acid and glucose-rich foods, which will mean his body can get to work again sooner, making him ready for the following road game, so that those same basketball odds lines are always predicting a LeBron win.
If you play lots of amateur sports or enjoy regular exercise in general, these eating habits can help you perform better and recover quicker, so you don’t end up a broken mess on the sofa, moaning about having hamstrings made of concrete.
Stretch, Stretch and Stretch Some More
While we are on the subject of tight muscles, it is absolutely worth mentioning the one exercise trend that NBA players of all shapes and sizes are turning to in their droves: yoga.
Whether it is Myles Turner or Blake Griffin, so many top pros swear by this ancient physical art form, which through stretching and breathing techniques allows them to extract maximum performance from their bodies.
As you can see, there is no need to feel self-conscious about walking into your local yoga studio and stretching it out, but if you would prefer not to pass wind in front of strangers as you do the downward dog, there are plenty of good YouTube tutorials to follow from the comfort of your living room floor.
You Cannot Out-Train a Bad Diet
There are plenty of myths about being able to train so hard that it may not matter what you fuel your body with.
Unfortunately, this just is not the case, especially as you grow older and your metabolism naturally slows.
With this in mind, it is important to realize that although NBA players may consume well above the recommended calorie intake for an adult, they also have the time to train two or three times a day, as well as being given additional time by their respective teams to sleep and recover adequately.
These, of course, are not luxuries which are afforded most people, so you need to reduce your calorie intake accordingly, and make sure you perhaps swap out some of those fatty or carbohydrate-rich foods for ones which are loaded with helpful proteins.