Every 24 hours can be so vital, to how you feel before and after your daily activities and there are many factors that will alter the way that you feel. The routine and preparation for making yourself feel right for the day, will ultimately strengthen your health and wellbeing. What you do in a day includes:
The ultimate question is, how active are you and what do you do during a typical day and is this going to have a positive or detrimental effect on your health and wellbeing? This is linked to what professional footballers do to ensure peak performance on a match day.
Guidelines recommend that adults sleep for seven to ten hours a day and for children ten hours a day, as it’s important that the body is in a resting state to recuperate. Monitoring sleep duration and quality is the first step to ensuring the right preparation ahead of daily activities.
There have been many studies about what to eat and it’s important to eat the right type of food. Monitoring the calorific values is important to ensure that the calories are outweighed by the energy required to perform daily activities. Footballers have a higher carbohydrate diet leading up to a match day and more protein after a game to help muscle resynthesise.
The amount you drink will affect your hydration status and will determine how the body functions. It’s recommended that two litres of water are drunk on a daily basis and the consumption of alcohol will have a detrimental effect on how you feel. Physical activities will result in sweating and as such, it’s important to ensure that any fluid loss is replaced. Taking your weight before and after exercise is a good way to control fluid loss.
Your daily physical activity is determined by how active you are and how strenuous this is. Training, gym sessions and matches all will differ via the intensity, duration and load, and the physical responses and fatigue will vary depending on these factors. To monitor this in football, players wear heart rate and GPS monitors to track exactly what their own individual response is to the training exercise. This will help to monitor, analyse and plan the daily and weekly training session and adjust the future training sessions.
Following from training and work, there are recovery protocols that help to allow the maintenance process of the muscles of the body that have been damaged and fatigued, this will help activate the body to rebuild for the next bout of work required. There are different options players prefer to use, including foam rollers on the specific muscles, contrast bathing (putting the body in hot and cold conditions) and protein shakes.
What you do in a day, will affect the performance of a footballer through their preparation. It starts with the sleep/recovery, what you fuel your body with; food and drink, and the type and intensity of activity you do on a daily basis will ultimately affect the end outcome. The way you monitor these things are different but all have equal importance when preparing for games.
Jeremy Poulson is the First Team Sports Scientist who joined Sheffield Wednesday Football Club in 2015, having previously worked at Birmingham City FC. He worked for two years as an intern with the Birmingham City First Team, while studying his BSc Sport and Exercise Science degree at Loughborough University, before taking a permanent role with their Under 18’s. Jeremy is currently studying at London’s St Mary’s University, undertaking an MSc Strength and Conditioning degree.