I have to admit that being part of the Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters team that recently made history by winning the first ever Women’s British Basketball League Trophy has been pretty amazing!
I’ve dedicated my life to basketball and this has really made all the blood, sweat and tears worthwhile.
Keeping in shape and looking after your health and general wellbeing is, of course, vital to be a top athlete but it’s also important in day-to-day life. We can all do small things that make a real difference.
Here are my top five tips for keeping fit and healthy.
It’s good to get into the routine of exercising every day – even when you don’t feel like it. I recently played three games in a row but the next day I was in the gym. You have to be disciplined and get over your tiredness. This can apply to everyone, whether it’s committing to walking 30 minutes each day or taking the stairs rather than lift.
2. Watch what you eat
I make sure I eat little and often, rather than three big meals. This way you are training your stomach to have less and in turn, this helps your metabolism. I try to stay away from red meat and fill my diet with lots of chicken, rice, noodles and fish. It’s simple food but effective and it also makes planning for meals a lot simpler! For snacks, I always go for healthy options like nuts or dried fruit.
3. Keep hydrated
I don’t go anywhere without my litre bottle of water, which I keep refilling throughout the day. I must get through nine bottles a day! It’s a really easy way to keep hydrated and make sure your body is getting the fluid it needs.
Ensuring you have enough sleep is really important, so that your body has the chance to rejuvenate following the stresses and strains of the day. I tend to just make sure I get a good night’s sleep but some of my team mates will nap in between training sessions – it’s not so easy to do that if you have a 9-5 job though!
5. Limit alcohol intake
It’s impossible to get what you need out of a work-out if you have a hangover! I stay clear of alcohol during the week and whenever I am training as it has such a negative effect on how your body feels.
Steph Gandy is an England and GB basketball player currently playing as a forward for the Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters. Born in Detroit, USA, she moved to the UK in 2005. During her time with the Hatters, she has helped the club to four English Basketball League titles and was MVP (Most Valuable Player) for their 2009 and 2012 National Cup final victories. Most recently, she lifted the first ever Women’s British Basketball League Trophy after the Hatters beat the Nottingham Wildcats in the final.