Living a healthy life requires you to manage your health goals like you’d manage a sports team. My basketball season came to an end a little earlier than I would have liked, and although …
Living a healthy life requires you to manage your health goals like you’d manage a sports team. My basketball season came to an end a little earlier than I would have liked, and although I’d much rather still be coaching my team, this abrupt ending provided me with time to reflect on how important it is that the season does end at some point.
It’s very easy to face burnout when trying to live a healthier life, and this is often because we give ourselves too much of a good thing. Striving to achieve health-related goals is an excellent quality to have and will help you live a more fulfilling life, but our bodies can only take so much. Let’s dive into how we can use different seasons to help us reach our health goals effectively while avoiding burnout.
Let’s look at the basketball season. A simple year of basketball is broken down into four seasons: pre-season, in-season (regular season), post-season, and off-season. The most taxing season both physically and mentally is the regular season. From roughly November to March, players have basketball six days per week. They spend many hours in the gym for practices, games, and extra shots. They also lift weights multiple days per week and spend countless hours in meetings and watching film. It makes sense that they would spend a lot of time on basketball-related activities during the season when there are games to win.
The post-season, off-season, and pre-season look very different from the regular season and from one another. The post-season is the time when the players are the most drained physically and mentally and requires careful balance of training and rest. The off-season usually consists of a few weeks with no basketball related activities, and then time is spent working individually getting stronger and more skilled.
The pre-season is spent getting to know the team, working up to regular season shape, and preparing for the first few games. This cycle allows players to be excited for the season, stay healthy, be well-prepared to reach their goals, and gives them time to improve their skills before they go back out to compete the next year.
Let’s imagine for a second that basketball players played games all year round. If this was the case, they wouldn’t have time to rest their bodies. They wouldn’t have time to learn new skills, get stronger, or take time away to fall in love with the game again. This would most definitely lead to burnout and would also result in mediocre playing. We must look at our health goals in this same light.
Oftentimes we approach our health goals as if we are playing a basketball season with games all year long. We sprint as fast as possible to achieve our current goal and once we do that, we move directly on to the next one without giving ourselves time to rest, reflect, or even see the bigger picture and if we like the direction we’re headed. Since we’re in this for the long haul, it’s important we incorporate off-seasons into our health goals like we would if we were playing a sport.
Breaking down your year into really focused seasons and off-seasons will help us reach our goals more effectively, keep us healthier longer, and will help us avoid burnout. Remember, the off-season doesn’t mean you don’t play basketball at all, it just means you approach it in a different way with a different focus and goal in mind.
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