Being an athlete from a young age has a world of benefits. You can learn healthier habits than a sedentary youth would. You can also learn leadership skills and develop balance. In order to be healthy and safe as a teenage athlete, especially a teenage cheerleader, there are certain steps that you can take to make life so much easier this cheerleading season.
You know that eating a healthy, balanced diet is crucial for a person’s well being, but it is especially important for young athletes like cheerleaders, according to Jill Castle. Cheerleaders need to make sure they eat a diet that is rich in protein and healthy fats so that their muscles can remain strong and toned. Hydration is also key. Ensuring optimum hydration can be achieved by drinking the right amount of water. Divide your weight in half and add 15 ounces. That number should be the goal in ounces for the average young athlete to drink. Staying fit is largely possible through a clean diet and proper hydration, so be sure to treat your body right.
Follow Safety Rules
Athletes want to be the best they possibly can be. Sometimes this pursuit of perfection can lead to injury, though. According to Abels & Annes, teens are a high-risk group for brain injuries, so it’s important to follow the safety rules. Don’t engage in rough play, don’t push your limits, and seek medical care immediately following a head injury. It is of the utmost importance that teenage athletes are encouraged to know their limitations and respect them. Following safety guidelines that have been put in place will limit pain down the road and help foster a healthy lifestyle.
Teenagers, in general, are not known for being the best communicators. With that in mind, it is vital that teenage athletes know how to speak up for themselves. Whether it be in regard to a workout that seems too stressful for their body or regarding a desire for a greater challenge, self-advocating is a necessary skill for a cheerleader. If they do not advocate for themselves, they will be less likely to have a healthy, safe environment in which to grow as an athlete.
Being a cheerleader is great — being safe and healthy is even better. Ensuring that you eat right, know your limits, and advocate for yourself will help you have a happy and healthy cheerleading season.
To improve your technique, try being involved in our CheerONE program next semester!