The concept of listening to your body is not a new one, we hear it all the time. The question really becomes; "Are you doing anything once you listen"? Do you sleep when you're tired? Are you eating when you're hungry? And when you eat ,are you eating the foods your body needs to keep up with your active sports lifestyle? In many cases it is impossible to sleep when your tired or only eat good things, that is reality. But, and this is the big one, do you make an effort on a regular basis to be prepared and able to do any of those things to take better care of yourself? Are you doing anything to make a difference in these areas of your life? Tiny steps in a healthy direction can make a big difference.
As athletes the ability to listen and understand what our bodies are telling us is key to staying healthy and happy. A New York Times Article in 2014 reported that in HS you need around 8-9 hours of sleep, but less then 20% of HS students report getting that. Another article says you might need as many as 11 hours a night . With homework, friends, work and sports we all know it is hard to get to bed sometimes before 1am only to get up again at 6am to start it over again.
Food on the other hand is something you likely have a little more say about. An article from NPR recently talked about how many young female athletes would feel better and thrive if they took a good look at how much and what they are eating. Going on to say;
"...many girls aren't eating enough to satisfy the physical demands of those sports, scientists say, and that's putting them at risk for health problems that can last a lifetime."
So as school and HS ball get into full swing, please keep this in mind. Sleep, rest when you can, do your best to eat well when you are hungry. Above all else in this area learn to listen to your body, it is talking to you about some very real things.