Bret Wilson

Spring Training for Health

Spring Training for Health

Dr. Bret WilsonMajor League Baseball players report for workouts this week to get ready for the Spring Training schedule that continues through March to get ready for Opening Day April 2, 2017.  Veterans, rookies  and hopeful prospects have finished their off season activities and now get down to the business of getting in shape for the upcoming season.  Exercise, nutrition and practice are important to allow these talented athletes to get ready to perform their best.  The rest of us can use these concepts to perform our best.  Even if we are not professional athletes improving our health can help us excel for our family, work and recreational activities.  Let’s play ball!

To get in shape, stay in shape, prepare for games and recover after, baseball players use a combination exercise, nutrition and rest to be their best.  Athletes know the importance of  maintaining their bodies to be able to perform their sport.  The rest of us can improve our game by following their lead.

MLB players enlist professionals, instructors and coaches to help get in shape and stay healthy.  This may include trainers, therapists, and dieticians.   Health care professionals are included in their team, medical, physical therapy and chiropractic providers, to help improve their health and recover from injury.

Cardio training exercise helps to get the heart and lungs ready for sustained activity.  Running, biking, and walking are examples of cardio training.  The activity should raise the heart rate into the training zone and keep it there for a period of time.  The training zone is considered 40 -85% of maximum heart rate.  A general rule of thumb to estimate maximum heart rate is to subtract your age from 220.  A 40 year old would have an estimated maximum heart rate of 180.

Weight lifting or resistance training is designed to increase strength, increase lean body mass (muscle) and develop joint and muscle movement patterns against resistance.   Resistance exercise includes the use of free weights, weight lifting equipment, elastic bands and body weight exercise.  The position and movement of the resistance targets a specific muscle group.  A workout that utilizes all the major muscle groups to give a full balanced workout is best.   Core stability training provides a firm foundation to move arms and legs against.  Core exercise includes crunches, planks, some palates and yoga exercises.  Body weight exercises are great because you need no equipment.  Examples include squats, lunges and push-ups.

Nutrition is important to fuel the body to build muscle, provide energy and replenish reserves.   A diet that emphasizes lean protein, healthy fats and plant based food sources is best.  Limit carbohydrates and sugars.  Foods that are prepared fresh and have limited amounts of salts, preservatives and other additives are healthier.  Eating at regular intervals and in moderate amounts help provide better blood sugar levels and the nutrients necessary to maintain, rebuild and repair the body.

Proper hydration provides fluid to tissues and aids in processing food and toxins, lubricates cells and serves as a medium of many processes in the body.  Dehydration can cause increased muscle soreness and cramps, electrolytes lost in sweat are restored with water and other fluids.  Athletes know the importance of proper hydration.

Rest is important, the body repairs during sleep, mental acuity is improved with adequate rest, coordination, mood and energy are best with proper rest.  Sleep rejuvenates the body and the mind.  You cannot be your best without proper rest.

Whether you are playing softball with friends, getting ready for t ball or playing in the big leagues, there are lessons to be learned.  Proper fitness nutrition and rest can help avoid injury, and also helps faster recovery if you do suffer an injury. The best way to stay fit is to practice good habits all year long.  Athletes know that there is no such thing as the off season for fitness.   You can vary the workout as activity or needs dictate.  The key is to have a basic plan that you can adhere to weather at home or away, any season.


Yours in Health,


Dr. Bret Wilson

Dr Bret Wilson wants you to move, play and live free from neck and back pain.  For more information about chiropractic, posture, exercise, and how to make better choices about your health visit our website  Find a chiropractor in your area to help you with safe and effective health care.

Related Blogs from Dr. Bret Wilson:

A First Pitch dream comes true

Young Athletes and Injury Prevention

For more information:

2017 Spring Training Schedule

Calculate Your Heart Training Zone

A MLB player’s fitness transformation

Weight Training Exercise for Baseball

Baseball Diet Plan

Diet Guidelines for Baseball Players