As if parenting itself wasn’t hard enough, toss training Jiu Jitsu to stay fit while learning some self defense into the mix and, if you don’t avoid a couple common pitfalls, you might find yourself burning out. Here’s a couple of tips to keep all of you dads in Jiu Jitsu ENJOYING Jiu Jitsu and on the mats where you belong!
The six areas that can improve your Jiu Jitsu are: Sleep, Diet, Stretching, Safe Drilling, Safe Sparring and Community. I’ll break down the first two in this article. Go Dads GO!
This seems pretty obvious, but it’s surprising how many people actually short change themselves when it comes to sleep, and if you’re doing Jiu Jitsu and juggling kids, you know you need it! 8 hours is the optimal amount of time to enjoy all the benefits of sleep; muscle recovery, mental relaxation and of course actually being able to get out of bed in the morning. Even the hour / hour and 1/2 before going down for the night should be “winding down” time; minimal or no TV, dimmed lights around the house, no more food or snacks. The idea is to be able to wake up without the assist of an alarms clock. (from one dad to another, this made the biggest difference for me, more than anything else!!!)
If you’re not ready to completely overhaul your day-to-day eating habits, but want to make some decent improvements in your diet, here are a few tips:
No liquid calories. No sugar drinks, no juices, very little to no milk…this is a great way to get some energy back! Those liquid calories tend to stick around and despite how they’re advertised, even the best ones can overfill your system with too much sugar.
Limit Dairy; even if you have no problems digesting dairy, the amount of processing that goes into most dairy products makes them suspect at best. This doesn’t mean you can’t ever have some cheese or the occasional ice cream treat, but work on limiting consumption as much as possible.
Less grains/pastas; what?? How will I get my carbohydrates?? Don’t worry! When skipping bread and pasta, just ramp up your vegetable, fruit and meat consumption and see how you feel. I can almost promise you that you’ll notice an immediate difference in how your stomach reacts, and if you stick to it long term, you may notice it’s easier to sleep, you’re less prone to snacking AND you might even experience a few more benefits. Plus, you’re energy levels will be just fine.
This is a good start! In my next note, I’ll expand on some stretching methods specific to Jiu Jitsu and how to drill safely to maximize your return on investment and keep you training without injury.
Read PART 2