General Advice

Health Vs Performance – Can both coexist?

As an athlete, osteopath and weightlifting coach, I try to balance my focus equally between my patient’s performance as well as trying to support and help them build healthy habits and behaviors. 

I try to look for a patient’s blind spots, highlight areas of improvement and program to fill those physical gaps. Sometimes this can be a rehab program, accessory work or technique advice. More often it is bringing the patient back to a focus on healthy habits that they may be currently overlooking.

I try to encompass a holistic approach to how I treat, program and support my patients and athletes and generally am asking questions in regards to stress, sleep, diet and health.

This can be relevant for the working mum of three who wants a home workout program, or the young weightlifting champion who has some serious strength imbalances leading to technical errors in their lifts.

These questions, sometimes met with resistance are truly some of the most integral parts of an athletes training program and recovery, and after learning these lessons the hard way myself, I think it is important to highlight them in the people I work with. 

As with any sport, weightlifters are people who are trying to push the needle on human performance.

Being involved in such a demanding sport can prove a very difficult task to balance health vs performance. There are periods in our athletic life where performance will trump health, just as there are times where health should be the absolute paramount focus. 

I believe sustainability within a training program should serve to both improve physical performance but also monitor and maintain an athletes optimal health – including mental health! 

I have said it before, and this week I have been succinctly reminded by my own struggles, that MORE isn’t MORE! 

Sometimes, stepping back from performance driven goals and focusing on returning to healthy habits and lifestyle can be the exact slingshot we need to once again return to optimal performance in the future.

So before you rush to add in more accessory lifts, more cardio, restrict your calories, try a pre-workout or start training double days ask yourself:

  1. Does this change support my health AND my performance!?
  2. Will my health be adversely affected by this addition?!
  3. Am I adequately recovering and thriving within my current situation … if not, how will adding something new help this?
  4. Am I nailing the health basics first (sleep, diet, stress management, good movement patterns & adequate loading)?!

Want to know more about how I can help?

Book an appointment online with me to start looking at maximizing both your health and performance!

–  Dr Caity Haniver (Osteopath)

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