coach duane carlisle with NFL officials
Coach Duane Carlisle with NFL officials

If you’re a sports official or a referee, it’s imperative to not lose ground on your physical health during these unprecedented times due to the coronavirus. Not only for your health (to give you a better chance if you get sick) but also so you’re ready in case everything goes back to “normal” sooner rather than later.

Yes, everything has turned upside down and the battle against it is tri-fold; it’s physical, mental and emotional. Training schedules vanished into thin air. Regular outdoor activities ceased quickly. And then, parks and trails were closed down. But despite all of this, we do know that there are things we can control.

One of those things is staying game ready so you don’t have to get ready.

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Here are 5 things sports officials and referees should do to stay game ready during the Covid-19 pandemic.

1. Watch your calorie intake

It’s been a few weeks since we’ve been in “lock down”, and lack of movement plus stress plus close proximity to your kitchen can equal disaster for your performance and your waistline.

Given that you’re working from home and less active, you might find yourself snacking more, eating more during meal times, perhaps you’re even emotionally eating.

If that’s been happening, stop. Establish a play weight or an “officiating weight” and ration your calories throughout the day, adjusted to your new activity level. There are plenty of calorie counters online to help you determine what your input should be. Chances are you should be cutting out a big chunk if you’re not as active now as you were before the lockdown.

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You want to make sure you’re fueled for what you are doing, but not fueled for just sitting on the couch.

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2. Be active

This should go without saying, and depending on where you live, it may prove to be a bit difficult (especially if your area has shut down outdoor common areas or trails). You don’t want to lose your pre-Covid-19 training progress. Experts say that you can start to lose cardiovascular endurance in as little as 3 weeks from ceasing regular exercise!

You want to get that heart rate up! It’s important now, more than ever, to keep your cardiovascular health at it’s best. If you don’t have any cardio equipment at home and you can’t go for a walk, you can still work out at home efficiently and effectively.

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In fact, a 6×6 ft space is more than enough. One of the best things you can do is a HIIT workout (high intensity interval training). Pick an exercise (preferably something that maximizes the whole body, like burpees) and go as hard as you can for 30 seconds. Rest (recover) for 2 minutes. If your heart rate can handle it, limit recovery to 1 minute. Do this for a few sets. You’ll be panting and sweating in no time. If you can talk after a set, you need to push harder the next time!

3. Include resistance training

You’ll get back in the game eventually, and when you do, you need to be able to produce and absorb the same amount of force you did before we all decided to do the social distancing thing.

You need to maintain your muscle mass, especially with less general activity than usual. Like with your cardiovascular health, your muscle start to atrophy more quickly than you might realize.

You can include resistance trainings with your own bodyweight, bands, free weights, or even around-the-house items.

4. Keep a positive mindset

This, too, shall pass.

Keeping a healthy mind is as important as keeping a healthy body, especially in times of high stress. By keeping a positive mindset, you’re structuring yourself for inevitable challenges and changes.

Having a positive mindset might not take the stress away (or the issue causing the stress to go away), but it will give you a stronger and more resilient toolbox to manage it. It will also help others if you’re positive (or, trying to be). Joy is contagious. Be that beacon.

5. Celebrate every time you train

This is just a continuation of #4. You can incorporate your positivity into your workout – congratulate yourself when you’re done! It’s called a workout for a reason. Give your family a high-five (virtually, if they’re not with you) when you finish a training session. Reward yourself for your efforts.

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You’ll be creating a very powerful mind-body reward circuit that is sure to help you build strong habits, no matter how long the lockdown lasts.

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What Carlisle Performance can do for you

Online workouts are a dime-a-dozen right now, it’s true. You’ll find industry gold-standard training at Carlisle Performance, backed by decades of experience at all levels of training.

We’ve created total body workouts (lower body, core and upper body) for all levels of fitness (beginner, intermediate and advanced).

We want to keep you at your best so that when life goes back to normal, whatever that looks like, you’re ready to hit the field at your best and with no lag time.

Check out our Sports Officials page for the schedule today.

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Note: This article is archival in nature. Rules, interpretations, mechanics, philosophies and other information may or may not be correct for the current year.

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