Exercise is well-known for its positive effects on mental health. But that does not mean athletes are immune to depression and anxiety. Data from the American College of Sports Medicine indicates that 35% of elite athletes struggle with eating disorders, burnout, depression, or anxiety.

Various athletes playing different sports for the ultimate all-around athlete workout program

Professional athletes, bodybuilders, those who share the world stage are a great source of inspiration. At the same time, they are human beings. In the world of elite athletes and professional sports there is a tremendous amount of pressure to compete and perform at the highest level. Depression, stress, anxiety, fear of failure can all set in at any moment. Adhere to necessary protocols to take care of your mental health. Doing these few things will impact your moods, the way you think and feel. Take the holistic and functional medicine approach, prevention and identify what may be causing the problems.

  1. Healthy eating. Food is medicine.
  2. Proper nutrition, hydration, vitamins, supplementation, nootropics.
  3. Avoid overtraining. Burnout.
  4. Practice meditation, visualization, and deep breathing.
  5. Surround yourself with positive people.
  6. Read, watch, listen to things that will motivate and inspire i.e., books, video, internet, YouTube, articles.
  7. Recovery.
  8. Rest/Sleep.
  9. Limit time spent on the internet and social media
  10. Do things you enjoy. Take a hike, go for a walk.
  11. Bloodwork. Get your bloodwork checked minimum 2x a year. Know what is happening on the inside. Identify immediate needs and deficiencies.
  12. Avoid alcohol and drugs.
  13. Speak up if you are experiencing symptoms of depression, mood swings, irritability, anxiety, stress. Find a qualified coach or sports psychologist.

Rob Fletcher is the Business Development Director of Muscle & Fitness+and Author of America’s Next Great Trainer Transform Your Life. Instagram: @angttv