We’re several weeks into the new year and it’s often around this time that the motivation you had to deliver on your New Year’s resolutions is starting to wane. A common ambition is to be healthier but, as you probably know all too well by now, this takes plenty of hard work and commitment. Quinoa and kale are as unappealing as the appendages that sprung up on the noses of Formula 1 cars in 2014. Meanwhile, the temptation to repeatedly hit ‘snooze’ instead of going for that morning jog, may well lead you to wonder whether the button was created by Lucifer himself. Figuring you could be in need of a pep talk, we asked the man charged with keeping the team in tip-top condition, team performance coach Serg Stelitano, to provide you with some inspiration.
Here are Serg’s seven easy steps that will get you feeling healthier and ready for the 2021 F1 season.
1 | Sip on something smooth-ie
Drinking a smoothie full of fruit and vegetables is a great way to kick-start your day. Not only is it an easy way to get in loads of your five-a-day but it can also boost your energy levels. At the track, we provide smoothies with breakfast to help get the team fuelled and ready for the day ahead.
2 | Stretch
Taking some time to stretch in the morning and evening can have a huge impact on your physical and mental well-being. Stretching for just a couple of minutes in the morning can prime your body to attack the day and doing some light stretches before bed can help to ease any tight muscles and stiffness for a more restful night’s sleep. It’s such a simple thing, but it’s a key thing for everyone in the team to help them perform at their best as they travel around the world from race to race.
3 | Eat lots of colours
We’ve all heard about eating five-a-day but eating five oranges in the space of 24 hours is not quite the right idea. Eating a variety of fruit and vegetables will give your body the range of vitamins and minerals it needs. Fruit and veg can be separated into different colour groups and if you’re eating a mixture of these colours in things like salads, you can be safe in the knowledge that you’re getting a healthy balance of the essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which can be found within each colour grouping. We promote this within the team by providing a wide range of fruits and vegetables across a race week, both as snacks and in meals.
4 | Bank your sleep
Adults need around seven to nine hours sleep per night for proper recovery and readiness; however, this is not always possible. Latest research shows that banking sleep is an effective way to limit the negative effects of a lack of sleep. That’s why we encourage the team to bank as much sleep as possible in the early part of a race week, as the amount of sleep they get later in the week can be limited.
5 | Get moving
Moving more doesn’t necessarily mean you have to run, ride or do circuit classes, it can be as simple as going for a walk. Walking is a great way to increase your daily movement in a low impact, high benefit way. A 30-minute walk will help to increase blood flow, get joints and muscles working and improve breathing. It’s also a great way to de-stress. When we’re on the road, we get the team moving by getting them to walk, ride or run around the track during race weeks. This reduces their stress levels and improves fitness, which helps them perform at their best on race day.
6 | Be mindful
2020 helped us all understand the importance of our mental health. Being mindful means you’re self-aware and acknowledge how you’re feeling. All it takes is a few minutes each day to sit with your thoughts, or read a book, or even do some light yoga. Looking after your mental health is crucial and our partner Mind, the mental health charity, has many useful tools and tips to help you. Make sure you check them out.
7 | Keep track
Keeping track of what you are doing is a great way to understand yourself more. There are a whole host of wearable tech options on the market, ranging from entry-level activity trackers to high-end GPS devices. These wearables can be used as tools to better understand what stage you’re currently at and help keep you on track with your goals. At McLaren, we use wearables to keep track of how much energy we’re using throughout the day and to monitor recovery – helping us to operate at our very best all season long.
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