Similar to a team, the entire body works as one complete unit. Regardless of being genetically blessed, several athletes are now focusing on other aspects that may enhance their performance on the field. Areas such as nutrition, psychology and overall health have become a catalyst in distinguishing those MVPs from other players. By nature, athletes are continually looking for that competitive edge to enhance their performance and their careers. Therefore, aspiring athletes are beginning to take their training to an entirely different level. In addition to the rigorous workouts, some athletes are now beginning to train themselves in different arenas. Elite Health, a complete medical wellness center located in Miami Beach, Florida is helping athletes do just that. They are taking “training” off the field and enhancing athletes’ performance through all aspects.
As of 2011, 65% of NFL players leave the game with permanent injuries. Consequently, the average life expectancy for an NFL player is 53-59 years. For this reason, cardiologists, Dr. Steven Schnur, author of The Reality Diet and Dr. Perry Krichmar, founders of Elite Health Medical Group, understand what a complete medical wellness approach can do for an athlete for both performance and longevity. In the realm of sports, professional athletes do not retire in their mid-thirties because they lose their talent. They simply retire because they lose their capability to recuperate from the physical game impact, physical stress and trauma. For example, a lineman could be suffering from sleep apnea due to his unimaginable size and weight. He may excel in the game for a short period of time but be in poor health upon retiring. Likewise, a player may develop low testosterone levels due to the inability for the body to recover. As a result, the quality of life of that individual upon retiring will be affected. Dr. Schnur and Dr. Krichmar would never derail an athlete’s dreams for playing in the NFL or any other professional sport, but would encourage the person to become more proactive while in the game to prevent lifelong conditions and extend life expectancy.
“At the end of the day, it comes down to performance, recuperation and longevity for each individual athlete” says Dr. Schnur. “You have to look at each athlete from every angle—medically, psychologically and nutritionally to really create optimal performance and extend quality of life.” Elite Health ranks supreme compared to any other medical practice. Understanding the latest in innovative medicine, the staff will screen each athlete, individually addressing any underlying medical concern that may affect performance, recuperation or overall health. Elite Health has evolved in one of the leading medical practices in the country and provides high-level healthcare through diagnostic testing and state-of-the-art prevention screening all under one roof. Elite Health is also a leader in concierge healthcare, where every athlete has direct access to a healthcare advocate and receive unparalleled service.
What makes Elite Health unique is its testing and integration of medical and wellness experts. Elite Health’s extensive staff includes physicians, registered dietitians, sports nutritionists, exercise physiologists along with Sports Psychiatrists. Every athlete is run through a series of tests that determine a variable essential to recuperation and performance.
One key to increasing performance is boosting metabolism. Metabolism simply means energy—and the more energy you have, the better you will perform. One of the main components of Elite Health is nutrition, an area where most athletes need improvement. Bill Cortright, the COO of Elite BioFit and author of the The Stress Response Diet & Lifestyle Program has created a program that enhances athletic performance by creating a lifestyle where an athlete’s body is able to recuperate each day from the rigors of training and everyday life. “As the body ages and undergoes tremendous stress, nutrition becomes like medicine” states Cortright. When measuring stress, it cannot be limited to the ordinary definition of just mental stress. Stress can derive from over— exercising, not eating appropriately, metabolic imbalances, lack of sleep and traveling, which can affect the recuperation of the athlete. The problem with professional athletes is that nutrition has never been customized to their body, their sport, their position and their goals. Elite Health can do just that.
Elite Health can create a tailored program to measure how each athlete handles stress, processes food and recuperates. The accumulation of these results determines the right diet and supplementation to increase performance, energy and recuperation.
The third aspect Elite Health has to offers is neurofeedback sessions. Sports psychiatrist Dr. Rick Harris and his staff at The Neurofeedback Institute make it possible for athletes to gain the competitive edge on the sports field without having to spend more hours practicing. By identifying areas of the brain pertinent for performance enhancement and improving their overall functioning—behaviors can be altered and athletic deficits, areas of weakness and even extraneous distractions can be eliminated from the game. As such, treatment is tailored to the specific needs of the athlete based on a comprehensive evaluation.
Dr. Rick Harris has worked with several professional athletes and teams such as the 2006 World Cup Italian soccer team, the 2010 winter Olympic Canadian free style ski team and the 2012 St.Thomas University woman’s basketball team, along with numerous individual NFL players. Neurofeedback is helping athletes gain a competitive edge over opponents, allowing athletes to reach optimal mental and physical states necessary to be successful on the field.
Athletes need to focus on many aspects to enhance their careers, status among others and longevity upon retiring. They have never had a problem when it comes to pushing themselves on the field; however, it’s time they utilize that motivation to amplify their talent.