Great Britain Taekwondo star, Lutalo Muhammad says he’s ready for this summer’s Olympic Games and reveals one of his secrets to performing to the best of his ability … Sleep!
The 2x Olympic medallist and ambassador for Worldwide Olympic & Paralympic partner, Bridgestone, is passionate about the recovering benefits of sleep, as he trains multiple times a day and constantly needs to be at his best.
The 2nd-3rd January marks the Festival of Sleep day – a day that encourages people to relax post their New Year’s Eve celebrations. To support the nation, Lutalo spoke to Bridgestone revealing his top 5 tips on how to get a good night’s slumber, “everyone can benefit from sticking to a sleep pattern, going to bed and waking up at the same time is key to stay on top of your game”, said the Olympian.
Lutalo might dream in his sleep like the rest of us but sleeping well, will certainly help him accomplish his dream of winning a medal at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, which will now take place in 2021 (23rd July – 8th August 2021).
Having narrowly lost out on gold at Rio 2016, he is more determined than ever. He said: “It’s the start of a new Olympic year and I’m ready. I’ve had more time to reflect, make positive changes and train harder. I have to think that the games will be going ahead, and my mentality is fully focused on bringing home the gold medal.
“In order to perform to my best, recovery is paramount: I need to make sure that I get the right amount of sleep as it’s by far the most important thing in terms of your recovery. Everything else you do is really just supplementary, but your sleep is where you really make those recovery gains.
“Here are my top 5 tips:
Meditate. This helps me relax my mind. Being on top of my breathing exercises is so important. Even if it’s just taking five minutes at night, ending the day in a calm way – I just feel like it allows you to completely cleanse the mind and body, just like resetting the computer.
Regular exercise is something that can really help you sleep, as it can relieve stress and relax your body. However, it’s important to go at your own pace and not overdo it, especially close to bedtime. Basically, you should be the right sort of tired, not exhausted, but go to sleep having used the energy your body has to offer.
I’m definitely guilty of maybe being on my phone a bit too long sometimes, so try and restrict time on your phone, especially in the evenings. Creating some general lifestyle rules that allow you to balance things in your life, making sure technology does not take over. Especially at night, its time to switch (everything) off.
I love coffee but I limit myself to how many I have and don’t drink any caffeine in the evening, as it interferes with the process of falling asleep. Instead, I will have a glass of milk or a mint tea, sit back and relax.
Yoga! I love to relax before bed and find Yoga to be the perfect remedy. It destresses tensions and is scientifically proven to improve your quality of sleep.
Lutalo added: “Before a competition, when adrenaline has started to set in, I have a nice long full body stretch before going to bed. It’s my way of releasing stress and tension after a hard day of training my body.”
This will be Lutalo’s third Olympic Games and he aiming for selection to fight at the +80KG weight category, moving up a class from Rio 2016.
Last year, Muhammad joined the Bridgestone UK’s ‘Chase Your Dream, No Matter What’ ambassador team, with legendary decathlete and two-time Olympic gold medallist Daley Thompson.
Bridgestone UK, is on the road to Tokyo 2020 in its hometown and home country, Japan. The company aims to inspire people of all ages, abilities and passions to chase their dream and overcome the obstacles they face on life’s journey through its ‘Chase Your Dream, No Matter What’ campaign. for more information please visit https://bridgestone.co.uk/olympics