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Karting and Your Lifestyle

By: Kate Simpson BA, MA - Updated: 12 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Karting Go-karting Diet Fitness Upper

In the day to day lives of non-professional drivers, karting is likely to feature minimally. Indeed, it may be viewed as a purely recreational activity. For those with professional ambitions, however, karting is likely to impact upon both their outlook and lifestyle. We show you how to tailor your routine in order to maximise your karting potential.

Karting and Your Body

Karting is an extremely physical sport that requires high levels of personal fitness and health. The need to perform unfailingly from 10am until 5pm means that exercise is key. Experts stress the importance of upper body strength and recommend joining a martial arts club to keep in shape. Lewis Hamilton is reportedly a Karate Black Belt. Team, group or scheduled sports will promote a sense of routine, boosting morale and building focus. In order to improve stamina, be sure to do regular cardiovascular activities. Running and cycling are ideal. These sports also allow you to ‘lose yourself’; a regular morning run can provide the perfect opportunity to unwind and focus on your karting ambitions.

Diet, too, is important for drivers. Plenty of lean protein, such as chicken and fish, is important for muscle growth and repair. Complex carbohydrates such as wholegrain pasta and brown rice will provide the necessary slow-release energy when it comes to racing. A well balanced, healthy diet that includes plenty of fruit and vegetables is vital to support your immune system. There is nothing worse that having to pull out of a race due to sickness. Aim for a diet rich in vitamins and minerals. If you feel you do not take in enough naturally in the course of your diet, consider taking a supplement. Research suggests that ‘food state’ vitamins are most beneficial. In winter, be sure to wrap up warm and have regular hot drinks to avoid infection.

Steer clear of junk food and fizzy drinks wherever possible. Sugar, artificial sweeteners, preservatives and fat all spell danger for your health. Binging and indulging too frequently can also disrupt your blood sugar levels. To keep your energy up, aim to eat something healthy every three or four hours. Combining protein and carbohydrate is key. A piece of fruit and a handful of nuts is an ideal snack for those who need to keep in shape and stay alert.

Karting and Your Mind

Karting experts consistently assert the importance of concentration when it comes to karting success. Those who are keen to make it behind the wheel should be sure to care for their brain and wellbeing, as well as their body. Take steps to minimise stress in your life. Some find keeping a diary a useful worry-buster, whilst others look to activities such as jogging or swimming. Whilst many find partying an enjoyable way to unwind, too many late nights and excessive amounts of alcohol will bring fatigue, kill brain cells and damage much-needed focus.

To stay motivated, ambitious drivers should be goal-driven. Set yourself frequent, achievable aims and reward yourself when you attain them. These goals could reflect technical skills you seek to improve, such as driving in wet weather, or they may be event specific. You might, for example, aim to come first in a given race. Take time to thoroughly visualise what you want to achieve. Motivate yourself aloud, if you find it helps. Writing down your goals and achievements will also facilitate the consolidation of your professional aspirations.

Whilst you may predominantly think of exercise as a means of conditioning your body, it is important to remember that it also benefits your mind. Regular exercise encourages the flow of oxygen to your brain, helping you to stay focused and positive.

Many of the tips and hints above are ones that should be adopted by anyone seeking to live a healthy lifestyle. For the ambitious kart driver, however, taking care of the mind and the body is crucial to race and career success. A healthy, happy individual is an enthusiastic, energetic one. Crucially, sky-high levels of motivation are needed to make it in the tough world of racing.

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