When we go to an airsoft event we all want to perform the best we possibly can. In order to be at the top of your game it is important to be physically conditioned for an event. We’ll going over some tips here to tell you how to prepare for it before, as well as help recover from it afterwards. This will include physical exercises, as well as how to sty properly hydrated throughout the event.
As any of us who have ever participated in an event before know, airsoft can be a very physically demanding sport. Because of this, it’s important to make sure that you’re ready for the strain that you’re going to put onto your body. It’s not as important to be in peak physical condition, as it would be a running back in professional football, but you need to be able to take on the stresses that your body will go through during the event.
During an airsoft event, you can anticipate having to do a lot of walking, and some short bursts of running. Keep in mind that all of this will be done with extra weight that you’re not used to having on you. If you don’t normally exercise, walk at a quick pace for at least one to two miles every day for the two weeks leading up to an event. If you’re going to be going to a 24-hour MilSim scenario, walking more would be advisable. If you’re able to do so, start adding weight, by carrying additional items like a backpack, and even additional layers of clothing.
If exercise is part of your existing lifestyle, then it’s time to step it up by adding weight while doing your exercising. You can do this in the same way as mentioned above, or even go more extreme by adding a diver’s vest and wrist and ankle weights. If you’re going for a 24-hour event, extend your workouts for at least two weeks prior to the event.
About 24 hours prior to the event you should start hydrating, as that will keep you having to drink as much during the event, which can cause cramping if you’re not careful. It is also good to salt your foods that day as the salt will help your body retain more water, so you stay hydrated for longer. It is also important to stretch. Simple leg stretches are good as you will do a lot of running and moving, as well as standing. You should also stretch your torso as you may be bearing quite a load out on the field. Arm stretches are good, as well, especially if you are going to be carrying a LMG or a sniper rifle as they can get quite heavy. The night before, make sure not to eat something that will sit heavily in your stomach, such as lots of pasta. You will want to eat things like chicken and fish as they have protein, and won’t be too heavy in your stomach. Of course it’s essential to eat fruits and vegetables, in order to get a balanced meal, because events can be very strenuous on the body.
While you are out in the field it is important to stay hydrated, so take lots of water. My team and I take a flat of water per every 4 people we have so that we can rehydrate on lunch and after the game, as well. While in the field it is good to not take anything too heavy there, however you will also want to take salty food to help retain water. Some standard things to take in to the field are things like: jerky, sunflower seeds or kernels, Cliff bars, and trail mix. These will help fill you up and keep you going as well as help you retain water. Some teams have traditions for airsoft events, such as eating certain meals, or drinking certain drinks before during and after events. As long as proper caution is taken you can continue to do these things and still maintain hydration. For example, my team mixes the red, blue, and silver Red Bull and drinks it before the events we attend. In order to stay hydrated we make sure we have drunk plenty of water before, and follow up by having a bottle of water. As long as you drink twice the amount of water as you have another substance, you will still stay hydrated properly.
It is just as important to stretch after an event as it is before. Your muscles may be sore and you need to make sure that they don’t cramp. It’s suggested that you stretch all of your major muscle groups, such as your biceps, quadriceps, hamstrings, and all of your back and neck muscles. The best rule of thumb for minor muscle groups is that if it aches, stretch it.
Hydration is key to recovering from an airsoft event. You should weigh in before any event, and weigh out when it’s over. If your weigh-out is less than your weigh-in, drink one cup (eight ounces) of water for each pound you lost. Once you get the initial water in, you can switch to Gatorade or Powerade to replenish your electrolytes, but make sure you keep drinking lots of water as well. Eat healthy foods high in nutrients, and low in calories. If you like eating a certain thing afterwards to celebrate that is fine, but the next day make sure you’re getting the nutrients you need with foods like bananas, lean meats, and leafy green vegetables.
Condition right and you can go out there and preform your best, and still maintain good health. Keep it safe!
Play Hard, Play Fair, Play Fun -$pades