- Kerri Walsh of the US volleyball team
and Natalie Coughlin, 12-time Olympic medalist, swears on
the importance of eating healthy and timely.
- Abby Wambach, gold medalist in women’s
soccer, wants to remind everyone that carbs are not the enemy, but rather very
important for fueling your body.
- Summer Sanders, US Olympic swimmer, forces herself to
rest after workouts.
Are you so excited for the 2018 Olympics that you wish you could,
like, become an Olympian yourself? We’ve got your back. Here are
the top health and fitness tips used every day by our favorite
According to American swimmer, Natalie Coughlin,it’s time to
become a morning person. This 12-time Olympic medalist takes
breakfast very seriously and considers it to be a critical
foundation for the rest of your day.
“If you start your day off with a doughnut, you kind of trash
that day,” Coughlin
told SheKnows. “But
if you start on the right foot, with a healthy breakfast, you’ll
be much more likely to continue making healthy choices the rest
of the day.”
So do your future self a favor and pair your morning coffee with
a balanced breakfast of good carbs and healthy proteins.
Satisfied and energized, you’ll be able to fearlessly conquer the
midday munchies later.
Schedule meals around your workouts
Unlike Kerri Walsh, we can’t all fit in a daily beachfront
workout. However, we can still steal her killer
meal-prep tips. For this Olympic volleyball star, fueling
your body before, during and after your workout is essential for
optimal performance and recovery.
Walsh suggests eating an hour to an hour-and-a-half before a
workout and immediately consuming protein afterward. In between
your squats, burpees and power jams, don’t forget to pay
attention to your body too. Often reaching for sports drinks like
Gatorade while competing, Walsh reminds us to monitor and
maintain our energy levels while working out to ensure a strong —
and safe — finish.
Become friends with carbs
In the face of the extreme dieting trends we tend to see today,
it may come as a shock that carbohydrates aren’t the enemy of
serious athletes, but rather an important ally. In fact,
professional soccer player and gold medalist Abby
Wambach wouldn’t be able to get through
warm-ups without them. “Human beings need carbohydrates,” Wambach
told SheKnows. “It’s our fuel. It
would be like getting into a car with no gas. It’s the energy
that makes you go.”
Wambach warns against low-calorie “quick-fix” diets and instead
suggests maintaining a more individualized nutrition plan and
experimenting to find the right amount of healthy, complex carbs
for your body type and fitness level. Hear that? It’s time to end
the feud with carbs.
Make fitness a family affair
We often forget that Olympians are parents too. So how exactly do
they squeeze fitness into their full-time schedule of parenting?
A busy mom of two, Olympic curler
Erika Brown suggests integrating health and
fitness into family time in any way you can.
Remember: Your decision-making leaves an impression on your
children. The earlier you establish healthy habits, the better.
So, whether it’s running around with the kids in the backyard,
volunteering to coach their little league team or simply sitting
down for a healthy dinner, you are exemplifying the importance of
leading active lifestyles — and that deserves a medal in itself.
De-stress & decompress
After a lifetime spent on balance
beams, gymnast Nastia
Liukin knows a thing or two about
stability. For this five-time Olympic medalist, fitness is all
about seeking balance.
“Make sure you are getting plenty of sleep, taking time to
exercise and taking time to do the little things that make you
happy, whether it’s getting a fun manicure or reading a great
book or just taking a bubble bath,” Liukin
Feeling stressed out can easily lead to impulsive, unhealthy
decision-making. So go ahead: Treat yo’self with some daily
me-time; it’s the Olympian-approved safeguard for your health
Remember to rest
Our vision of an Olympic athlete often involves an alarm clock
ringing at an absurdly early hour of the morning followed by an
unimaginably grueling workout framed by some version of the
infamous phrase, “no days off.”
This myth is busted by Olympic swimmer
Summer Sanders, who stresses the importance of recognizing
the difference between feeling
the burn and feeling
“A large percentage of running injuries need rest from running,”
Sanders, who now runs marathons competitively,
told SheKnows. “When an injury occurs,
runners needs to stop and listen to their bodies, force
themselves to take a break from their training schedule and take
care of themselves.”
Even if you’re not a runner, give yourself a break. To prevent
overworking your body, experiment with cross-training to give
your muscles, joints and bones some recovery time. If you’re
lifting weights several times a week, try yoga. If you often do
high-impact workouts, incorporate swimming into your workout
regimen. In addition to mixing up your workouts, Sanders is also
a huge advocate for getting a solid night’s sleep. Permission to
get in bed before 9 p.m. granted.
Got all that? Good — you’re one step closer to being a gold
medalist. Now you’ve just gotta get yourself to Pyeongchang.
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