The 2014 Winter Olympics showed us amazing feats of athleticism, perseverance, and triumph. And in just two years the summer athletes get their chance to show us their chops!
While we all may not be full-time athletes, the healthy habits these Olympians demonstrate are not just limited to their sport. They are practices that can apply to anyone, and lessons that can help anyone accomplish their goals. Read on to see how you can integrate these gold-winning Olympic habits into your life:
Stay hydrated and eat your vegetables. Athletes of all sports know that drinking plenty of water and eating lots of vegetables delivers all the nutrients needed to stay strong and healthy. Both runner/bobsledder Lolo Jones and swimmer Natalie Coughlin eat lots of vegetables in their diet.
Get a good night’s sleep. Sleep is essential for the body to recharge. But sometimes it can be difficult to unwind after a long day. Take the advice of judo player Kayla Harrison, who reads a book before going to bed to help fall asleep.
Block out distractions. When you need to rest or focus, it’s best to eliminate anything that could distract you. Basketball player Swin Cash says to let your friends and family know when you need to time alone to focus. Communicating these needs will let loved ones know that you care about them and appreciate their support. Make sure to take some time for yourself to regroup mentally and physically.
Rebound from a setback. Don’t allow yourself to dwell in the past. “If you allow yourself to stay in that losing moment, you’ll be locked in,” says Swin Cash. Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson tries to see any kind of setback or disappointment as a learning period. She recommends asking yourself, “what did I do wrong? How can I fix it and show everyone what I’m actually made of?”
Ask for help. Sometimes asking for help can feel defeating. But, asking for help shows humility. It’s ok if you need assistance. You don’t need to be Superman. Beach volleyball player Kerri Walsh says that it’s really a sign of strength to say ‘I really need help, I can’t do it all.’ She says it is important to rely on your support system.
Push yourself when you’ve hit a wall. It’s important to persevere even if you feel like you can’t possibly continue any further. Kerri Walsh says to “tell yourself ‘One more step, I can do this. I have more in me.’ You’ll be so proud of yourself once you push yourself past your threshold.” If you feel like you’re not making progress, doing a variety of activities helps work out different muscle groups.
Unwind. Relaxation is just as important as exercise and discipline. Allow yourself some guilty pleasures like Olympic rower Susan Francia, who likes to watch trashy TV shows. Natalie Coughlin finds cooking healthy meals relaxing, and Shawn Johnson likes hot yoga. Gymnast Nastia Liukin writes down her thoughts in a journal every night to help clear her mind of daily stressors. After unwinding, you can return to your work refreshed and ready to go.
These gold medal tips can help anyone, not just Olympic athletes, achieve a happy and healthy life.
Sources: Woman’s Day and Fitness Magazine.