Possibly the epitome of fitness and physical skill, Olympic athletes aren’t just born with their abilities. It comes with years of intense training, focused practice, and healthy lifestyle habits that are designed to support their active lifestyle. When it comes down to it, it’s a matter of daily routine more than anything that keeps them in top condition.
So as we all eagerly anticipate the Olympic games this year, let’s take a look at exactly what goes into an Olympian’s daily routine:
- A solid breakfast—or two: A good breakfast starts you out with the calories you need for your exercise. One option is oatmeal with fruit such as berries and raisins. It adds both healthy fiber and plenty of antioxidants to get the day started right. And since a workout can burn somewhere between 1,000 to 2,000 calories, many athletes go for a second breakfast to replenish their energy.
- Workout: Solid workouts are vital to staying fit. Running, swimming, biking, lifting, rowing, and other exercises build muscle, increase stamina, and improve cardiovascular health. While your workout doesn’t need to be Olympic level right from the start, it should still be challenging enough that you break a sweat and get your heart rate up for a while. An Olympic workout also has variety, so you won’t necessarily do the same type of exercise two days in a row.
- Good protein: Protein is vital to repairing muscle after a workout. Eat plenty of it through fish, poultry, nuts, whey protein, and other sources. It’s especially important to take in protein after you work out since that’s when your muscles will absorb the most nutrients.
- Antioxidants: Antioxidants and omega-3s help reduce inflammation and prevent certain diseases. They can usually be found in fruits and vegetables. Fish is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Salt and water: Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, and include a bit of salt with your meals. Not only will this improve the taste, it will also help your body hold onto water as you exercise.
Again, it’s important to note that this is a daily routine, not just something to do for a few months and then stop. An Olympic athlete’s health depends on making these dietary and lifestyle choices a habit that they follow each day. Keeping this lifestyle up helps to improve overall health and fitness, so if you work these into your routine, you too can be fit and strong like an Olympian.