After several years of working with professional athletes, I can certainly say I’ve picked up a few secrets on how they stay in tip-top shape. And you better believe I put those tips to use when summer, a.k.a. “bikini season,” rolls around. Even though I’m only running crisp routes and scoring touchdowns in my dreams, it doesn’t mean we can’t all look like we are professional athletes!
1. Make it a team sport. Finding a workout buddy is the most helpful thing when it comes to staying motivated for an extended period of time. And Joe Montana and Jerry Rice are proof that the best production comes from a great duo. I’ll team up with one of my friends and go to Barry’s Boot Camp classes or SoulCycle a couple times a week. Knowing that a friend’s smiling face is waiting for me at the 7 a.m. class is the only way I’m guaranteed not to sleep in. The only thing stronger than the bond between a girl and her bed at 6 a.m. is the fear that your friend will blow up your phone when you stand her up. It’s also easier to make smart decisions at dinner when I’m out with friends that have the same goals.
2. Mix it up! Surprise your body. The NFL players don’t do the same workouts every single day. If they did then they would exhaust the same muscles, making them more prone to injuries. Instead they have workout days in the gym, walkthroughs, practices on the field, stretching, and even a rest day. A lot of them even take it up a notch in their personal off-season workouts, running sprints on the beach, flipping over tires and pulling sleds. I’m not saying we should all go take the wheels off our cars, but I notice my body gets to the place where I want it to be faster when I’m in spin class working my glutes and legs, and then in Dan’s class at Strong Body Pilates toning my abs and arms – and some muscles I didn’t even know I had.
3. Add a splash of green juice. I still am on a mission to figure out what is in Cam Newton’s “Cammy Cam juice” he drinks before games. But what I have noticed from the other players, who share what is inside of their bottles in the morning, is that it’s green juice. Some days I don’t want a salad. Some days I just want to eat carbs all day…and that’s fine too as long as I balance it out with a great workout and a green juice. My favorite right now is Kimberly Snyder’s Glowing Green Smoothie at Bio Glow. The added pear and apple makes the green juice taste more like dessert than torture. Plus, you are getting 3 cups of dark leafy greens, which is more than most people get in a week.
4. Your kitchen wants to be used. Cooking in my kitchen has saved my waistline for almost my entire life. I don’t limit myself from any food item or food group. (With the exception of dairy products, because I’m extremely lactose intolerant.) I eat carbs, steak, french fries, and sweets. And the ONLY way I can do that is by cooking a healthy version of those foods at home. If I want french fries, I’ll slice real potatoes, drizzle them in olive oil and spices, and bake them in the oven until they are crispy. If I want pasta, I’ll use gluten-free quinoa pasta with a vegan pesto sauce. The difference in calories, fat and sodium in foods that are prepared at home versus at a restaurant would blow your mind. I’m talking a difference comparable to the Broncos vs Seahawks Super Bowl.
5. Update your playlist, update your workout. There’s a reason why the stadiums blare music during warm-ups and why baseball players put time into picking out the perfect walk-up song. There’s a reason why Anderson Silva walks out to “Ain’t No Sunshine,” and why basketball players play an entire game with hits sporadically played on the loud speakers. Music has a strong influence on the way we workout. Whenever I get into a workout rut, I update my playlist. It’s as simple as that.
6. Ab exercises go better with TiVo than popcorn. This is coming from someone who considers popcorn an actual food group. There is nothing I love more than TiVo and Netflix, and nothing I dread more than doing abdominal work. So I thought, why not combine the two?! I’ll put on my favorite TV show, “Veep,” and crunch away. Plus, if you laugh, you engage and work your core twice as much! Holding a plank for a minute at a time, and repeating several times, is also a workout I do while in front of my TV.
7. I’m in love with the coconut water. There is nothing more hydrating and a great complement to a tough workout than coconut H2O. It’s getting closer to summer. It’s hot outside. And the worst thing you could possibly do for your body is dehydrate it. Trust me, I’ve been to the hospital for dehydration before. It’s not fun. Also, another great way I’ve found to stay hydrated and help promote digestion is to drink hot lemon water with a splash of honey after meals. It’s the perfect amount of sweetness to curb your appetite and make it easier to pass on that dessert menu.
Bonus Tip, a.k.a. “Two-point conversion” – When I have to get in shape extremely fast for on-camera, I dance. I take Zumba classes, hip-hop classes, ballroom classes. You name it, I’m taking it. It tones every inch of your body in an hour, counts as your cardio for the day, and lengthens your muscles more than most exercises. It’s my secret fast-fix that’s good for my body, mental health and a blast to do!
By Lindsay McCormick.