5 Professional Sports Stars Discuss How to Stay Healthy While Traveling
Staying healthy while on the road can be a challenge. Not every trip is going to automatically include having fun and losing weight like the Movara Fitness Resort trip we shared previously here on Healthy Living + Travel. While traveling can be an amazing experience, this doesn’t mean that you have to let go of your fitness goals in the process.
Take a leaf out of these five sports stars’ books when it comes to staying healthy while traveling.
As one of the most recognizable faces of tennis, Maria Sharapova says that she’s almost never at her Florida home. Because of rigorous training schedule and tournaments, the five-time Grand Slam champion and one of the world’s highest-earning female athletes travels every week. So what’s her secret for staying healthy while traveling? The tennis star shared three things with Coveteur — discipline, hydration, and a little lavender oil.
“I stick to a clean diet of lean proteins and vegetables, stay hydrated, get a lot of sleep, and stick to my normal routine wherever possible,” Sharapova says, despite her candy addiction and hectic schedule. Her disciplined lifestyle means sticking to her diet and making sure to go for a walk or jog shortly after arriving at a tournament city, just to get used to the air.
On the other hand, hydration is an important part of fitness for Sharapova so much so that she usually drinks half a liter of water before breakfast. Moreover, to battle jet lag, she recommends drinking water right before takeoff, throughout the flight, and upon arriving at the hotel.
Lastly, Sharapova admits that one wellness product she can’t live without when traveling is lavender oil. Aside from smelling good, it has been proven to eliminate nervous tension, relieve pain, and enhance blood circulation, all of which can contribute to a healthier trip.
At 32 years old, basketball superstar LeBron James has logged in 13 seasons in the NBA, 11 of which saw him competing in the playoffs and seven in the finals. Now that the four-time MVP is at an age when a lot of NBA players are beginning to think about retirement, James is showing no signs of slowing down. He’s known as one of the first major players to switch workout focus from strength and weight training to movement and flexibility. James extends this emphasis on longevity and holistic training to his travels with the rest of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
One of the major health adjustments he credits for his team’s performance in recent months was more sleep while traveling in between games. Instead of flying out to the next city right after a game, the Cavs have taken a routine of staying overnight in a city before hitting the road the next day. “We’re old, man,” James jokes in an interview with ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. He added, “Whenever we get a chance to stay over for the night this season, we have to do that.”
Often an overlooked aspect of health and fitness, sleep has been proven to be a crucial factor for maintaining healthy body weight, encouraging recovery after workouts, as well as regulating energy, hunger, and stress. Aside from its benefits for diet and exercise, something as simple as getting adequate sleep, especially when traveling, lowers risks of diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart failure.
With $11,897,290 in live tournament earnings and several podium finishes in European and American poker tournaments, professional poker player Sorel Mizzi ranks fourth in Canada’s all-time money list as of December 2017. As a mind sport, poker doesn’t necessarily require physical fitness from its players. However, Mizzi points out that good diet and regular exercise help him remain focused on the game. The habits also make him feel better about himself and his sport, especially during tournaments.
In Mizzi’s interview with PartyPoker, he describes that his fitness journey began with a ten-day detox program. The process helped him lose 20 pounds and made him decide to live a healthier lifestyle for good, saying, “I decided I didn’t want to put crap inside my body anymore because it makes me miserable.”
Traveling makes it very tempting to get takeout food or binge-eat in restaurants, and Mizzi admits that the old him would’ve given in to those cravings without a second thought. Today, he shares that he’s much more disciplined with his diet and workout routines, citing that he’s never missed a gym session during the main event at the recently concluded WPT Vienna. According to Mizzi, the combination of healthy food and adequate exercise made a major difference to his mental clarity, helping him focus on every hand instead of zoning out in between plays.
Kate Richardson-Walsh capped off a stellar career in women’s field hockey in 2016, when she led Great Britain’s team to a gold finish in the Rio Olympic Games. Richardson-Walsh made her international debut for both England and Great Britain in 1999, and since then has gone on to make 375 appearances for her country. She earned 19 medals, 49 goals, and played as the captain of the British women’s field hockey team for 13 years.
Currently, the British record-holder serves as the patron of Women’s Sport Trust and is on the Athletes’ Commission for the European Olympic Committees. Despite retirement and the absence of organized training, Richardson-Walsh revealed in an interview with The Telegraph that flexibility and dedication is key to maintaining her health and fitness.
“It’s important to be willing to train at different times in the day, whenever your schedule allows,” shared Richardson-Walsh. For instance, while traveling back and forth between meetings and holidays, she makes sure to train whatever time of the day she can. “Learning that discipline, to fit things in whenever you can, is a big help,” said the sportswoman.
American professional stock car racing driver Jimmie Johnson got his start in the world of motor sport at just four years old. He has since earned seven championships in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and 83 career race wins. On top of his racing achievements, Johnson is also a triathlete, with an intense training regimen of endurance swims, runs, and bikes.
Just like his Chevrolet SS, Johnson admits not being able to perform his best unless he’s gassed up on carbs, protein, and plant-based foods. He told Stack Magazine in an interview that being on the road all the time means having to eat the right food, something he hadn’t always paid attention to. In his younger days, Johnson describes, “I was a single guy traveling on the road and eating whatever was in front of me.” That all changed when he got serious about his fitness in 2007, after learning more about how nutrition, training, and performance all tie together “not just for how you look, but how you feel and how you recover.” In addition to lots of vegetables and fruits, Johnson also recommends drinking lots of water.
Did you like these tips, or do you have any star-recommended tips for fitness while traveling? Let us know in the comments section!