7 Tips for a Healthy Lifestyle to Keep You on Top of Your Game
My name is Bev Yanez, and I currently play women’s professional soccer in the NWSL with the Seattle Reign FC. I get to do what I love for a living, travel the world, and spend time with some pretty cool people. To say the least, I absolutely love it. With a strong performance for the team being my main focus day in and out, I really have to focus on living a healthy lifestyle. Adding in all the training hours, travel time, and games, my nutrition has to be top of the line. The older I get, my nutrition is even more important as my body no longer recovers how it used to.
Here are my top tips to continue to have a healthy lifestyle and compete at my best:
- I eat a MOSTLY vegan diet. I would consider myself a “Chegan,” as sometimes I cheat. But for the most part, I eat a plant based diet and I make sure to eat plenty of vegetables, carbs and plant-based proteins. I feel fully fueled for sessions and games on a plant based diet.
- I PREPARE. In order to live a healthy lifestyle, preparation is key. I try to cook on Sundays to have prepared meals throughout the week. That way, I can grab and go in the morning and have a meal for right after training. When traveling, I always make sure to have meals prepared, as usually I cannot eat anything the airports provide. My favorite evening prep for a breakfast meal is Cold Oats, which is a combination of almond milk, oats, chia seeds, cinnamon, dates, and hemp seeds. In the morning, add peanut butter and a banana, and you’re all set!!!
- I FIND different ways to exercise. I was once told to park in the further spot possible at the grocery store or mall, so you get to walk to and from your vehicle. Find ways to sneak exercise in: take the stairs, park further, and ride a bike to work. You’ll start to feel a change in your health when combining these tips with eating healthier as well.
- I have a QUICK source of protein prepared for after training or the gym. My quick source of protein is Nuzest Rich Chocolate Clean Lean Protein, oats, peanut butter, cinnamon and dates blended into a smoothie with almond milk. Thirty minutes after a workout is prime time, so you should get protein and some carbs in this time frame. If you miss the 30-minute window, you lose out on your muscles being replenished properly.
- I take a day OFF and recover! Remember to mentally and physically refresh. We all deserve it, and let’s be honest we need it. If you go too hard, sometimes you get burnt out. Make sure to refresh your body and mind and take some days off!
- I only eat when you’re HUNGRY. I got into a routine a few years ago where I would just eat to eat from fear of being hungry during a 90-minute match. I actually ended up overeating, feeling heavy in games, and in turn playing terribly. Prepare yourself adequately but make sure to eat when your body is telling you it is hungry. I always try to eat a bigger meal four hours before a game to give my body time to digest before the official start of the match.
- I SNEAK in exercise. Complete your emails and phone calls while on a stationary bike or walking around a track. You get exercise while knocking things off your to-do list.
Enjoy life and have FUN! A healthy lifestyle is associated with happier, more energized and positive people. I want to live a long healthy life, travel the world, spend time with my family, and enjoy my time spent with the people in my life. Therefore, I must take good care of my body. We are all capable of amazing things, we just must put our minds to it and BELIEVE!!!