Written by Brittany Vickers, editorial intern
Bleiler co-founded the company that makes the fun ALEX bottle she's toting! (Photo courtesy of Lauren Ross)
We may not all be Olympic level athletes, but some days, it can feel like we have a schedule worthy of one. The only difference is, for us, hitting the gym doesn’t pay the rent. So how can we stay on top of our game? We asked Olympic snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler how she conquers the mountains (both literal and figurative) she faces everyday.
Recently, Bleiler partnered with Listerine, Reach and the American Heart Association’s My Heart. My Life initiative, aimed at keeping American’s healthy, so she filled us in about that as well.
I’m sure you’re busy! How do you fit in time to keep yourself healthy?
If you take care of your health you'll have the energy for everything and everyone else too! It's like the emergency announcement when you fly; they stress to put the oxygen mask on yourself, before helping others. The same thing is true in life!
How do you fit in activity during your most jam-packed days?
I think the secret to staying healthy is in the daily habits that you build into your everyday life that help create balance, energy and the foundation to create the life you want. My five favorite tips for keeping up with an active and healthy lifestyle are: eating a healthy balanced diet, exercising, drinking water, following through with a proper oral care routine and always wearing sunscreen!
Being an athlete means fueling up with the right foods is an important part of your job, what are your tips for eating well?
Breakfast is a really important meal for me because it can be the difference between a really fun and productive day on the mountain or one where I'm just trying to get by! I like to incorporate veggies into every meal. One of my favorite breakfast dishes is made with eggs, broccoli, feta cheese, avocado, green peppers and black beans. But sometimes that's not always the easiest breakfast to make. When I'm on the road, my favorite on-the-go quick and healthy meal is oatmeal with a scoop of Vanilla Creme Light Muscle Milk. It's delicious and the extra protein powder gives me the nutrients to feel fueled and satisfied for a long time.
Another great tip is to always have healthy snacks with you to keep constant and steady energy throughout the day; an apple, slices of red or green peppers, a handful of raw almonds, and always drinking lots of water with preferably your ALEX bottle!
How do you stay motivated, and how would suggest the rest of us—who don't have a job that requires us to be fit—boost our motivation?
Even if fitness isn't necessarily needed to get your job done, you'll operate at your best with it in your life. Taking time to exercise can clear your mind, give you energy, help you feel good and be much more productive. What I've found really works best to stay motivated is to set goals that you can check off as you're working towards the bigger long-term goal. My long-term goals help me stay active on days where I’m tired and don’t feel like working out, the big picture motivates me to do it anyway!
You also need to make exercise something that works for you! Making and partnering up with a friend on fitness goals is a great way to stay motivated and helps keep you accountable. Also, knowing what hour in the day is best for you to work out is a great tip. Is it in the morning when you're fresh and energetic and then you can carry that same energy throughout the day knowing you've already gotten a workout in? Or is your workout more valuable at the end of the day, as something to look forward to that helps you decompress from the day?
Being healthy is more than just being active. How do you keep up your overall health while on the road?
Working with Listerine has been a health eye opener! Did you know that brushing alone misses 75 percent of your mouth? Disgusting, right? Apparently more than two-thirds of American's don't have a proper oral care routine which is brushing and rinsing twice a day and flossing at least once a day. Being a pro snowboarder it's my job to be strong, healthy and at the top of my game so Listerine’s My Life initiative is a cause I connect with! Your mouth is a very important part of your body and it just takes minutes a day to care for it; so what are you waiting for?!
The best advice I've gotten to avoid being sick is to always be on the defense. It's way easier to take daily steps to prevent sickness than to constantly be fighting to get rid of sickness. I work with a homeopathic doctor that has a special drink I try and take daily to keep my immune system strong. At the first sign of feeling run down, I make this garlicky soup recipe that my doctor also gave me. We call it The Soup That Saves Your Life!