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Sprinter Michael Johnson Wants to Help You Get Fit Fast

Written by Lisa Turner, editorial intern

Retired track star Johnson is still passionate about staying fit. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

We are in a running mood after the amazing Olympic trials this weekend. Did you catch Ashton Eaton's record-breaking decathlon performance? How about the hurdling action by one of the July/August FITNESS cover models (and Olympic qualifier) Lolo Jones?

Sprinter Michael Johnson may have hung up his gold running shoes after winning four gold medals at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, but his love for health and fitness remains strong. He partnered up with GE to develop personalized workouts for a new Facebook app called “Healthy Share,” which encourages users to implement small changes in their lives to yield big results. The soon-to-be Track and Field Hall of Famer and Olympic commentator says the app thrives on a sense of community, because you can log your workouts and then share your results with Facebook friends.

He sat down with The Fit Stop to tell us some of the ways he stays motivated and the importance of setting goals.

Tell us about your new Facebook app.

It’s an app that people can use to help them with a healthy and active lifestyle. We give you a type of challenge and you share your health goals with friends. It creates accountability and helps them get some support from friends. You can get tips from me, too, using a challenge I created. We’re not trying to get people to do Olympics-style training—they’re simple and easy things to do to help them get started on a path to a healthy lifestyle.

What are some examples of the tips you share with users?

Things like stretching before exercising, simple exercises when you don’t have time and drinking more water, because it’s not just fitness but the nutritional side as well. It gets people started off easily because the idea of getting fit can be daunting for some people. You work them into your daily life to get started, then share those ideas and get help from friends so you can make it a part of your daily routine.

How has your daily life changed since a decade ago?

When I was competing, I was training every day, preparing to go out there and push my body to the limit to win a gold medal. Luckily, I did, but now it’s completely different. Motivation is an issue. I still go out and work hard, but there’s no gold medal at the end and no one applauding at the finish line. It’s more difficult.

You’re a sports announcer, run a successful training center and raise a family. How do you keep up with your fitness routine?

You know, it’s just finding ways to balance my time better. I’m able to get in some quick workouts, not intense ones, but I can still get them in. It takes a lot of energy to balance so many things and travel, so I eat healthy. It’s just a matter of staying motivated, staying fit, setting some challenges and trying to get some wins.

How do you like the new uniforms that Olympic athletes will be sporting this summer?

They’re very cool. Very red! And if you look good, you feel good. It’s the only piece of the equipment we have in track and field. Nike has done a great job with the uniform.

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