Written on February 15, 2012 at 2:36 pm , by Karla Walsh
After Danica Patrick’s grandma struggled with emphysema, she knew she wanted to do more than simply focus on preventing more lung disease in her family. So for the past two years, the race car driver has worked with DRIVE4COPD to spread the word that COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is the only leading cause of death that’s increasing in prevalence.
We spoke with Patrick about her health crusade, how she stays in shape and how she’s feeling leading up to the big race coming up at Daytona on February 26.
Lung health has played a large role in your life. What do you do to keep yours in top shape?
I work out a lot. I lift weights to stay strong for my job. My routine includes a lot of functional training, like squats and lunges with an upper body move, for core stabilization. Cardio is also important, and it feels good to work my lungs and breathe deep. I think of taking care of my body from the inside out, especially as I’m getting older, and eat foods because they’re healthy. And not smoking is a big factor.
It sounds like you’re quite active! Do you have any favorite ways to stay fit?
I’ve been exercising since I was 14 and will be 30 next month, so I know that I have to change it up to make it fun. I enjoy DVD workouts—Beachbody does a great job with P90X and Insanity. They’re very difficult, and I’ve found it’s fun to add jumping and shake up my routine. My goal this year is to stick with yoga more. I used to skip it during the season since it would take away from my strength training time, but I know that flexibility is important.