Ever wish you could ask an Olympic athlete for her number one tip for staying in shape? PEOPLE did, and the answer was not what you might think.
Misty May-Treanor, a two-time Olympic gold medal-winning volleyball player, says her best advice doesn’t have to do with what you eat or how you work out.
On a break from training for the London Games Misty May-Treanor told PEOPLE magazine:
My number one tip for maintaining a healthy lifestyle would be: Rest, rest, rest, rest, and rest. You should get at least 8 hours of sleep, because at rest is when your body is trying to recover.
It’s that simple, rest!
May-Treanor, who won the gold medal with teammate Kerri Walsh in beach volleyball at both the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, also cites a balanced diet as crucial for maintaining peak performance, even more than hours logged in the gym.
You can exercise all you want, but if you’re not eating the right foods, it’s not going to equal out and you’re not going to get the results you want. It’s important to eat a meal every few hours because you’ll see your energy level stay consistent.
The Olympian has partnered with Arnold and Oroweat Bread for the Slice of Gold contest, in which fans can enter to win a private training session with her.
In a recent interview, May-Treanor explains what she’s doing in preparation for The Games and what she finds fun at the gym:
I’m on sand for about two hours, five days a week, but doesn’t include weight lifting after that on certain days or physical therapy or other plyometrics. For me, I love all Olympic lifts, cleans, snatches, squatting, push jerks, throwing around the heavy weights and dropping them on the floor. That’s fun for me. I think it’s fun to go into a gym and lift in the free weight area, where women don’t go very often. The men look at you like, “What are you doing?” I love to prove them wrong.
But if that is fun for her, what isn’t?
Misty’s not-so favorite exercise to do is holding planks…
My least favorite exercise are planks; but I believe that you hate an exercise when you’re weak in that area. So now I don’t steer away from them, and I’ve gotten stronger. I’ve always wanted to do a pull-up. I’m building up strength to do that now, so I’m excited.
So to stay pumped up Misty needs energetic tunes!
For lifting and running and doing workouts, you need that music in your head to keep going, so I always like a good rhythm. I find that with it I can sustain workouts a little longer. My most recent downloads are David Guetta.
So as this sandy star gears up to get down for The Games; you know she’ll be resting as much as possible in between her weight lifting and dreaded plank holding.
Photo courtesy of: Misty May-Treanor’s Twitter