Being an athlete, my overall wellness is extremely important. It took me years to actually figure that out, and how to love my body and make it strong. When I found the right motivation, exercise, treatment, and nutrition I needed, it propelled me on my journey to the Olympics, while giving me the success in life that I have always been striving for. Treating my body and mind right is at the top of my list for a happy, healthy me. Trust me, I know it’s not easy to make it a priority with the demands of schedules, work, families, training, friends, and day-to-day life; however, I believe taking care of oneself needs to become a priority for everyone!
Here are a few things that helped me find my way to the best Abby I have ever been:
Find your passion
Sports have always been a huge part of my life’s passion. I got my first season pass to a ski resort when I was 6 months old and am lucky enough to have fallen in love with sport and eventually ski jumping at the age of 7. Because I have been able to live my passion, it makes me want to help others find and live theirs. The biggest thing I want to take away from my career as a professional athlete is being a role model to younger girls. I am so excited to have the opportunity to work with 1,000 Dreams Fund, as it is helping me reach girls all over the country — even all over the world. There are so many opportunities for girls to participate in sport and 1,000 Dreams Fund is a catalyst in opening up pathways for girls to develop their sports passion!
Get out and PLAY!
Find your groove in any way that you can move. Your body is with you for life, and it needs love daily. Walk, run, bike, dance, do yoga, play with your kids or animals, kick a ball. Just get moving. As an athlete for 21 years, I am lucky and have allotted time to do my favorite things, which are going for walks, stretching, and playing with my animals, but my favorite exercise (besides skiing) is using my B Strong Training System, developed by US Ski Team Doctor Jim Stray-Gundersen. B Strong Fitness has changed my life in a way that I couldn’t have ever imagined. After using my system for a year, I have lost weight while gaining muscle, and am the leanest and strongest I have ever been — and at 28 years old! Most people think an athlete at 28 is done, but I am at my very best ever!
Therapy allows your body to rest and recover so it can be better and get better at moving. I have found that my B Strong bands, massage, and acupuncture are my go-to when I’m sore, achy or hurt. It’s okay to splurge on treating yourself. Think of it like changing the oil in your car — your car needs it to run. Your body is the same and needs assistance to perform as well.
Play with food
Many of us love to peruse online recipes and cookbooks, but next time, actually make it. Pick one night a week where you go outside your comfort zone (or comfort food) and make something new, with fresh ingredients or something you’ve never used. Build from those new foods and develop a good knowledge of the nutrition count in those foods. If you eat well 85 percent to 90 percent of the time, you will be happy and healthy. We all need to “cheat” every now and then, and not be hard on ourselves for doing it. As an elite athlete, I have to eat well most of the time while preparing for Olympic trials in order to stay healthy and on top of my fitness demands, but there are treats I love to have that are still good for me.
My husband and I started eating organic, wholesome, natural foods three years ago, and it changed both of our lives. We feel better, and we have happy guts! Try eliminating things that have high-fructose corn syrup, GMOs, and preservatives. I also eliminated gluten for a month. I knew it caused inflammation and I was dealing with an ankle injury. Since then I definitely noticed a difference and I am now completely gluten free. Not only has it helped with my joints, but my energy level is also higher.
Spend time with the ones you love
Without my husband, family, and friends, I wouldn’t be able to pursue my Olympic dream. Their support has given me the ability to love myself and they top my overall wellness like sprinkles on ice cream.
Seek Credible Expertise
I have been blessed to work with professionals and leaders in fitness, health, and nutrition, and am thrilled to share the tips I have gained over the years with all out there to Make It Better!
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