Kerri Walsh

Eat and exercise like an Olympian

Think you have what it takes to make it into the Olympics? Try on Kerri Walsh's routine for size. The two-time Olympic gold medalist and volleyball superstar trains on the beach (we could think of worse workout environments!), does Pilates, runs track and lifts weights two times a week. And that's just the beginning.

Here's what Walsh tells SheKnows about living a healthy lifestyle and how she's preparing for this year's Olympics in London -- with tips on how you can ramp up your own healthy eating and exercise routines.

SheKnows: Can you give us a brief rundown of a typical week's worth of workouts?

Kerri Walsh: [Laughs.] It's my job to be fit and healthy. I eat well and practice the three ABC's -- I eat well, sleep well and hydrate. On a daily basis I'm training on the beach for two to three hours. I do Pilates twice a week, a track workout once a week and I lift weights twice a week. On top of that, I do brain training called Neurotopia to help me deal better with stress and help me focus better. I also do physical therapy. I'm literally doing things from head to toe. On top of all that, I do try to get enough rest, which isn't easy with two little boys.

SheKnows: How do you eat to have enough energy for all this activity and training?

Kerri Walsh: I work with a nutritionist, who is also my trainer. Most importantly, I make sure I have a good breakfast. Without it, I'd be in trouble. I wouldn't have enough energy to last throughout my day. I've been eating multi-grain Eggos with almond butter and agave (a natural sweetener) and honey, which gives me my grains, protein and fruit -- everything you need to start off your day. From there I try to eat clean. I need simple carbs when I'm working out, which includes Gatorade -- It allows me to have that quick burst of energy. I used to avoid simple carbs, but complex carbs (whole grains) don't help me as much as simple carbs when I'm in the heat of battle.

SheKnows: How do you time your food intake with your workouts?

Kerri Walsh: It's different when you're competing, but I try to eat 1 to 1-1/2 hours before I work out. Nothing crazy, but I'll have the breakfast I described, and if I feel I need more I'll have more simple sugars when I'm competing. I make sure to have protein after I'm competing to repair the muscle damage afterward. It's kind of trial and error. I realize my joints are more creaky when I eat dairy, for example. It's something everyone needs to try on their own.

SheKnows: Do you have any other favorite food combinations?

Kerri Walsh: I like salads with salmon and goat cheese on top, protein shakes with natural whey protein and fresh berries.

Sounds delish. Thank you, Kerri -- we'll be cheering you on at the London 2012 Olympic Games!

More on health and fitness

Winning diet tips from gold medalist swimmer Natalie Coughlin
Fitness expert Denise Austin: Get energy!
Top 5 high-energy foods

Photo credit: Matthew Hines/WENN

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