Train Like an Olympian for Your Life: 14 Extra Hours

An Olympian must train with balance in mind. Olympic training not only builds a fit body, but it seeks to increase and maintain health potential–TOTAL health potential.

In “Total Life Conditioning” we discussed some “red flags” signalling a life of imbalance. The balanced life is the healthiest, and strongest life for each individual and is only possible when all aspect of life–social health, career, recreation, physical health, financial health, spiritual life, nutrition health and mental health–are in check. This is achievable with an Olympic level of ritual and discipline.

The main reason many of my patients find themselves “in a rut” is a perceived lack of time for healthful habits. So I found myself and my patients 14 more hours in a week.

How does one create more time?

Proper sleep habits. If you go to bed past 9:30 pm you are losing out on the “golden hours” of REM sleep that provide the maximum refreshment and rest. You will most likely feel tired and as if you did not sleep at all. When I poll my patients for their sleep times, I often get the “11 pm to midnight” response–and dare I say later? If this is you, you’re missing that REM sleep from 9:30pm to midnight. Research on the best bedtime and sleep pattern will continue infinitely–but trust me on this one for a few months. Instead of waiting for a final answer that may never come: implement an earlier bedtime.  Try it consistently for a few months, and then tell me how you feel.

If you go to sleep at 9:30 pm you can wake up at 4:30 am with plenty of rest. Most wake up at 6:30 am: I’ve just found you 2 extra hours!  Multiply that by 7 days per week, and that’s 14 extra hours to invest in balancing your life with Olympic intensity.

These hours aren’t a secret to most Olympians, in fact; morning workouts are commonplace in most training regiments.

In addition to the lifestyle advice I’ve written and the 101 Ways to Live Well series, there are six rituals that make up my morning routine which I wish to share with you. I believe it will help you live an “Olympic Life”.

These were taught to me at a training camp in 2005. I have incorporated this morning routine into my daily life consistently ever since, and it has been an anchor for me during the past 7 years, keeping me in balance.

1) Read your Bible. Get in touch with your spiritual side. Make sure that this is the first thing you do every morning for 10 minutes or more.

2) Go for a morning run. Exercise for at least 20 minutes; do any form of cardiovascular exercise you enjoy. If you do not enjoy cardiovascular exercise yet, go for a morning walk.

3) Stretch for 5-10 minutes after a run.

4) Hydrate yourself. Replenish the fluid that you lost.

5) Nourish yourself with good nutrition. I start my day with a protein-rich smoothie using the whole food SP Complete powder, fruits, flax-seed oil, vegetables, and water to ensure my body is properly nourished.

6) Love your family members before you start your day. Talk with them and invest in those relationships before the workday begins.

The Olympic training mindset is intense–and successful. Use the same intensity towards implementing balance and you will succeed.

I encourage you to try a similar routine that promotes a balance of the oft-neglected areas of health: physical, spiritual, relational, social and nutritional. Are you struggling with making changes? Wellness Philosophy: Change is the previous post for you.

Have you established a morning routine that helps you stay balanced and healthy in all aspects? Please comment and share it! I would love to hear from you.

Please comment or email with any questions you may have about living a healthful, balanced life with Olympic intensity.

Picture from:


~ by danclaps on July 31, 2012.

One Response to “Train Like an Olympian for Your Life: 14 Extra Hours”

  1. […] as supreme sprinting ability. To prepare the team, Schroeder emphasizes the importance of holistic training regiments. The training schedule includes regular workouts that focus on one or two of the following: […]

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