I’m a big sports fan.

I love to watch sports on TV and participate in them too when I get a chance. 

My first job out of university was working at CTV Sports as part of the Olympic broadcast team.

Athletes, both able and disabled, have great focus, resilience and desire to defy the odds.

This week we watched the documentary “Rising Phoenix,” which puts the human spirit and athletic ability in an extraordinary light.

I HIGHLY recommend watching it.

My job as an Olympic researcher (pre-internet, mind you!) and associate producer on feature stories meant that I had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet and interview athletes. 

I got an inside glimpse into what kinds of lives top athletes lead, how they ate, trained, managed injuries and setbacks, and what they liked to do when they weren’t competing.

It looks glamorous from the outside, but the reality for many of them, it was the opposite.  

The more I interviewed them, the more I realized they were just regular people.

Of course, athletes have an athletic skill that they’ve worked hard to develop and navigated through good results and bad ones. 

But the thing I admired most about all of them was that they kept showing up and wanted to keep playing.

Each of us enters into this world with an innate ability to want to move our bodies.

We are all born to play.  Playing is part of our biology.

When we are children, play is an integral part of our development and learning. It brings us a sense of wonder and belonging.

It’s also as natural as sleeping and eating. 

And this many years later, as a health coach, I am helping clients find what works best for them when it comes to living their healthiest lives. 

With COVID-19 changing how we go about our daily routines, nothing has impressed me more than how people adjust their expectations to meet the current situation.  

If you are finding that there is a gap between your wellness intentions and daily practices, here are three healthy habits to adopt to play like an athlete (even if you are far from one):

  1. Eat to fuel your body to perform its best. The fundamentals of nutrition: lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, and water should make up most of what people eat and drink. Whole foods, close to their natural state (think real chicken instead of lunch meat or blueberries instead of blue candies), are an excellent place to start.
  2. Sleep and recover to make sure you can handle stress and the demands of everyday life. Can you add 5 minutes of yoga or get to bed 5 minutes earlier?
  3. Work toward something that makes you feel proud. You are now intervening on the risks you can control – like getting enough play (exercise) to keep your body working for you rather than against you as you age (at a COVID safe distance, of course).

Exercise (or play) trains you to be a person of action. Every day you have a choice to be passive or active.

Choosing an activity, in whatever way brings you joy, leads you to have a happy, fulfilling life.

If playing has become less of a priority for you, you might not know what you are missing. 

We are all born the same – you, me, and Olympic athletes.

Find the way to play that makes sense to you and have fun.

It’s there just waiting for you.

Keep playing!

Coach Jan xox


P.S. Whenever you’re ready, there are 3 ways I can help you get results with your health objectives

1 – Grab a copy of my book, The Play Book:  How To Get In The Habit Of Good Health here

2 – Join my free online course, 7 Days of Healthy Habits where you can learn how to build fun, sustainable, yet simple habits in just one week, no matter how busy or stressed you are by clicking here

3 – Want to make a lasting change to your health?  Join The Play for Life System Coaching Program HERE. A 12-week premium habit-based coaching program for women who want to control their health without diets, medications, or going to the gym.