Pro athlete Fin shares his 360° approach to health
Meet the 20-year-old, London-born hockey player who has played across the world and currently can be found in the central midfield at St Germain Hockey in Paris. His days revolve around keeping his body in peak physical condition so we asked what us mere mortals can take away from his tips.
How important is health to you on a personal and professional level?
My diet and exercise regime is just as important to me personally as it is professionally. From a very early age, I’ve been a very health driven individual because I know that having the right diet and exercising well has a huge impact on both body and mind. Personally, I find that exercise boosts my energy levels and increases my motivation, making me more productive in whatever I’m doing.
My position and playing style requires me to be fast and agile so I focus on weighted exercises
What does training look like for you?
During a 60-minute game the average player will cover around eight to nine kilometres. On top of that I have a few pitch training sessions and conditioning training six times a week. I don’t lift heavy weights. My position and playing style requires me to be fast and agile so I focus on weighted exercises but never anything excessively heavy. Often a lot of my gym work is fundamental explosive movements with low weight and core training. When I need to give my joints a rest, I love to bike and swim.
A large part of health and fitness is finding out what works best for you. Everyone’s body is different and will require, prefer and prosper under different diets, training techniques and environments. It just takes more people to understand that in order for people to really train smart and get the best out of their training and diet.
Please share your healthy habits
For me, routine is crucial and I think any person can use routine to their advantage. For example, I will always complete a conditioning session six days a week. It doesn’t matter what I have on that day, I will always do a session because that’s what’s important to me. It’s about staying in a rhythm which creates momentum – and the more momentum you have, the easier things become.
My other major habit relates to my training environment. To me, the environment around me when I train is one of the most influential things. The gym can be a boring and repetitive environment if you let it become that, so spice it up a bit. Playing great music and creating a vibrant atmosphere helps me to work harder. I also really like to listen to podcasts sometimes when I’m training on my own.
Exercise has a profound effect on my mood and motivation
How do you maintain a healthy mind?
I’m a great believer in the mental aspect of exercise as it is just as important to exercise your head as it is your body. For me, exercise has a profound effect on my mood and motivation. Even something as simple as going for a run in the morning can make a huge difference to my day.
However, I believe there’s a flipside to that. I find if I do too much, it actually affects the psychological side of me more than the physiological. I start to feel low on energy and my motivation levels decrease which is why it’s so important to get the balance right. Your body and your mind work in conjunction with each other. In order for one to really work at its full capacity, you need the other to be in its best possible state.
I would encourage people to eat more frequently but in smaller amounts throughout the day
Do you always eat like an athlete?
On the whole I actually prefer healthy foods but this of course has its exceptions. I am led by moderation and judgement, so if there’s something I really want I’ll have it - just not in excess and very occasionally.
The two things I don’t touch are alcohol and fast food. When I committed to hockey, I fully committed and I think these sacrifices are what it takes to reach my full potential and become the best athlete I can be.
For me, it’s not time that dictates when I eat but my body. As an athlete, my activity levels are naturally going to be higher than an average person but that shouldn’t stop anybody else from doing the same. I think it’s important to let your body tell you when it needs food and I would encourage people to eat more frequently but in smaller amounts throughout the day. It helps to keep your energy levels balanced and is really beneficial for your digestive system.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given
“Nothing comes easy and nothing is for free.” It’s true, in order to be the fittest athlete or healthiest person, it’s not something you can play with and weave in and out. It’s a lifestyle choice that you have to commit to in order to achieve it.
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