Serena Williams is quite possibly the greatest athlete of all time. Recently, the Wimbledon star broke a US Open record (on her daughter’s birthday no less) by scoring her 102nd win, which means that she currently has the most career wins in the tournament’s history, male or female. The record was previously held by Chris Evert, who had 101 wins.
With such an incredible record to her name, one has to wonder how the tennis titan stays fit and healthy, and that’s exactly what this article is going to delve into.
Serena Williams Health and Fitness Secrets
She loves to cook
Serena Williams | Instagram
The Wimbledon icon once shared with Bon Appétit that she enjoys making meals for her friends and family,
“My other go-to dishes are something I call a ‘seven-bean delight,’ which really only has five beans, but don’t tell.”
If you really want to take control of your health, it’s important to get into the practice of cooking your own meals.
In fact, a 2017 study found that cooking your own meals not only reduces the risk of obesity, but it also helps to improve your overall health. What’s more, with everything going on in the world, cooking can also be a great way to relieve stress and ease symptoms of anxiety and depression.
She follows a raw and vegan diet
In 2011, Serena’s sister and fellow tennis sensation Venus Williams was diagnosed with Sjogren’s Syndrome, an auto-immune condition. In order to ease symptoms associated with the condition, Venus adopted a strictly raw, vegan diet and Serena did the same as a show of support.
According to a study published in the journal Clinical Cardiology, a raw vegan diet can help to improve heart health, as well as reduce the risk of heart disease. It’s no wonder that she looks so fit and healthy on the court.
She makes sure to treat herself
Now just because she’s constantly on the court, does not mean that she doesn’t indulge in a treat or two. Venus once shared that she regularly enjoys fries and that her favorite celebratory meal is cheese pizza.
It’s important to treat yourself now and then, as depriving yourself will only increase the risk for binges and this is never good.
Serena Williams | 2018 US OPEN (TPN / Getty Images)
Additionally, treating yourself can also help to reduce cravings and boost your metabolism.
She stays hydrated
While this seems like a given considering how much time she spends on the court, Williams shared that she makes sure to stay hydrated both on and off the court, as she understands the importance of healthy hydration.
That said, if you’re battling with consuming at least 6 glasses of water a day, you’ll be happy to find out that you can get your water intake from foods, such as watermelon and cucumber.
She had the healthiest pregnancy cravings
Crazy and random pregnancy cravings are common, but not for the US Open icon. In fact, Serena shares that she was a little disappointed at first with her cravings because the only thing she did crave was healthy veggies.
As random as this sounds, the reason behind it is a simple one. It appears that the eating habits she developed during her pregnancy became the driving force behind her cravings. Therefore, if you’re looking towards having healthy cravings, then it’s important that your pre-pregnancy diet is a healthy one.
Serena Williams | Instagram
She loves to squat
In a workout that she shared with Nike’s Training Club app, one of the main exercises in the workout was squatting. It’s easy to notice the effects that squatting has had on William’s body when she’s on the court, especially her toned and muscular calves.
Additionally, squatting can also help to reduce the risk of injury (which is important for every athlete) as well as tone your core and improve both balance and posture.
She zones out
“Something I do every day is [to] completely turn my brain off, which sounds weird but because I work so much between tennis and running my other properties—Serena Ventures and Serena Clothing. But it’s a lot so I just need to turn my brain off and not think about anything,” Williams once shared with CNBC Make It.
Serena Williams | 2018 US Open| (TPN/Getty Images)
Williams shared that zoning out can take the form of meditation, watching something on TV, or even dotting over her 2-year-old daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr.
“It’s a lot easier now because I can just watch my baby,” Williams says. “It really helps me to focus on her and focus on the moment and not think about anything else. And I purposely do that with her because I know that I just need to shut off.”
Serena Williams | 2018 French Open| (Fred Lee/Getty Images)
That said, in zoning out and giving her mind a rest, Williams will be better equipped to take on the following day’s challenges. If you want to emulate Williams’ habit, you can do yourself a favour and treat yourself to a mental health day.
Mills, S., Brown, H., Wrieden, W., White, M., & Adams, J. (2017). Frequency of eating home cooked meals and potential benefits for diet and health: cross-sectional analysis of a population-based cohort study. The international journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity, 14(1), 109. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12966-017-0567-y
Najjar, RS, Moore, CE, Montgomery, BD. (2018). A defined, plant‐based diet utilized in an outpatient cardiovascular clinic effectively treats hypercholesterolemia and hypertension and reduces medications. Clin Cardiol. 41:307–313. https://doi.org/10.1002/clc.22863