by Mark Bassey
Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, is one of the most admired sportsmen in the world today.
The Portugal captain arrived at Old Trafford as a skinny teenage in 2003, but he has gone on to become a 6ft 1in athlete ever since.
For all his fans who desire to emulate such transformation, he has unveiled his top 15 health and fitness tips.
15 HEALTH AND FITNESS TIPS FROM RONALDO
1. Learn to train your mind as well as your body. Mental strength is just as important as physical strength and will help you achieve your goals.
2. Be disciplined. Keeping yourself motivated and sticking to your routine is key. For me, there is no room for easing off so I have to be strict.
3. Set yourself goals. It will help to keep you focused and work towards something.
4. Working with a training partner is a good way to add a bit of competitiveness and help push yourself. If you train with someone who is a similar level to you then you will help push each other.
5. Proper sleep is really important for getting the most out of training. I go to bed early and get up early, especially before matches. Sleep helps muscles recover which is really important.
6. Warming up properly prevents injury. In training we do a few laps of the pitch, stretching and cardio warm up exercises. Make sure you do something similar in your training, even if it is jogging to the gym or a warm up on the treadmill or bicycle.
7. Mix it up. I recommend a combination of cardio (running and rowing) and weight training to ensure that workouts target all areas of the body and increase both strength and stamina. It also helps to keep it interesting.
8. High intensity is important to get your blood pumping and to increase stamina. We do a lot of sprinting drills in training and they can be incorporated into your workout whether you are in the gym or outdoors. Try and add it to every workout you do.
9. Cardio sessions are also key for building up endurance and stamina, and to stay trim. Try to do periods of around 30 minutes, increasing the number of sessions as you get stronger.
10. Fit in exercise wherever you can. You can do an abs workout in your bedroom when you wake up in the morning or before you go to bed. If you get into a routine then it makes it easier as it will become a habit.
11. A good workout must be combined with a good diet. I eat a high protein diet, with lots of wholegrain carbs, fruit and vegetables and avoid sugary foods. I love fish, especially the Portuguese dish bacalhau à braz, and at restaurants I’ll order a steak with salad.
12. Make sure you stay hydrated. Drinking water is so important. I also avoid alcohol.
13. Eat regularly. If you train regularly it’s important to keep energy levels high to fuel your body for better performance. I sometimes eat up to six smaller meals a day to make sure I have enough energy to perform each session at top level.
14. I always make sure I have good music to listen to. It helps you zone out, get motivated and do your best. I like to listen to hip hop and reggaeton.
15. Relax. Training and physical sessions are most important, but living a relaxed lifestyle helps you to be the best you can be, physically and mentally. I spend my free time with family and friends, which keeps me relaxed and in a positive mind-set.
Ifreke Inyang is a public commentator and social media critic who has worked with a number of high profile publications across the country.