The idea of NASCAR racing is to put drivers in cars that are, for all intents, identical; the drivers are meant to determine the outcome, not the cars. The physical strength, endurance and concentration required to drive 200 miles an hour for four hours — often inches away from other cars going the same speed — makes NASCAR racing one of the more demanding athletic pursuits.
The most successful drivers find ways to build an advantage over the competition. Six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Live Fearless ambassador Jimmie Johnson has found that advantage in physical fitness, becoming one of the series’ most committed exercise proponents.
We asked Johnson to share some of his advice on how North Carolinians can get fit by developing a fitness routine and sticking to it.
Stick to a Fitness Schedule
“Try to find 30 minutes at a time for exercise or some kind of physical activity. It’s amazing what kind of workout you can do in just 30 minutes. If you can’t spare 30 minutes a day, try every-other-day. An hour would be a total win. It can really change your life if you’re able to schedule an hour of exercise every other day.”
“My fitness routine depends on what I have on my schedule in a given week. I mainly try to put in two hours a day if I can, split between swimming, biking and running.”
“If I have a triathlon coming up, I focus on all three. If it’s a running event coming up, I’ll do a bit more running than the other two. I might also mix some weight training in. It really depends on what my schedule looks like.”
Focus on Nutrition and Diet
“I have to be careful with what I eat. With my body type, I can put on weight and slow myself down pretty quickly. I really need self-discipline.”
“I try to eat as close to the root as possible. I concentrate on fruits and vegetables and lean proteins. But I’m human and I still love pizza and ice cream and all that good stuff. So I know I’ve got to work hard to stay fit.”
Make Fitness a Family Priority
“I think it’s very important for families to embrace fitness together, that’s something my wife and I are very aware of. We try to ride bikes a lot with our kids. Our oldest is up and doing well on the bike, and our youngest is on training wheels.”
“We try to get out and be active, play sports, whatever we can do to put fitness into the kids’ mindset. That’s very important to our family.”
“When I’m working toward a goal like a running or biking event, I like to set goals and measure my progress. Get a watch and time your exercise, know how far you’ve run or how long you’ve been on the bike – then try to increase those numbers and build the volume.”
Find a Fitness Friend
“What’s really helpful in terms of getting you off the couch or motivating you to get out of bed in the morning is to find a running or fitness group, or even a friend who’s into the same stuff. You tend to hold each other accountable and it’s great motivation.”
VIP Racing Experience with Jimmie Johnson
It takes a Live Fearless attitude to speed around a track 36 weekends a year, pushing car and driver to the limit – and sometimes beyond. Jimmie Johnson lives his whole life with this attitude. So can you.
In fact, you could meet Jimmie Johnson and experience his Live Fearless philosophy firsthand by sitting in the passenger seat with Johnson behind the wheel. Enter to win the VIP Racing Experience with Jimmie Johnson at Charlotte Motor Speedway. All you have to do is take the Live Fearless Pledge before July 31. Look for details at the link.