This is the fourth in a series of Q&A’s with RSG! Olympians and Paralympians on the topic of health and fitness. Tasha competed in two Olympic Games — 2000 Sydney and 2008 Beijing, where she won a bronze medal in the 400m hurdles. This is Tasha’s 4th year participating in RSG! She currently mentors students at four schools: 49th Street Elementary, Elizabeth Learning Center, KIPP Scholar Academy, and ICEF Innovation.
Q. What is your best exercise advice?
A. Work not only hard, but work smart. Be mindful about flexibility, making sure you keep your muscles flexible is very important. And especially rest. People underestimate rest a lot.
Q. What is your fitness regimen like today?
A. My fitness regimen is similar to what I was doing as an Olympian, but because I’m much older now I need more rest. I work really hard on the days I work out – it could be hill work, track work, weight room, upper body, lower body, basically track and field workouts – but I rest well, too.
Q. How has being physically active and eating properly helped you achieve success in life?
A. When you eat right your whole life is just better. Your brain functions better and you are able to do more. I just turned 40. I don’t think I look 40. When you take care of yourself, your body will take care of you. Unhealthy eating can lead to mood swings, depression and things like that, so it behooves a person to take care of their body. Unfortunately most people don’t realize that until they already have problems.
Q. Exercise can be boring, so how do you make it fun?
A. Fun is my middle name. I tell people there is always something you can find that will suit you. Exercise doesn’t have to be running on a treadmill at the gym. Exercise can be dancing to your favorite John Lennon song in your living rom. It could be going to a Zumba class. It could be getting a couple of your friends together to play Frisbee or flag football. It could be whatever you want it to be. There are many ways to exercise, but you have to make the effort to seek out the thing that suits you.
Q. What is the biggest benefit that you get from exercising regularly and eating healthy?
A. Energy. When I don’t eat right I can tell the difference. My energy plummets.