Fast and Fit: 3 Questions with NASCAR Driver Brad Keselowski
It is no secret that race car driving is a physically demanding sport—high temperatures, high speeds, and high adrenaline are all involved. But have you ever wondered what it takes for a race car driver to stay in tip top condition? Here’s a hint: it’s not your typical driver’s training.
A Healthier Michigan spoke with Rochester Hills, Mich. native and 2012 NASCAR champion Brad Keselowski to get an inside look at his fitness routine and what he does before a big race.
AHM: Is racecar driving very physically demanding?
BRAD: It is very physically and mentally demanding. The inside of the car is hot (generally 40 degrees above ambient air temperature). During green flag racing a driver has a sustained heart rate that exceeds that of a marathon runner.
While a driver does not appear to move much in the car, there are high ‘G’ loads (the force of gravity on a moving body) under braking and in the turns. The level of concentration required burns a tremendous amount of energy. Depending on the size and body composition of a driver they can lose between five to 10 pounds of weight during a race.
AHM: What do you do to stay in shape?
BRAD: I train one to three times a week depending on my workload and driving schedule. I have a trainer and we vary the routine around maintaining the strength, endurance and balance it takes for me to consistently perform at a high level in the car.
AHM: Do you maintain a healthy diet as part of your training?
BRAD: On the day of the race, I eat a breakfast and lunch that includes a good blend of macronutrients and micronutrients. I will also snack on fruit and nuts while being sure to drink plenty of water. During the week I eat with moderation and am generally mindful about keeping a good mix of nutrition with an occasional treat or dessert thrown in now and then.
Brad recently gained his fifth top three start of the season at the Quicken Loans 400, an annual race held at the Michigan International speedway. He continues to be one to watch this racing season.
You don’t have to be a race car driver to incorporate these healthy habits into your everyday life. By doing simple things like drinking plenty of water and exercising, you’ll be on your way to winning your own race in no time.
Photo credit: Matt Lewis (main), Courtesy Photo (headshot)
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