7 Healthy Confessions: Matthew Stafford Opens Up

Think pro athletes make healthy choices every minute of every day?

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford recently surprised students at Vista Charter Academy in Wyoming and made it clear that he has to work on his healthy goals just like they do. He was the star attraction at an assembly celebrating months of hard work by the building’s middle-schoolers for their participation in the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Building Healthy Communities program.

26496825451_5cee4509ac_kAs part of the fun, students were able to quiz Stafford on healthy eating, exercise, and other health-related topics. Two students even challenged him to perform push-ups and jumping jacks on stage, which he happily completed, much to the delight of the crowd.

Here’s what we learned about Stafford’s healthy lifestyle:

Favorite vegetable: Stafford said he watched a lot of Popeye cartoons as a kid and the strongman’s staple, spinach, is also his go-to.

How he stays fit in the off-season: Besides swimming and walking his dogs, Stafford keeps up a regular yoga practice to maintain his flexibility. Child’s pose is his favorite. “You’ve got to change it up so you’re still having fun while you’re moving around,” he said.

Why it’s important to him to stay active: “I sleep better and I just feel better,” he said.

On the importance of sleep: Stafford feels best when he gets a solid eight to ten hours and encouraged students to turn their screens off so they can be well-rested. “Getting sleep is highly important,” he said.  

Which meal of the day is it okay to skip? This was a trick question and Stafford wasn’t fooled. “Don’t skip meals,” he told students. Admitting that he loves to eat, Stafford especially encouraged kids to get a good breakfast first thing in the morning.

If he wasn’t a professional football player … he might be a pro slugger or coach. A multi-sport athlete in school, Stafford played football, basketball, soccer and baseball, which he’s still passionate about. “I played them all,” he said. Stafford encouraged students to try a variety of sports to find the one they love.

Biggest healthy eating challenge: Getting enough fruits and vegetables in his daily diet. “I like a cheeseburger just as much as anyone else,” he joked.

Read more about Stafford’s visit to Vista Charter Academy here

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Editor’s note: Matthew Stafford is a paid spokesperson for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

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