NFL Hall Of Famer & Broadcaster Troy Aikman Shares His Health Routine
Perhaps you know Hall of Famer Troy Aikman for his days as the Dallas Cowboys quarterback, or even the years he spent playing at UCLA. But as the NFL broadcaster tells mindbodygreen, now at age 55, he feels healthier than ever. "It's not just because of my physical health, because I've always been physically in shape; it's really more my mental health and wellness—and being aware about what I put into my body," Aikman tells mbg.
We had the chance to sit down with Aikman ahead of Super Bowl Sunday to learn a bit more about his tried-and-true well-being routine—including fitness, mindfulness, and even go-to daily meals. Plus, he shared a bit about his nutrition principles (hint: he's a big fan of mbg collective member Mark Hyman, M.D.), and Aikman's new product EIGHT, which fits perfectly into his lifestyle.
On his mindfulness practices.
"I've been meditating for eight, maybe 10, years–with a 30-minute meditation every morning. [A couple of years into my practice,] I read a book called The Untethered Soul, which really opened the door for me and made me realize what meditation was all about. Before that, I was doing it, but I didn't know if I was getting the benefits. Now, because of this book, I know why I'm doing it, I know I'm making progress, and it feels amazing."
On his fitness routine.
"I've always been an athlete, but since my mid-20s I started taking my health and wellness seriously. In the last three years, I've really adjusted some things and took more of an interest in how I could be my best.
"For my physical regimen, I lift four days a week. I used to do cardio nearly every day of the week, but as I've learned more and gotten older, I've discovered that recovery is more important than I realized. So I try to be kinder to my body, and part of that awareness has come through my meditation and mindfulness practice. Now I do cardio five days a week, and on the off days, I go on long walks for active recovery.
"I've also got into yoga, which is really great for me because I'm not the best at stretching. When I started yoga, I found that while it was certainly helpful physically, I was getting even more out of it for my mind than I even was for my body, and I loved it.
"I also make sleep a big priority—I refuse to set my alarm unless I have to get up for something, and I let my body tell me when it's ready to get up."
On his nutrition principles.
"I started following Mark Hyman, M.D., and reading his books—it really changed the way I think about food and nutrition, such as taking notice of the quality of my food, and where it's sourced. His nutrition principles just work great for me: Now I prioritize protein and vegetables, while I cut out dairy and carbs. I also do intermittent fasting, and I feel great."
Aikman's Go-To Meals
- 12 p.m.: Salmon and brown rice and broccoli for lunch.
- 2 or 3 p.m.: A green smoothie with spinach and almond butter, protein powder, and blueberries.
- 5 p.m.: A small protein source with a lot of vegetables.
- Bonus: Homemade granola as a little snack before bed.
On creating a product that fits into his lifestyle.
"I believe there are times and moments in life that should be celebrated. For me, I typically celebrate with a beer. So when I had the chance to team up with my now co-founders and create a beer, I wanted to see if there was a way to create something a bit better for you and complementary to my lifestyle—and that's how EIGHT came to be.
"We partnered with the food science department at Oregon State University and developed it with them. What's different about EIGHT, compared to other beers is we have no adjuncts and no fillers—no corn, rice syrup, or added sugar. It's made with 100% organic grains—and I don't think we sacrificed taste, either.
"I refer to our target consumer as 'early risers,' which is a term for people who wake up with a passion and purpose to do their best. Those are the people who have always inspired me in my life, and that's who this beer is for."
EIGHT cans will arrive in retail locations across the state beginning in March, in six-packs, 12-packs, and 19.2-oz single-serve cans. You can catch Aikman broadcasting live at the Super Bowl on February 13.
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Kristine Thomason is the health and fitness director at mindbodygreen. Kristine is a New York University graduate with a degree in journalism and psychology, and also a NASM-certified personal trainer. She has spent her editorial career focused on health and well-being, and formerly worked for Women’s Health and Health. Her byline has also appeared in Men’s Health, Greatist, Refinery29, HGTV, and more. In her current role she oversees, edits, and writes for the health, food, and movement sections of mindbodygreen.