When David Beckham was in town, we met him at the AIA Healthy Living Tour. As the appointed global ambassador for AIA, the football legend shared with us how he pursues wellness and healthy living even during his retirement.
#1 Keeping Fit
As a retired professional athlete, Beckham no longer has to stick to rigorous training routines and strict diet plans. Nonetheless, he still makes it a point to work out every day. Granted, he might have it “easier” because keeping fit used to be part of his job, but he shares with us what how he continues to motivate himself to keep fit after retirement.
“Well, when you’re a professional athlete for the amount of time that I was, you know, you’re so regimented into what you do, how you work out, what you eat, that when you finish, it’s a whole different thing. You have to find something that you love doing, you have to find something that keeps your mind interested, I like to cycle, I do a lot of indoor cycling. I like to box, from time to time. Um, I don’t like to get hit, of course, but I stay away from that… From time to time, I like to run.”
By picking sports and activities that engage him both physically and mentally, he keeps his mind and body active, which is very important when it comes to living healthier and happier lives.
#2 Eating Healthy
A general rule of thumb is that 70% of healthy living comes down to diet, and 30% comes down to exercise. Beckham weighs in on what he thinks of how we should balance the two.
“Well, I think that both are just as important. Obviously, it doesn’t have to be an expense or time-consuming like going to the gym and things like that. It could just be going for a walk… Diet is so important – To eat the right things in the morning, afternoon, evening, snack time…
Now, we don’t always eat the right things, and that’s okay. It’s okay to have those moments where you eat something that maybe you shouldn’t. But it’s becoming more and more apparent as we get older, as we live our lives, that healthy eating is very important.”
While there are less restrictions in place in terms of diet since he stopped playing football professionally, he points out again that it’s the little things, like making healthier food choices, that go a long way in helping you live better.
“Well, my diet has changed slightly, because when I was playing, when we travel somewhere… we had to eat the same thing – we couldn’t have a glass of wine from time to time, because that kind of thing was frowned upon.
But since I stopped playing, I’m able to you know, maybe have a glass of wine on a Friday night, when normally I’d never do that. Things have changed slightly, but I’ve always tried to eat and drink the right things, and that’s how I’ve always lived my life, so nothing’s really changed.”
#3 Spending Quality Time with Loved Ones
When asked about what gets him through his retirement days and what keeps him motivated, his eyes lit up as he began talking about his kids.
“Well, I have 4 children and I’m very lucky to be able to spend most of the time at home. That’s one of the main things that I’m able to do – take my kids to school on most mornings, when many parents don’t have the opportunity.”
As a family man, David prides himself on how his retirement has enabled him to centre his day around the children, to be with them as much as possible, making them breakfast and sending them to school. As he rightly pointed out, retirement is not just about not working, it’s about having the time to be with the people you love.
#4 Doing Small Things That Make a Big Difference
Of course, not everyone gets to “retire” as early as David Beckham. But retirement isn’t the only time that one can exercise and keep a healthy lifestyle. Here is what David has to share about what working people can do to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
“I think that’s the difficult part, you know, when we all have jobs and we all have our lives, and your main focus has to be your job, or some people have children, and your main focus has to be their children. So sometimes it’s difficult to find time to work out, keep fit, eat healthy, especially when you travel a lot, you have to really work hard to find a way to be healthy and fit and be eating well.
I think it’s the small things that really matter, such as, instead of driving to work, walk to work. Instead of driving to lunch, walk to lunch. Sometimes, it’s the small things that really make the difference. I’ve always found that even with the kids, that can be walking over to the park with them or walking to school. Spending time with them on the weekends, riding bikes, sometimes it’s just the small things that matter.”
A firm believer in making the little things count Beckham embodies that in the way he lives his life, even in retirement.
Beyond just keeping fit and eating healthy, retirement is about ensuring your mind continues to be engaged, that you continue to find things to be interested in, that would get you up on the morning. It’s about having the time (and money) to do the things you love, with the people you love.