Staying fit during the holidays with Olympian Kevin Wong

Kevin Wong feature

Blogger Fernando Pacheco poses with Olympian Kevin Wong. Wong says even he struggles to stay fit this time of year.

Being808 sat down in the sand with Olympic beach volleyball player Kevin Wong last year to learn about his plyometric training regimen and get tips for staying fit in Hawaii.

We caught up with Wong again recently to ask him how he stays fit during the holidays.

Wong, who participated in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, is now retired from the professional beach volleyball circuit and is doing commentary work for national TV networks.

He is also active with his nonprofit Spike and Serve, which offers volleyball coaching, mentorship and clinics for Hawaii youth.

These days, Wong looks as fit as he did a decade ago.

So when we asked him how he plans to stay in shape through the holiday season, we expected to hear a lot about willpower and workouts.

But he surprised us: Apparently, even Olympic athletes struggle to stay fit this time of year.

“My biggest problem after retiring as a player is that I’m still eating like I am a player,” he said. “So the big thing for me is that I really have to be aware of my portions. You can eat pretty much anything on a limited basis but you just can’t eat a lot of anything on a regular basis. So for me, moderation is the key.”

Now, most of us can’t say that we ever had the metabolism of a beach volleyball star.

But we can all relate to the decline of our bodies’ metabolic rates as we age. And most of us will have to work harder to burn off that Christmas ham than we did 10 years ago.

There are some things you can do to boost your metabolism, though.

Wong suggests incorporating these into your fitness program:

• Strength training and muscle building to maintain metabolically-active muscle mass;

• And cardiovascular physical activity to maintain a high level of energy expenditure and prevent increased fat mass.

Also avoid skipping meals, especially breakfast, Wong said.

Infrequent meals cause metabolic rates to slow down, and make your body think you’re starving. Eating smaller, more frequent meals allows calories to be converted more quickly and increases metabolism.

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