5 Daily Habits to Steal From LeBron James, Including His Powerful Anti-Stress Ritual
As a digital nomad and journalist, I travel the world while logging around 70 articles a month. To effectively manage a country-hopping lifestyle while also building my bylines and clients, I turn to the advice of seasoned movers-and-shakers who have developed habits and strategies for success. Each week, I’ll highlight the daily routine of influential professionals, making for the right kind of fodder while you down your coffee.
American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers and household name, LeBron James doesn’t just shoot and score… he does it on repeat. For more than a decade, LeBron has experienced monumental success, earning him multiple awards including four NBA Most Valuable Player awards, three NBA Finals MVP awards, two Olympic gold medals, three All-Star Game MVP awards—and the list goes on.
Since his humble beginnings in Ohio and his first breakout in the sport playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers, he moved quickly and surely up the ranks, earning him a spot as one of the most influential and celebrated basketball players—and athletes—of all time.
Married to his high school sweetheart and a father of two daughters, he maintains a healthy, active and family-filled lifestyle, keeping him grounded and productive. While you might never be able to slam dunk or dribble quite as expertly as James, you can steal some of his wellness-centric habits, all of which you can mimic in your own day-to-day routine.
He sleeps… a lot.
You’ve heard your doctor remind you time and time again: sleep is never, ever a question. It is always essential, no matter if you’re stressed at work, dealing with noisy neighbors or a new parent.
James takes this prescriptive advice to heart, and um, then some. According to an interview, James is known to have sleeping habits that match his height, collecting an average of 12 hours of shut-eye a day.
How does this balance out? He reaps the recommended eight hours each night, and then takes a much-needed three-hour nap after his fitness regimen of the day is finished. There is no exception to this rule, either: “…for my 13-year career, I’ve taken a nap for the most part every day—and for sure on game days.”
He listens to his body.
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Regardless if you chat with a yoga teacher or a boxing instructor, they’ll all stress the value of learning to listen to your body.
James abides by this mantra too, once saying, “The body is the number one thing. It’s the temple. We always listen to the body. If you don’t listen to the body, it will fail you.”
Whether he’s training in the morning, juicing in the afternoon or taking that daily nap, the ability to anticipate and understand the specific requirements of your limbs, muscles and organs is an acquired skill set. When you do this, science says you are more likely to anticipate questionable shifts, identify changes and be at the forefront of recognizing symptoms before they become serious.
He drinks a ton of water.
Considering our bodies are primarily made of water, it’s no surprise we need so much of it to function at our best potential. But if you lead a heavy fitness lifestyle, like James, you need even more than the typical person.
In an interview, James revealed he’s a “big believer in water” who starts the day with two big glasses and continues to drink as much as he can up until the time he tucks himself in. The benefits of consistent hydration are massive: from protecting you from illness and boosting your immune system to providing you with stronger mental clarity and a calmer spirit, subscribe to the mindset that when in doubt, chug up.
He invests in quality time with his family.
While many aspiring athletes look up to James for his amazing skills and kind attitude, he didn’t have a father figure growing up. This was difficult for James, and something that fitness helped him overcome. When he became a father to his own children, he vowed to spend as much quality time with them as he could. No matter how hectic or demanding his schedule is, James is a dedicated dad who often brags about his girls. This level of commitment to your kin is not only obviously beneficial to their own happiness, but to your own, according to numerous studies.
He uses music to unwind.
One day he’s dribbling, another he’s flying. He’s training today, competing in a game tomorrow. Being a professional basketball player is no-doubt a stressful and busy lifestyle, so it makes sense why James would need an outlet to help him decompress. His go-to coping mechanism? Music! His favorites include Jay-Z, 50 Cent, Eminem and other jams. His dedication to music was part of why he became an early investor in the $3 billion-dollar company, Beats. Music is effective for productivity, happiness, sleep… and well, anything and everything. Considering there is a playlist for everything these days, take a page out of James’s playbook and load one up for yourself.
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