Ex-Olympian Kyle Vander-Kuyp used to have a strict and strenuous fitness regime to keep at the top of his sport – hurdling – which he dominated for years. Now Kyle has a new reason to keep fit and healthy: keeping up with his family and being a strong Dad.
Why is it important for you to keep fit and healthy?
As an Indigenous man, in my forties now, I think the incentive is to have a long life and just keep active for my family. My motivation is my two kids and being a healthy and active dad for them.
In your prime you were one of the fittest men in the country. How do you continue to keep healthy now that you’ve retired from sport?
The challenge is to not put the pressure on being elite and as fit as you used to be. Health and wellbeing has a whole different meaning to it. It’s not on that elite level anymore. It’s a hard transition to elite athlete to general health.
What sort of foods do you eat a lot?
I eat a lot of the things I used to as an athlete, like salads, vegetables and drinking a lot of water. You need a good balanced diet.
What foods do you eat only on special occasions?
I enjoy a mix of everything like pizza, fish and chips and Chinese. It’s about having a regular routine and a weekly plan, but you have to have those times to go out and treat yourself and family.
What sort of exercises do you do to keep healthy and strong and how often do you do them?
I don’t have a routine like the old days, now it’s more like going for walks with the family, going down the park and swimming with my little girl. The mindset has shifted from an individual focus to a family focus.
What sort of things should you keep away from if you want to stay healthy?
Don’t drink heavy amounts of alcohol, don’t smoke, don’t do drugs and make sure you get good sleeps.
Do you have any health tips?
If there is an opportunity to get into any sport give it a go and don’t let the competitive side of sport hold you back from participating. Get outdoors, be active, climb trees, go for walks, use the bushland and get off the computers.