Dara Torres' Diet and Exercise Routine

Use the Olympic swimmer's balanced approach to stay fit after forty

Koss Earbuds designed with Dara Torres
Dara Torres helped design the Koss women-specific line of headphones. Koss

You might be surprised to learn that Dara Torres diet and exercise routine aren't always perfect. This super-fit, former Olympic swimmer has adjusted her fitness and health habits to embrace a more relaxed life away from international competition. But she still maintains a strong, lean body.

Dara Torres' Diet and Exercise After Competition

When Dara Torres fought for a spot in the 2012 Olympics, she was old enough to be a mother to many of her teammates.

  But this swimmer never performed or looked like a typical 40-something mom.  Her world-famous abs and lean body gave women like me a reason to stay at the gym and train a little harder.  If Dara Torres can stay that fit after 40, we reasoned, then there might be some hope for the rest of us.

Since her last competition, Dara has remained lean, strong and exceptionally fit.  But her mindset has relaxed and she has adopted a more realistic approach to her daily diet and exercise routine.  As part of a promotion for Koss Fit Series headphones – a line of headphones she helped design for women, I had a chance to sit down and talk to Dara about her diet and exercise tips for staying fit after competition and over the age of 40.

Dara Torres’ Workouts and Eating Plan

Just because Torres is no longer competitive, doesn’t mean that she has retired to the couch. The 5-time Olympic swimmer still works out almost every day.

  But she has modified her schedule to embrace a healthier approach and a more realistic set of fitness goals

“I’m not training anymore,” she says, “ so I have lower expectations for myself during my workouts.” And although she still gets “a little competitive” during her favorite spinning classes, she no longer feels pressure to compete or perform.

“I’m over it,” she says. 

So what does Dara Torres do to stay fit? “ I like to get my sweat on,” she laughs.  “I work out almost every day and I take one day off each week.”  She says that she prefers cardio workouts over the gym and enjoys elliptical workouts, slide board training and spinning classes.

With a more moderate workout schedule, Dara Torres’ diet has changed as well.  “I’m not as hungry anymore,” Dara says, explaining the natural transition to a diet that includes less food.  She has a relaxed attitude about the change.  “I don’t count calories or weigh in,” she says.  

So does she feel pressure to maintain her famous body?  No.  The athlete has adopted a coolheaded approach to the natural changes that come with age. “My body is always changing,” she says.  As I get older I notice that I hold water weight longer and I get that little pooch in my abs,” she says chuckling.  “I used to train as my job and now I’m just training for life, so I’ve set a different standard for myself.”

How to Stay Motivated and Fit After 40

As a busy mom, Torres has a clear strategy to stay motivated for her workouts. “Music is a staple in my life,” she says.  “I’ve listened to music during my workouts ever since I was in my teens and now it’s a necessary part of my routine."

After our interview, Torres taught a music-inspired spinning class to promote the new line of headphones that she helped design for Koss.  The FitClips and FitBuds are 33% smaller than other headphone buds that you’ll find on the market so they are more likely to fit more comfortably in a woman’s smaller ear.  And they come in a range of fun, chick-friendly colors (that Dara picked out) which, of course, makes every workout more fun.

So what’s on Torres’ soundtrack?  During the 45-minute sweat fest, we jammed to tunes ranging from Stevie Wonder to Fergie.  Torres, who says she also loves hip hop and songs by Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Robin Thicke, motivated us to pedal, sprint and even sing our way through a class full of high intensity intervals and then finally to a well-deserved cool down.

Not every athlete ages well. But Dara Torres’ diet and exercise program promote a healthy approach to staying fit in her 40s. And she makes it easier for women, like me, to continue to be inspired.   Any woman, regardless of age, can use her tips to stay balanced, stay fit and stay happy at every stage of their lives.

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