Simone Biles shows off her toned abs on the cover of Health magazine as she explains how seeing a psychologist helped her ‘tune in’ with herself.
The gymnast, who showcases a mix of activewear and designer pieces in the July/August issue, spoke candidly about the precautions she’s taking to combat burnout and injury as she prepares for the Tokyo Summer Olympics.
“I regularly do sports massages and ice massages. I also use compression boots and take Epsom salt baths,” she said, “and see my sports doctor every Friday for a check-up.
Cover star: Simone Biles, 24, covers the July/August issue of Health magazine
Getting ready: In the gymnast’s cover interview, she detailed the self-care routine she follows to ensure she’s mentally and physically prepared for the Tokyo Olympics
Biles’ self-care goes beyond the physical, and she credits regular therapy with helping her cope with past trauma and the constant pressure of her sport.
“For a while I saw a psychologist once every two weeks,” she said. “It helped me get in tune with myself so I felt more comfortable and less anxious.”
Biles was one of more than 150 women who were sexually abused by disgraced former U.S. national gymnastics team doctor Larry Nasser during his 30-year career.
After sharing her story publicly in 2018, she revealed that she was taking medication for anxiety and undergoing therapy.
Prioritizing her mental health was especially important to the athlete when she learned she would have to continue her grueling gym training for another year after the The 2020 Olympics have been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Optimistic: As she battled a ‘swirl of emotions’ after the Olympics were postponed due to COVID-19, she said she ‘just knew [she’d] be ready’
Personal care: The gold medalist receives regular massages, takes Epsom salt baths and uses compression boots in addition to seeing her sports doctor every Friday
Feeling good: Biles also shared that she used to see a psychologist once every two weeks, which helped her “tune in” with herself and reduce her anxiety
“It was a whirlwind of emotions – I couldn’t believe the news,” she told Health. ‘I was sad. I was angry. I was annoyed. But I also knew it had to happen to keep everyone safe and get the virus under control.
In the trailer for her upcoming docuseries on Facebook Watch, Biles worries she won’t be “just as good” a year later, but she told the magazine she’s confident in her training and abilities.
“I knew my coaches would make sure I was ready no matter how long the postponement was,” she said. “Of course another year of training on your body really takes a toll. But I just knew that I would be ready.
Biles trains at the World Champions Center, the gym founded by his parents Ron and Nellie Biles in Spring, Texas.
As a black gymnast in a sport that had little diversity, she spoke of the importance of her training in the family gym.
Another gold medal: Biles’ latest cover was released on Thursday, just days after winning his record seventh U.S. Gymnastics Championship title
Where the magic happens: Biles trains at the World Champions Center, the gym founded by his parents Ron and Nellie Biles in Spring, Texas
Mission: “Representation is important, and we want to inspire the next generation to pursue their passion,” Biles said of his family gym. She is pictured at the 2016 Olympics in Rio
“Representation matters, and we want to inspire the next generation to pursue their passion,” she said. “The kids can come in and we’ll practice in the back, and they can see we’re like them. It helps them understand that they can do it too.
Biles is the most decorated American gymnast of all time with a combined 30 medals at the Olympics and world championships, but that only motivates her more to achieve more.
When asked what advice she would give to herself younger, she said she would tell herself “not to be so stubborn and to be a little happier – to know it’s not over just because something happens in a day”. You can keep pushing.
Biles’ latest cover was released on Thursday, just days after winning her record seventh U.S. Gymnastics Championships title.
Her two-day total of 119.650 was nearly five points better than second Sunisa Lee and her good friend and teammate Jordan Chiles.
Biles’ all-around score on Sunday of 60.100 was her highest since 2018 and noted she is only getting better with the Tokyo Games less than seven weeks away.