Simone Biles is showing off her toned abs on the cover of Health magazine as she opens up about how seeing a psychologist helped her ‘get in tune’ with herself.
The gymnast, who models a mix of athletic wear and designer pieces in the July/August issue, spoke candidly about the precautions she takes to combat burnout and injury as she prepares for the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo.
‘I do regular athletic massages and ice massages. I also use compression boots and take Epsom-salt baths,’ she said, ‘And I see my athletic doctor every Friday for a check-in.’
Cover star: Simone Biles, 24, graces the cover of Health magazine’s July/August issue
Getting ready: In the gymnast’s cover interview, she detailed the self-care routine she follows to ensure she is mentally and physically prepared for the Tokyo Olympic
Biles’s self-care extends past 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. ‘That helped me get in tune with myself so that I felt more comfortable and less anxious.’
Biles was one of more than 150 women who was sexually abused by disgraced former USA Gymnastics national team doctor Larry Nasser during his 30-year career.
After publicly sharing her story in 2018, she revealed that she was taking anti-anxiety medication and going to therapy.
Prioritizing her mental health was especially important for the athlete when she learned she would have to continue her grueling gymnastics training for another year after the 2020 Olympics were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Optimistic: While she struggled with a ‘whirlwind of emotions’ after the Olympics were postponed due to COVID-19, she said she ‘just knew [she’d] be ready’
Self-care: The gold medal-winner gets regular massages, takes Epsom-salt baths, and uses compression boots in addition to seeing her athletic doctor every Friday
Feeling good: Biles also shared that used to see a psychologist once every other week, which helped her ‘get in tune’ with herself and lessened 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 needed to happen to keep everyone safe and get the virus under control.’
In the trailer for her upcoming Facebook Watch docuseries, Biles expresses concern that she won’t be ‘just as good’ a year later, but she explained to the magazine that she is confident in her training and her ability.
‘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 I’d be ready.’
Biles trains at World Champions Centre, the gym founded by her parents Ron and Nellie Biles in Spring, Texas.
As a black gymnast in a sport that used to have little diversity, she spoke about the importance of her training at the family-owned gym.
Another gold: Biles’s latest cover story dropped on Thursday, just days after she claimed her record seventh title at the U.S. Gymnastics Championship
Where the magic happens: Biles trains at World Champions Centre, the gym founded by her parents Ron and Nellie Biles in Spring, Texas
Mission: ‘Representation matters, and we want to inspire the next generation to pursue their passion,’ Biles said of her family-owned gym. She’s pictured at the 2016 Olympics in Rio
‘Representation matters, and we want to inspire the next generation to pursue their passion,’ she said. ‘Kids can come in and we will be training in the back, and they can see we are just like them. It helps them understand they can do it too.’
Biles is the most decorated American gymnast ever with 30 combined Olympic and World Championship medals, but that only makes her more motivated to do more.
When asked what advice she’d give her younger self, she said she would tell herself ‘to not be so stubborn and to be a little bit happier — to know that it’s not over just because something happens in one day. You can keep pushing.’
Biles’s latest cover story dropped on Thursday, just days after she claimed her record seventh title at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships.
Her two-day total of 119.650 was nearly five points better than runner-up Sunisa Lee and good friend and teammate Jordan Chiles.
Biles’s all-around score on Sunday of 60.100 was her highest since 2018 and served notice she is only getting better with the Tokyo Games less than seven weeks away.