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Volleyball Champion Kelly Cheng Shares Swimsuit Photo Feeling the Heat

Here are her lifestyle tips.

Volleyball star Kelly Cheng (maiden name Claes) is used to dealing with hot weather when she's competing—but sometimes it's a lot even for this Olympic champion. Cheng, 27, loves sharing pictures and videos of her training and competition events, and posted a snap of herself posing with fellow champion Sarah Hughes, wearing an athletic black and purple swimsuit. "Battling in this heat is no joke 🔥🔥," Hughes captioned the post. How does Cheng maintain her strong and toned physique? Here's how she trains, eats, and relaxes.


Holistic Wellness

Cheng has learned to incorporate wellness into every aspect of her life. "It didn't really click with me until I was a Junior at the university that there were a lot more factors to wellness," she says. "I would wear the Intelliskin a lot to study and to get my posture in check, but I didn't really think about food as a huge factor or how sleep and recovery could greatly affect my performance. There are so many little nuances to wellness and I've begun to integrate that focus into my life."


Plant-Based Protein

Cheng swears by plant-based protein to support her health and training. "When it comes to your body's daily function, it doesn't matter where you get your protein from," says Dana Hunnes, PhD, MPH, RD. "But data show that eating fewer animal products and more plant-based proteins is associated with increased longevity and decreased morbidity."


Balanced With Partner

Cheng loved the balance she and previous partner Sarah Sponcil brought to the game. "We bring such different ideas to the table," she said. "And I think we both do a really good job seeing each other's strengths and really working hard to emphasize those strengths. And we both really know our weaknesses and we both try to cover up each other's weaknesses. We want to dive in and get better as volleyball players and as people. So it's been fun, being very similar ages and being in very similar walks of life and get to go on this journey together."


She Wears a Pulse Oximeter


Cheng wears a pulse oximeter after being diagnosed with SVT (supraventricular tachycardia) at age 14. "During matches, when emotions run wild and my heart races, I can put the MightySat on my finger and it gives me peace of mind that the measurements I am seeing are accurate. By looking at the numbers, I get reassurance about where my heart rate is and whether it's in my normal range," she says. "It's comforting."


Spiritual Health

When the Tokyo Olympics were out on hold, Cheng spent time working on her spiritual health. "I've spent a lot of time reading and journaling, and I'm diving into the Bible a little bit more, and this quarantine has given me a lot of time to dive into the word, and my relationship with him, and it's been really fruitful," she said. "I think my growth as a person has been really exciting. I've tried to use this time to grow in opportunities where I haven't previously given the time to do so."

Ferozan Mast
Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer with a passion for making science and research-backed information accessible to a general audience. Read more
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