Canadian Olympic medallists Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion share their top advice on how to live a healthy life full of youth.

160907MeaghanBenfeitoRoselineFilion mainWhile Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion are well known for their athletic talents—the two dived their way to the podium and clinched bronze in both 2012 and 2016 (#GoCanada)—they had to work hard at leading a healthy lifestyle. Last week, the synchro diving pair visited our offices to chat about health and wellness, as well as beauty and their partnership with Gillette Venus that focuses on a platform for female empowerment, especially among young girls.

Top health and wellness tips: Listen to your body and fuel it well

According to Benfeito and Filion, health and wellness is about a mindset and an overall approach to a youthful lifestyle.

While their days—or rather, years leading up to competition are filled with gym and in-pool training five days a week, they reserve weekends for rest, recovery and family time.

We may not be lifting weights and diving five days a week, but understandly, life can be exhausting. One simple tip that can translate to your everyday life: listening to your body and knowing what it needs is key to living a healthy lifestyle, according to Filion.

“Listen to your body because it’s really important to understand and to feel yourself first when you need to recover, when you need to push yourself, when you need to rest, to eat, to sleep,” says Filion. “I’ve learned through the years to listen to my body and not go against it, because if I go against it, I’ll always lose. It’s all about feeling good at the end of the day and being confident and sure of yourself. When you listen to your body, your body’s always right.”

For Benfeito, the key to a healthy lifestyle was changing her approach to food and eating her vegetables (yes, not all athletes naturally like vegetables).

“Before going into the cycle of the Rio Olympics, I was very picky. I didn’t eat a lot of things. I stuck to the same foods,” says Benfeito. “The nutritionist that we had made me understand the difference between foods. She let me know that you don’t have to eat healthy, you just learn how to eat. There’s no plan. It’s really just making you understand that if you eat the right foods, you’ll recover faster, you won’t be as tired and you’ll be able to go through a day feeling a lot more energetic.”

Massages and coffee: Wellness musts

What’s the one thing these Olympians can’t go without?

“I can’t go a week without a massage,” says Benfeito. “This is weird for me to be saying this because even before 2012, I hated it. I was like, ‘No, don’t touch me. I don’t need anything. I’m OK.’ But as soon as I changed that, I really noticed that it helps, and it works, and I can recover faster. It’s something that I need to relax, think of nothing, and it’s somewhat meditating at the same time.”

“Ya, I would agree,” adds Filion. “Our masseuse, Louise, is really good. She made up our own playlists of music so each of us has our own playlist so we can relax. It’s really fun and a great way to disconnect a little bit. But sometimes I just wake up in the morning and have a coffee and if I don’t have time for anything else, that just makes me feel at peace.”

How to cope with stress

While they may work out a little bit more than the majority of us (#guilty), they also get more media attention. It’s often assumed this would be distracting and the pressure to medal would be stressful, but Benfeito and Filion have found healthy ways to approach these pressures so they’re not a stress factor.

How do they cope with this perceived stress? They look to the true source of the stress and surround themselves with a support network that allows them to focus.

“The pressure is never coming from the media or outside,” notes Filion. “We’re aware of what we’re capable of doing and we’re aware that we’re going in there for a medal, so the pressure is coming from us.”

“We don’t get distracted, and I think the team we have behind us really has helped us concentrate on what we had to do instead of getting nervous or knowing that we have pressure,” adds Benfeito. “The coaches, the physios, the masseuses, the sponsors, Dive Canada—everybody that’s behind us, allows us to concentrate on what we have to do, no matter what the media says, no matter what social media says about us, if they like us or if they don’t. We’re always on social media the day of the event, so it’s not a distraction and that’s really because of the team we have behind us. That really helped us stay us.”

What’s next for the Olympic medallists?

“Vacation, being girly, wearing heels,” they say, almost in sync.

Benfeito will be relaxing (not poolside) and enjoying some vacation time before ramping up her training again for 2020 (we’ll be rooting for you!), while Filion will be heading back to school and opening a family business in Montreal (escape rooms, if you’re interested!).

Empowering young girls with Gillette Venus

Benfeito and Filion are also working with the Gillette Venus brand to promote female empowerment, serving as strong, confident role models to young girls.

“We’re two of the four ‘FAB IV’ girls of diving partnering up with Gillette Venus,” says Filion. “It’s an amazing partnership because we’re four girls who are performing around the world who represent empowered women—I like to say girl power—who can be strong, smart and beautiful at the same time and perform well. Gillette Venus is a company that promotes all of that so it was really a natural fit.”

“We’re so proud to be a part of this team because the strong, powerful message is so important to us and the beauty behind it is something that we want to carry through,” adds Filion. “The teenage years are a critical age for young girls. It’s when you often give up or you have insecurities. You go through a lot at a young age so it’s really exciting for us to be lifted up by the company and able to promote a good image and a strong message.”

Beauty musts

Being beauty enthusiasts, we had to ask what are Olympic medallists Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion's beauty musts?

Lipstick for Filion and mascara for Benfeito, “I’ve got the long lashes.”