Born on the fourth of July, Pam Shriver epitomizes the American woman in all its red, white and blue glory. A former tennis professional, mother of three and tennis broadcaster for ESPN, Pam is incredibly busy, but still squeezes in time for health and fitness. During her 19-year career starting in the late 1970’s and continuing through 1997, she won 133 titles, including 22 Grand Slam doubles titles. She also won an Olympic gold medal in women’s doubles at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul and is proud to be in the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Pam will be reporting for ESPN at the US Open beginning August 25th. So what advice does Pam have for us non-Hall of Famers who want to maintain health and fitness while juggling a busy career and parenting?
Q.As a retired professional athlete and active mother, how do you handle pain management?
I still love playing tennis and golf at a highly competitive level, but these strenuous activities often trigger pain in my lower back and shoulders. I also play, coach, and referee sports including basketball, soccer, and tennis with my kids, which results in additional aches and pains. And, of course, I am constantly participating in school activities which can be a strain. However, I practice good self-care and live a very healthy lifestyle. When I learned about transdermal pain therapy, wherein the pain relief ingredients penetrate the skin and go directly to the source of pain, I found myself reaching for the topical pain products offered by Salonpas and have used the patch for many years. My new favorite is the Salonpas Deep Relieving Gel. This gel delivers pain fighters deep into my muscles providing relief for up to eight hours.
Q. Has a lifetime of pounding the court affected your body?
My biggest problem is my right shoulder. I’m tall and relied on my serve a lot. I won if I served well, but it took a toll. I have a weak shoulder, and have undergone several surgeries to find pain relief. When I have an arthritic day, just using heat – keeping the joint warm – has really been helpful. Salonpas Hot helps too which is a patch that releases capsaicin; the same compound found in chili, cayenne and jalapeno peppers, is a natural odor free pain reliever.
Q.What’s your workout?
My work out depends on my day. For example, I will be catching a flight tonight so I want to spend all day with my kids. I took my youngest child to tennis camp and I spent the day rallying with the kids. Three times a week, I do at least thirty minutes of cardio and then lift light to medium weights. Keeping your strength is important as you get older and I also try to do some abdominal core work each day. A fun work out for me is walking 18 holes of golf when I get the chance. I think variety in work-outs is important. You need to mix it up and have fun with it. I went away from hitting tennis balls for a while, but now that my kids are playing, I’m finding it is a challenging work-out to work out with them.
Q.What is your diet like?
Moderation is key. I am a treat person and like to do a sweet once a day. I avoid carbs after my active hours, generally having a salad and protein for dinner. I’m not afraid to have carbs for breakfast or lunch when I know I have an active day ahead.
Q.Do you ever play tennis for fun with your former tennis opponents?
I played tennis with Martina Navratilova at the 2013 French Open where we both commentators in preparation for the Invitational Doubles event at Wimbledon 2013. When I am reporting with Chris Evert, we often hit the gym at the same time for work out.