Olympic gymnast Simone Biles tells Health magazine that she's made self-care an essential part of her routine

By Lindsay Kimble
June 09, 2021 12:51 PM
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Simone Biles for Health
Simone Biles for Health magazine
| Credit: PHOTOGRAPHED BY AB + DM 

Simone Biles has made her mental wellness a priority, and it's paid off.

In the gymnast's cover interview for Health magazine's July/August issue, on sale June 11th, Biles, 24, she explains why self-care has become essential as she trains for her second Olympics this summer. That includes the expected - regular athletic and ice massages, as well as the use of compression boots and Epson-salt baths - but also a mental health regimen.

"For a while, I saw a psychologist once every two weeks," says Biles. "That helped me get in tune with myself so that I felt more comfortable and less anxious."

Biles - who just secured her 7th national title at the 2021 U.S. Gymnastics Championship last weekend - says that, in general, she likes to find ways to unwind and relax, like by hanging "by the pool with my boyfriend, or have my family come over."

Also in the Health interview, the Olympic gold medalist talks about advice she'd give her younger self now, which includes "to not be so stubborn."

Simone Biles for Health
Simone Biles for Health magazine
| Credit: PHOTOGRAPHED BY AB + DM 

And, she adds, "to be a little bit happier - to know that it's not over just because something happens in one day. You can keep pushing." It's worked, Biles says, noting she's "definitely happy" though she "can still be pretty stubborn."

Biles similarly recently told PEOPLE that since the 2016 Games in Rio, she's developed more of a "voice" for herself. She said earlier this month that she now "speaks up for what I believe in, this is my journey."

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Simone Biles for Health
Simone Biles for Health magazine
| Credit: PHOTOGRAPHED BY AB + DM 

As the Tokyo Games now approach following a year-long delay caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Biles reflects to Health on her feelings when she learned her journey to the Olympics would be a little longer.

"It was a whirlwind of emotions - I couldn't believe the news," she tells 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."

To learn more about all the Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls, visit TeamUSA.org. Watch the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics this summer on NBC.