Former UT swimmer Chris Kemp cracks the code on healthy living

As participants gear up for Triathlon in a Month that starts July 1, many are looking to incorporate new activities in their workout routines to stay motivated.

Chris Kemp, who swam for the University of Texas at Austin, knows the value of mixing it up.

“I actually was a basketball player in high school and turned to swimming while rehabbing from a knee injury. I started competitively swimming my junior year of high school,’’ Kemp said.

Kemp quickly gained attention from college coaches and went on the swim at UT, where he was member of two American record-setting relays. He was a 12-time All-American swimmer and won three NCAA Championships while at UT.

After Kemp’s swimming career, he coached swimming in the Cayman Islands and Orlando, Florida. Today he coaches a masters swimming program in Austin, Texas. In addition to swimming, after an injury forced him to give up sports like basketball and volleyball, he took up indoor rowing.

“My height, weight, and aerobic capacity from swimming translate really well to rowing,’’’ Kemp said. “I found myself getting very competitive with my times and eventually competing in indoor rowing races.’’

Kemp plans to participate in Triathlon in a Month and said he supports HealthCode’s mission to empower people to live healthier, happier lives through education and raising awareness of the benefits of physical activity and healthy eating.

“More and more attention is being focused on preventative health care and it’s something that makes such a positive impact on peoples’ lives,’’ Kemp said. “Triathlon in a Month is great because it provides people an opportunity to track activity and progress in whatever activities they enjoy and is accessible to everyone. “

When it comes to embarking on an exercise program, Kemp said “it’s important to try and find the environment and activity that sets you up best for success.’’

With a new exercise regime, Kemp advises starting with smaller goals and working up.

“I am lucky in that exercise for me is something that I enjoy and love how it makes me feel, especially when I’m done. The mornings I get up to go swim, when I’m leaving the work out all I think about is why don’t I start every day like this? It really sets the tone for the rest of my day and I’m in such a good mood after I finish the workout,’’ Kemp said.

He acknowledged, it is a challenge to stay motivated.

“My health is important to me, but even as a former collegiate athlete I find myself challenged to consistently make the right decisions when it comes to diet, exercise and sleep,’’ Kemp said. “I like the idea of helping an organization that encourages a community that supports each other in their efforts to live healthier lifestyles.”

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