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Chris Paul's Tips on Sleep, Exercise and Snacks You Should Keep at Your Desk

An NBA superstar gives readers some easy-to-follow advice on health and business.
Chris Paul's Tips on Sleep, Exercise and Snacks You Should Keep at Your Desk
Image credit: WTRMLN WTR

You might think that every professional athlete is an expert on personal fitness, but that’s not true. Even some of the best athletes don’t treat their bodies like temples. Former NBA MVP Derrick Rose was criticized by a college teammate for eating gummy bears and Starburst for breakfast. The 2004 Red Sox took shots of whiskey before World Series Games. Pro golfer John Daly once drank five beers during a tournament.

Of course, not every athlete treats their body with such a cavalier attitude, but even so, the average NBA career lasts just 4.8 years.

Chris Paul -- who is just shy of six feet tall and weighs just 175 pounds -- has already played for 12 years and shows no signs of slowing down. He might end up playing 20 (something just four people have ever accomplished) when it’s all said and done.

So, what’s his secret? How does a guy you might not notice if you passed him on the street excel in a league of giants and athletic marvels? I met up with Paul to learn a little about how he maintains his fitness and stays ahead of the game.

Related: Dwyane Wade on Why He Doesn't Have Time for Rest

Let’s start with the obvious one: How did you end up in this tiny, 38-square-foot pop-up shop selling WTRMLN WTR?

Chris Paul: I just got educated about the product. Like, you know it’s all made from leftover watermelons, right? When you go to the supermarket, you see all the pretty watermelons, but you don’t think about the ugly ones -- the ones that don’t look as nice but are still good to eat. That’s pretty much the only thing in these drinks.

And, I learned that it has more potassium than a banana and less sugar than an apple. All these other sports drinks -- I’m not going to name any of them -- but you probably didn’t know they were all sugar until someone told you.

What are some other healthy foods you’d recommend? Especially for our readers, who are often chained to a desk for long hours while trying to grow their business?

You could keep some cranberries at your desk. A handful of cranberries are good. Or almonds. Trail mix, too -- but not every kind of trail mix, because there are lots of different kinds.

Related: 6 Lessons Entrepreneurs Can Learn From LeBron James

How about some exercise? What can people do on a daily basis?

If you can just do some sit-ups or push-ups before work, it can really make a difference. And it’s not just about how you look, it’s about how you feel. You feel better when you can get that workout in.

Rest is an important factor in overall health, too. Do you have any sleep strategies you try to stick to? Do you need a certain number of hours, a nap, etc?

You know, life happens, and I have kids, so . . . I always wake up early because I don’t want to miss something. I don’t want to miss anything. But, I understand how much getting good rest can help with everything, and I started working on that this year.

Related: Business Lessons You Can Learn From Magic Johnson

You’re also here in New York for the NBA Draft, which is on June 22. What’s your best business advice for the people getting drafted -- or for anyone who is just starting out in business?

Never be the smartest person in the room, because it’s all about who you surround yourself with. That’s also how you grow. I love basketball, and hopefully I’m able to keep crossing people over when I’m 45, but I’m not always going to have a job playing in the NBA. I’m learning everything I can so I’m ready for what comes next.

Also, make sure you enjoy what you’re doing -- life’s about experiences.