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Soap Hub Wellness Wednesday: Y&R’s Rory Gibson on Food for Thought

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Young and fit actor Rory Gibson filled a key demographic when he joined The Young and the Restless last year. But lest you think being in shape comes easy to the daytime newcomer, rest assured, it does not.

Rory Gibson: Slow and Steady Wins the Race

In the latest installment of Soap Hub’s Wellness Wednesday, Gibson sat down with us to talk about how he stays in great shape both mentally and physically! The two can go hand-in-hand, says the actor.

Soap Hub: How do you schedule fitness into your life given your schedule?
Rory Gibson:
On days that are busier than others, I kind of like to take it as I go. If I only have 20 minutes to spare, I try to find out what I can do in those 20 minutes. I try not to sacrifice sleep. I’ve found that’s more detrimental than helpful. If you only have 20 minutes, you use that 20 minutes [the best you can].

Soap Hub: What’s a typical workout routine for you?
Rory Gibson:
My routine is pretty enigmatic. I do a little bit of everything. Now, I do, what I feel, is a perfectly balanced split. Mondays, I do shoulder press, squats, the old school stuff…Tuesdays and Thursdays, I’m doing long cardio — rides on the bike; Wednesdays and Saturdays are strictly Muay Thai. On Fridays, it’s purely functional stuff like kettlebell swings and non-traditional exercises.

Soap Hub: Can you talk about Muay Thai?
Rory Gibson:
It’s a martial art that originated in Thailand. They call it ‘The Art of 8 Limbs.’ It involves punches, kicks, knees, and elbows. It’s a very intense form of martial arts.

Soap Hu: May is Mental Health Awareness month. Do you meditate?
Rory Gibson:
The exercise itself helps me with mental health. I’d gone long times in the past without working out and that affected how I went about my day. I was always better off on days I did some exercise. I mediate and I try to be as appreciative as I can be for my life.

Soap Hub: Did you switch up things when COVID came along? Did you have to adapt?
Rory Gibson:
Yeah. I had to change it up a little bit. I was fortunate in that I have a full gym set up in my garage. It [has] anything you could think of — except cardio machines. I was limited when it came to cardio. I didn’t want to get all bulky. I’d been down that road and I didn’t feel great being in that kind of shape. When COVID started, I ventured into outdoor running. I fell in love with it — just being out in the sun, getting my tan on, and getting that long, long runner’s high. It was an incredible feeling. I [got] obsessed with it. I’ve taken it down a little bit because I don’t want my knees to give out. But I really enjoy outdoor running.

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Soap Hub: What advice do you have for runners and protecting their knees?
Rory Gibson:
A lot comes down, I feel, to the shoes you’re wearing. If you’re going to go into distance running, it pays off to invest in a pair of quality running shoes. I like Brooks and I’ve heard HOKA [running shoes] are great. Make sure you stretch and don’t take too long of a stride. You have to limit yourself. I was going on 10-mile runs up to three times a week. My knees started to feel real weird, real fast. Don’t dive in too hard. Go on evenly-paced runs. Invest in those good running shoes and make sure you have good running technique.

Soap Hub: Any advice on getting started?
Rory Gibson:
I think the best way to jump into it is to find something physical that you actually enjoy or have been interested in and would like to learn. Doing any skill-based exercise is rewarding. You’re not just going to the gym and doing curls and squats. You’re actually learning something. That’s how I feel about Muay Thai. Find something physical that is skill-based that you think would be fun. That could be anything — joining a local soccer club or playing Ultimate Frisbee.

Soap Hub: What role does diet play in overall fitness?
Rory Gibson:
If I had to put a percentage on it, I’d say 75% is diet and 25% is exercise. Exercising can be fun. Diet is trickier. I struggled with that myself, my entire life. I grew up fairly overweight and had a poor relationship with food. In the last couple of years, I’ve gotten to a place where I’m really happy with my relationship with food. I think that’s because I’ve taken away the punishment or guilt aspect of food. I try to stay present when I’m eating. We all fall into the trap. It’s late and [you] can find yourself eating a whole bag of potato chips. If you’re present, it can help you with not only your diet but your whole day.

I do intermittent fasting and I eat clean. I’m big on the reward systems. Sunday through Friday, I’m eating clean and doing intermittent fasting. On Saturdays, I eat whatever I want. If I fall off the train, I don’t beat myself up about it. The more I do that, the more I’m likely to make another mistake. Go with the flow and be kind to yourself.

Soap Hub: What helped you get there?
Rory Gibson:
I think it was a lot of trial and error. I got into high school and started working out but my diet didn’t change. I got bulky and strong. I wanted to act and I knew being a bulky dude wouldn’t translate. It made me look 10 years older. I felt some guilt as I was trying to get to this place. It got to a point where I realized mental health is a lot more important than having a certain aesthetic. I started to prioritize that more, which made doing diets a little easier. I had peace of mind going out the gate. Being in a good mental place can help with the diet.

Soap Hub: Did you have any final thoughts you can share on fitness?
Rory Gibson:
I know that getting started can be the hardest part. It may seem scary or feel like something that’s out of reach. [But] all the best things in life come from taking risks. Once I started doing that, my life got a whole lot better.

The Young and the Restless (YR) airs weekdays on CBS. Check your local listings for airtimes. For more about what’s coming up in Genoa City, check out all the latest that’s been posted on Y&R spoilers, and for an in-depth look at the show’s history, click here.

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