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Jerome Bettis, Former NFL Player, Talks Healthy Lifestyle

Jerome Bettis, nicknamed “The Bus,” is a former American football halfback who played for the Los Angeles Rams/St. Louis Rams and Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League. Bettis is sixth on the list of NFL rushing yards leaders. He retired in 2006 after the Steelers won Super Bowl XL, beating the Seattle Seahawks. Bettis was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2015. Jerome also attended the University of Notre Dame.

Jerome Bettis joined the Stryker team in 2016. Although not a joint replacement recipient, retired professional football player, Jerome, is no stranger to experiencing joint pain throughout his professional career and knows the impact that it has on the body and lifestyle. Given football players are prime candidates for developing arthritis due to the wear and tear that the sport directly puts on their bodies, Stryker has found Jerome to be the perfect voice for the brand.

Can you give high school athletes, who are looking to play football in college, some advice?

The advice that I have is, you obviously want to get your best opportunities in front of you, but don’t be afraid to walk on somewhere. Exhaust all of the opportunities that are available to you. If you love the game, don’t be afraid to go to a smaller division, because playing football, is playing football. If your goal is to ultimately go to the NFL, they’ll find you, wherever you are. So don’t be afraid to go down to a smaller division or school. The opportunity to play football, if it’s great enough, you will do whatever you have to do.

What is your opinion on multiple sports for younger athletes?

I strongly support multiple sports because what kids have to realize is you don’t know what your best sport is. You know what you like, but you don’t know what your best sport necessarily is. My son is playing baseball, basketball, football, and golf. I want him to have a well-rounded athletic career, and I would encourage him to play multiple sports through his senior year.

What was your favorite memory when you played at Notre Dame?

Wow. Favorite memory. Wow. That’s a good one. My favorite moment was in the locker room after we had just won the Sugar Bowl. We beat the University of Florida, and nobody thought we could win that football game. Not only did we win, but we also pounded the Florida Gators. In that locker room, there were about 80 guys who were elated and proud of each other. And I just won’t forget how loud that locker room was when I came back in there after the game. It was pretty sweet.

How should one promote a healthy lifestyle?

Physically, when you are an athlete, your body is used to the conditioning, and once that sport is over through retiring, graduation, or whatever the circumstance may be, you have to recondition your mind to continue to be athletic and work out. Once the game is over, your body is still living. You have to be active, and so many times people retire and feel that their whole body is retiring. But what you have to realize, just your mind is retiring from the training, you have to do the work to keep your body healthy. When you stop, that’s when all the aches and pains start to come out. If you keep yourself active, not only will you keep the weight down, but you will feel good after your career is good. My two main activities now are riding the bike and playing golf. I try to get on the bike 3-4 times a week, and I try to play golf about 2-3 times a week. I try to stay as active as I possibly can.

Additional and Important Information:

Jerome Bettis and Fred Funk are both working with Stryker Orthopedics to showcase various ways to stay mobile and active. A Road Trip to a Healthier Lifestyle is a 3-digital series that highlights both Stryker and brand ambassadors on a cross country journey where they demonstrate healthy activities that are relatable to everyone. This journey is being documented in a fun, yet relatable way through a “road trip” concept in three key markets in the US: Miami, Dallas Fort Worth, and NY.

  • Healthy Activities in Miami: Yoga and Cycling
  • Healthy Activities in Dallas/Fort Worth: Batting Cage and Line Dancing
  • Healthy Activities in New York: Bowling and Golf

The entire series lives on www.StrykerChallenge.com

Image courtesy of: Sports Illustrated

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