Hockey has always been considered Canada’s game. But thanks to the talented and tenacious Canadian women’s soccer team, we’re ready to crown a new national MVP.

Team captain Christine Sinclair took some time out during the FIFA Women’s World Cup to talk to us about fitness, favourite exercises and off-duty beauty. (Hint, it’s pretty low key.)

You’re such a strong role model. Why is that important to you?
“I think it’s so important girls see reality. It’s okay to have muscles; it’s okay to be athletic; it’s okay to be healthy. That’s what they should strive for.”

Right now it’s soccer, soccer, soccer. But what are some of your favourite workouts off-season?
“We work out five or six days a week. We never really do a long, slow jog; everything is run as far as you can for 25 minutes, take a five-minute break and when you’re done, do it again. Then, we do a lot of interval training [bursts of speed]. Anywhere from an eight-minute interval to a 10-minute intervals. For soccer, you need a good aerobic base, but you’re not jogging around the soccer field at one pace. It’s all about sprint, rest and how quickly can you recover. In the gym, we’ll usually have a base period where we’re working on just general strength, injury prevention, that type of thing and then as competition gets closer, we focus on speed and power and explosiveness.”

What is your favourite exercise?

“An explosive squat [where you jump off the ground]. And then we have speed workouts where we focus on technique and form and I really enjoy that as well.”

What exercise do you dread?
“We do a lot of plyo[metric] push-ups and weighted pushups. My upper body is not my strength. So that would probably be my most hated. Or chin-ups. So that’s fun. [Laughs] It [helps] with the ability to shield the ball, not letting people push you off the ball.”

Do you have any pre-game superstitions?

“Pre-game, the most important thing for me is I have to listen to Michael Jackson’s ‘Man in the Mirror.’ It started in university. [I listen to it] usually just anytime in the locker room.”

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You’re a natural beauty. What products do you wear on the field?
“I’m definitely a sunscreen wearer. That’s about it.”

What about off-duty beauty?
“Not really… [Laughs] I think you’re talking to the wrong person!”

What would be your advice to people who are new to trying sports and exercise?
“Not everybody has to be a professional athlete by any means, but it’s choosing to live a healthy lifestyle; it’s choosing to take care of yourself. I know for me, those days where I don’t workout or I don’t make the best decisions, I feel physically horrible. It’s just a choice, That’s all it is. Just exercise for half an hour a day or eat healthy meals, it’s simple choices you have to make.”

What does it mean to you that Canada has really rallied around your team?
“It’s incredible. One of our goals coming to London [Olympics] was to try and change like the perception of women’s soccer in Canada. I think that has happened. You see the attendances of these games and the coverage we’re getting and it’s pretty remarkable.”

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