If the Brazilian Ronaldo had written such a book after his career or the Englishman Paul Gascoigne, we could have spoken of a credibility problem. Or maybe Max Eberl, who learned to play football with Bayern and after his career at Borussia Mönchengladbach literally became a heavyweight among football officials. Also in this case, the promoter of a book about life healthy, nutrition and movement may have reached its limits. But it should work for Philipp Lahm.
The captain of Germany’s 2014 World Cup squad, now 38, is apparently maintaining his fighting weight five years after retirement and looking as young as ever. Together with a team of experts, he has now put to paper how he achieves this despite the daily stress he manages as an entrepreneur, tournament director of the upcoming European Championships in Germany in 2024 and a father. Under the title “Everyone can be healthy”, a 250-page book has been published by Südwest-Verlag, which can be described as an all-round adviser for all questions about the body, leisure sports, nutrition and relaxation.
When the richly illustrated little book was presented at the “Coubertin” restaurant in the Olympic Park, the media interest was enormous. Various camera crews and around two dozen reporters mill about in the room, unsurprisingly not only the presentation of the book, but also the recent turmoil at Lahm’s former club FC Bayern has drawn them in. And so most investigations quickly revolve around Robert Lewandowski, Julian Nagelsmann and “FC Hollywood” in general.
When it comes to losing weight, you need to set realistic short-term goals, says Lahm.
But the Munich native, who still makes every mother-in-law dream even in her late thirties, not only visually, but also in terms of friendliness and decency, skirts all reefs with her own diplomacy. He follows his ex-club, “it’s clear”, assures the former captain, but he is “not responsible”, which is why he wants to hold back with a summary of the season. Only this about a possible departure of Lewandowski: “It’s a shame that someone like that wants to leave the Bundesliga,” says Lahm, which also applies to Erling Haaland, whose transfer from Dortmund to Manchester City has already been confirmed. He himself has “met Lewandowski more often lately”, says the ex-professional, but “he definitely doesn’t talk to me about contractual issues”.
Apart from that, Lahm also much prefers to talk about his book than about the antics of Säbener Straße. Lahm names “exercise, nutrition and relaxation as three components” that are relevant to health. And he reveals some tricks to keep moving after his active period with two training sessions a day: “When I’m on the phone, I put on the headphones and I walk around.” It is also advisable, for example, to get off too early at a stop when using public transport and to walk the rest of the way. After all, “sitting is the new smoking” and lack of exercise is one of the biggest health risks.
When it comes to losing weight, you have to set realistic, rather short-term goals. “As a child, my only dream was to become world champion one day. But in my career, it was always about taking the next step.” He himself still plays sports three times a week, travels “as much as possible on foot or by bike” and is very careful with his diet. Of course, there are no longer four meals like during active time. He eats “meat sometimes, but not every day”, favoring sustainable regional products. “It’s as simple as that, it doesn’t have to be anything special.” And Lahm, who attaches great importance to eating as a family as much as possible, also offers himself “chocolate or gelatin bears” from time to time, because: “Sweets are part of life”.
But Lahm also says, “I want to be healthy, I want to have fun in life.”
Most of the declarations are not new, but certainly practical. And maybe you will touch one or another reader who would not deal with such topics if there was not a football idol behind them. The best example are the children’s books that Lahm’s buddy Bastian Schweinsteiger published together with former skier Felix Neureuther and which also aim to teach children more or less subtly about movement and teamwork.
The experts Lahm is working with on this book project include doctors, nutritionists and a mental coach. And there is cooperation with the Bavarian spas, which in turn fits into Lahm’s credo of ideal outdoor leisure activities: “Whether lakes or mountains, in Bavaria, we have so many opportunities to exercise outdoors in an easy way. It’s not rocket science.” Because one thing is particularly close to his heart, underlines the national player 113 times: “I want to be healthy, I want to have fun in life.” This is what he wants to convey with this book, “without pointing fingers”.