The average career of an NFL running back is three years. But New York Giant Rashad Jennings is now in his eighth season, thanks in part to his dedication to taking care of himself off the field.
For the latest entry in our Morning Routine series, TODAY asked Jennings, 31, to share how he gets his days going — including Mondays, the day the sun comes up on the brutal physical poundings he absorbs as the Giants' ball carrier. The surprising thing? His routine is pretty, well, routine. (Except for the whole hyperbaric chamber thing. And the dedicated muscle activation specialist. But more on those below...)
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Should you shower in the morning or at night?
When do you get up? And snooze or no snooze?
I wake up at 7:30 every morning. I hit snooze probably about one and a half times before getting up to my 7:30 alarm.
What is your coffee routine?
I don't drink coffee; I really don't believe in it. I look for other resources for energy that are healthier for your body and more natural.
What is your typical breakfast?
I have the same shake for breakfast, 365 days of the year. The shake is a peanut butter and banana protein shake with protein powder, raw milk, oatmeal, flaxseed, chia seeds and almond milk.
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Do you do anything differently the morning after games than on other days?
Not really. I sleep in until about 9 a.m., rather than waking up at 7:30 a.m., but other than that it's the same routine.
Running backs take such a physical pounding during games. Do you do anything differently on the day after games to help your body recover?
I usually get a massage, which helps to relieve any tension I have built up after playing a tough and physical game.
What’s the first football-related thing you do when you wake up?
I normally watch film to study both how I play and how my opponents play, and what I can improve on.
Is there a particular song or band that you listen to in order to jump-start your morning?
My music is very diverse, so I normally hit shuffle on my library, which includes 4,000-plus songs. I can be listening to hip-hop one minute and country the next, so it is really hard to say any one specific song or artist.
Any out-of-the-ordinary habits you have to help yourself recover?
Funny you should mention that. I sleep in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber which enhances my body's natural healing process. I also do muscle activation therapy (MATs) with my MAT specialist, and this process helps to restore and strengthen any weak muscles. Those are a little different, but I've become accustomed to them.
What's one thing people would be surprised to learn about your morning routine?
If I'm not rushed, I may dance with my broom and/or lip sync into my broom while I am making a shake. It may sound crazy, but how can you not have a great day after a dance party?
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