The healthy habits that keep Chris Hemsworth in peak physical and mental shape
Next time you struggle to get out of bed to do a workout, don’t worry – even Thor himself is not a fan of morning exercise.
Much-loved Australian actor Chris Hemsworth shot to Hollywood fame in 2011 with the blockbuster movie Thor.
Since that first Marvel outing, the 36-year-old has played the hammer-wielding Hollywood character in eight films and is due to reprise the role again in Thor: Love and Thunder next.
It’s a role that demands a tough training schedule of heavy weightlifting. Other films – including his latest, Extraction – require a more athletic style and plenty of endurance, achieved through more functional and cardio training.
But while physical activity is a crucial part of the father-of-three and avid surfer’s daily life and career, he’s just like us mere mortals when it comes to having days where he has to push himself to exercise.
“Oh yeah,” Chris says with a laugh. “I’m not a morning person, so I mean 2pm is a good time for me.”
Chris, who lives in the NSW coastal hinterland with actress wife Elsa Pataky, daughter India, 8, and twin boys Tristan and Sasha, 6, believes there are three keys to a happy, healthy and balanced life: Movement, nutrition and mental fitness.
“So if I can have some sort of physical training every day and be eating right and have moments where I can let the busyness of my head and thoughts dissipate or to take a back seat, I’m definitely in a better place,” he says.
Chris, who features on the cover of the House of Wellness winter magazine, shares his thoughts on health, fitness and family.
Chris Hemsworth on healthy eating
A self-confessed sweet tooth with a “huge appetite for pizza and burgers”, Chris follows an 80:20 rule of eating – mostly healthy, with occasional treats.
“I try to just have a very balanced diet and eat organic and fresh and clean and healthy whenever I can, and buy locally,” he says.
“Around where I live there are a lot of local farms and markets, and there are a lot of farmers around here now doing delivery boxes of fresh fruit and veg.”
Chris Hemsworth on fitness
Chris launched health and fitness app Centr last year, after fielding constant questions about his approach to workouts and health.
The app offers a variety of workouts, recipes and meditations.
“I’m known for heavier weightlifting because of Thor, but the vast majority of my training and warm-ups are lighter weights that are functional body weights, and I like pilates to stay flexible and functional,” he says.
“I surf and so my training does have to be suitable for that, and if I’m bulking up for Thor I’m pretty stiff and awkward in the surf!”
Chris Hemsworth on family life
Like many of us, Chris has spent much of his time this year at home with family.
While recognising the coronavirus pandemic has been a “very challenging and unfortunate situation” for much of the world, Chris has tried to focus on the positives of leading a slower life.
“For the past 10 years I’ve known what I was doing every day of the week for the next few months and had schedules laid out in front of me,” he says.
“There is a forced stillness now through this, and a part of me really enjoys just being home and being present with the kids and not being caught up in future events.”
He says having kids has changed his life priorities, and he treasures the time he can spend with them.
“Now it’s really about choosing projects that I’m really passionate about and being much more choosy in my decisions. If it’s going to take me away from the family, it has to be pretty special.
“I don’t want to wake up when I’m 60 and go, ‘Ok I’ll have a break now’, and miss the most fun years with my kids.”
Kindness, empathy and being able to look at things from someone else’s perspective are values he wants to instil in his kids.
“I hope to have kids that are open-minded and kind and collaborative and want to share whatever opportunities come their way,” he says.
“My parents both worked in child protection so it’s a selfless line of work and they looked after the most vulnerable of us and that was always very inspirational.”
More celebrity healthy living tips:
- How Steph Claire Smith stays fit, healthy and successful
- Turia Pitt on family and her ‘happy place’
- The key to Anna Heinrich’s healthy diet
- Jo Stanley’s 5 tips for becoming happy and calm
- Michael Klim’s favourite ways to get fit with the family
- How Elyse Knowles stays in shape
- Stephanie Gilmore’s secrets to a balanced life
Written by Erin Miller.