Unless you’ve just arrived on earth from Mars, it can’t have escaped your attention that the UK is currently gripped by Olympic fever. London is watching as the cream of international sporting heroes arrives to prepare for a month-long fest of the single most important sporting event in the world. These men and women are at the peak of their physical capabilities and they have trained for months and years to reach international competition standard. We can’t all be Olympians, but there is no better time to be inspired to get fitter.
Of course, most of us have real lives to contend with and work and family commitments mean that grueling three hour daily training schedules are out of the question. However, by committing to doing some regular exercise on most days, you can make a significant difference to your fitness levels. Exercise is also one of the best ways to reduce stress and increase the flow of the body’s natural feel-good chemicals.
If you’re undecided what to do, take some inspiration from your favourite Olympic heroes. For example, swimming provides an excellent workout and because the water supports you, there is less chance of any kind of joint strain. If you can’t swim, or haven’t been for a while and you’re maybe lacking confidence, look for adult swimming lessons for beginners or advanced.
Or take inspiration from Bradley Wiggins’ fantastic and historic Tour de France success. You can get a bike and take to the highways and byways of Britain quite easily. However, if you live in an area with lots of air pollution or heavy traffic, you might feel safer indoors. All gyms have stationary cycles that you can use and you can make things more interesting by taking a Spinning class.
Although it’s not an Olympic sport, many Olympic athletes use Pilates as part of their training schedule. This is because it increases core muscle control, as well as improving balance, flexibility, posture and muscle tone. As well as having many physical benefits, it can also help to improve mental fitness. Look out for Pilates London events as well as Pilates classes around the rest of the country.
It doesn’t matter what type of exercise you go for, but the sooner you start doing it, the sooner you’ll start to feel the benefits. If you haven’t exercised for a while, put yourself in the hands of the professionals by going to a gym class. Your trainer will assess your fitness level and ensure that you work correctly without risking injury to yourself. You might not come out with Olympic gold, but you’ll certainly notice the difference in the way you stand, move and feel.
The 2012 London Olympics are the perfect opportunity to be inspired by staying healthy and discovering fun new sports so you can be part of the action! Read on for tips and suggestions for how you can get active this summer, and make the most the Olympic season.