I love Olympic time! I love it when the news and newspapers are filled with inspiring stories of amazing athleticism and inspiring achievements instead of depressing news of wars, economic woes or political battles. I love that for two weeks the Olympics promotes a spirit of unity with stories of triumph and smiles on the front page. As the athletes from all of the different countries marched into the opening ceremonies, I felt so proud and emotional. Despite the many different languages spoken, everyone is speaking the universal language of health and exercise and the Olympics can inspire us all to pursue our dreams and achieve our personal best.
Catch the excitement of the Olympics. Watch an event that appeals to you, and don’t just sit back and admire the athletes. Ask yourself what you can take away from what you are watching. Maybe you decide to get up early and start training. Or you get motivated to designate a certain amount of time daily to your workouts. Maybe you watch an inspiring story and remind yourself of the importance of believing in yourself, even when you have setbacks. Let the Olympics flood your mind with new ideas. Did the kayaking races inspire you to go whitewater rafting? Did the 85 mile cycling races inspire you to get back on your bike? Or maybe the flexibility of all of those USA gymnasts inspired you to get back to stretching again and working on your own flexibility. Open your mind and let the Olympics inspire you toward new opportunities in your own life.
Become a Champion of Movement. Go out and get physical. Whether you typically walk, swim, jog, dance, cycle, lift weights, kayak, play volleyball or tennis, use the OIympics to leapfrog your way into moving more. I love to hear from people who dedicate an hour to exercise on most days of the week, but that doesn’t give any of us license to sit for the remainder of the day. Our bodies need movement throughout the day. Become a champion of movement. Stand up more. Walk more. Stretch more. Clean vigorously. Pace when you are on your phone. Do calf raises while you watch TV or plank during commercials. Find ways to have a more active life. Take brisk walks after meals, or spend more time on the weekend with your family doing a sport together. Start viewing exercise differently. Instead of simply checking it off your daily calendar, try to get as much activity in your days as possible.
Train like an Olympian. Train like a pro. Some of the athletes have said that they train by jumping rope, lifting chains, running hills, tossing a medicine ball, doing speed work and sprinting in small bursts, jogging up stairs, committing to daily push-ups and doing those tough mountain climbers. (Watch my video clips on Olympic-inspired workouts for some ideas:
I have my fitness classes do some of these moves and we laugh that our “hurdles” aren’t quite the “hurdles” of an Olympian … but they work for us regular people!
Lastly, there’s another way you can train like an Olympian. Develop the mindset of an Olympian. Olympic athletes know that skipping workouts isn’t an option. They are dedicated. They train even when they don’t feel like it, and they improve in their event with practice. They overcome fears and push forward to better themselves. They make mistakes, fall flat on their face and get back up and try again. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you need to be immediately talented at an exercise you try. Practice, practice, practice. Eventually, you will love hard work because you will be seeing and feeling all of its benefits!
Share in the excitement of the Olympics and use the inspiration to fuel your own athletic best. After all, achieving optimum health is a universal goal.
Keep your own torch lit!