What my degree in IPE didn't teach me about baking, DIY, fitness, and life…
As the final notes of the closing ceremony play tonight, are you going to let the olympics just end or are you going to take up the torch that has been so valiantly carried by our country’s olympians? No, I’m not suggesting that you abandon your current life to devote yourself to training and winning gold in Rio 2016. But what I am suggesting is that you let this Olympics inspire you.
Let it give you the big Mo – the what, you ask? :
Yup, that’s momentum baby! And once you’ve got it you’re a force to be reckoned with. So take up that torch and get moving! Need a bit of help? Here are some fun ways to let Olympic inspiration propel you in your own fitness goals.
Did you do the BBC quiz – which athlete are you most like? Not quite where you’d like you be – which one would you be like if you hit your goal weight? Print that picture, stick it on your fridge. Now make yourself a goal and every time you want to back down, remember the hard work and dedication that your fridge athlete put in. You can do it. You’re in the company of greatness now. Sure good genes help, but grit is what truly makes a champion.
Watched something fun that you’ve never tried before? Hey I watched the gymnastics and then did cartwheels in my backyard, spent the diving finals doing pike positions on my couch. Wanna try something new in a slightly more organised way? If you’re in the UK, simply hop over to the BBC’s get involved page, and they’ll help you find a club where you can get stuck in. In the USA, your local YMCA, or Parks & Recreation Department can be a big help. And here in Belgium, you’d be surprised at how many club sports there are. Check with your commune and you can find just about anything, from ultimate frisbee to
One of the things that bolsters the olympians we’ve watched over the last two weeks is a good team and support staff. Who’s on your team? Who are your coaches, your best supporters? Those who live with you can be the best teammates. And positive peer pressure can take over and make the whole family fit (just like obesity is contagious positive peer pressure and fitness can be contagious too). Friends are also great. Hubby is my biggest supporter. We cheer each other on in our fitness programmes and challenges. As they say, it takes a village!
But if your friends and family only want to rain on your parade and stomp on your olympic momentum, don’t let that stop you! Remember your olympic grit! There are loads of other ways to build a good team and support network. Check out the support options at your local gym, hire a trainer, or make good use of the free stuff on the interwebs. Websites like SparkPeople, SlimKicker, and MyFitnessPal allow you to track your food and workouts, set goals, and get involved in tremendously supportive online communities.
Too shy to join in with others? Worried about the cost of new equipment or in the inconvenience of starting a crazy new programme? Take baby steps: use free (or cheap) tools you can find on the web, like the C25K programme & app or streaming workout videos.
Need some extra motivation? Bet yourself that you’re going to exercise this week using the GymPact app. If you succeed you get paid real money! If you fail, you have to pay them – now that’ll get you off the couch. If money doesn’t motivate you, but competition or just having a deadline does, why not sign up for a race or event. Here’s a handy search to find an event near you (or here if you’re in the UK). I can totally recommend this approach. It’s worked great for Team Bakemasters!
Still not convinced? Check out my other “What’s your reason?” posts. Find your reason and use the end of these Olympic Games as a boost (or if you need it, a turning point) in your fitness life. Don’t let this opportunity pass wasted!