Get motivated to improve your physical fitness while watching Olympics

Make Physical Fitness Your Goal for 2012 Olympics

This post was written during my 2 1/2 year tenure as a blogger for Health Goes Strong. The site was deactivated on July 1, 2013, but you can read the original post here.

GET MOTIVATED TO IMPROVE YOUR PHYSICAL FITNESS WHILE WATCHING OLYMPICS

How strong is your personal commitment to physical fitness? The start of the 2012 Olympic Games this week provides a great opportunity to decide if you are doing all that you can to stay in shape, whatever your age and abilities.

Olympic athletes train long and hard to be the best of the best. The rest of us just need to become our personal best. And all that takes is being consistent. Doing just about anything on a regular basis that puts your body in motion and uses some muscles groups can make you more physically fit.

Move More Often

Running a marathon is the ultimate test of stamina, but most people struggle to find 30 minutes a day to take a walk. So what can we do? Researchers at the Healthy Lifestyles Research Center at Arizona State University did a study to measure the benefits of training for shorter intervals.

What they found is that walking briskly for 10 minutes three times a day is more effective in controlling blood pressure than taking one 30 minute walk. Who doesn’t have time to get up and take a 10 minute walk around the block before work, after lunch and again in the evening? These findings add to the growing body of evidence that short, cumulative exercise sessions are beneficial. And they’re definitely more manageable.

Increase Your Repetitions

The resistance most people have to resistance exercise is that it’s just too hard to lift those heavy weights. But a new study from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario provides an appealing alternative.

Instead of lifting the heaviest weight possible to get stronger muscles, researchers found you can lift a lighter weight more often and still make muscles grow. The key is doing enough repetitions to tire the muscle while maintaining good form. You may not become The Incredible Hulk, but it’s good to know you can improve your strength and definition without lifting anything bigger than your head.

Stay Flexible

Most athletes are celebrated for their strength or speed, but flexibility is an equally important part of the fitness the triad, and has the most lasting benefits. Being flexible improves posture and balance, and that helps prevent falls – a serious concern as we age.

Whether you do tai chi, yoga or your own top-to-bottom stretches each day, maintaining your flexibility will reap benefits in every other aspect of your life. From putting on your own socks in the morning to getting out of a chair at the end of the night, being able to bend, reach, twist, and turn without pain or stiffness is like winning a gold medal!

What event would you want to compete in at the summer games if you had the chance?

Beware of Footwear That Can Make You Fat!

Beware of Footwear That Can Make You Fat This Holiday Season!

THE SHOES YOU WEAR CAN CONTRIBUTE TO WEIGHT GAIN WHEN TIME IS SHORT FOR EXERCISE

The holiday season is not only a challenge to your diet, it can also undermine exercise routine. If your workouts are being shortchanged by all the extra things you have to do this time of year, be prepared to move more while doing them! What you wear on your feet can make all the difference. Style is a luxury you can’t always afford when trying to stay in shape. Wear sensible shoes that let you keep moving to avoid holiday weight gain.

Pointy toes work for the Grinch, but won’t let you get through a day at work without a blister.

Pointy toes work for the Grinch, but won’t let you get through a day at work without a blister.

Untied sneakers are trendy at the Mall, but will keep you riding the escalator instead of taking the stairs.

Untied sneakers are trendy at the Mall, but will keep you riding the escalator instead of taking the stairs.

Cowboy boots are perfect if traveling by horseback, but not if you’re galloping to your subway stop.

Cowboy boots are perfect if traveling by horseback, but not if you’re galloping to your subway stop.

Rubber boots are great for puddles, not for climbing ladders to hang Christmas lights around the house.

Rubber boots are great for puddles, not for climbing ladders to hang Christmas lights around the house.

Flip Flips are fine when getting a pedicure, but won’t help you get your heart rate up walking from the parking lot.

Flip Flips are fine when getting a pedicure, but won’t help you get your heart rate up walking from the parking lot.

Plastic sandals make sense sitting by the pool, not when running a vacuum to clean up the cookie crumbs.

Plastic sandals make sense sitting by the pool, not when running a vacuum to clean up the cookie crumbs.

Strappy sandals show off your toes, but will probably get them stubbed if you try to do any last minute shopping.

Strappy sandals show off your toes, but will probably get them stubbed if you try to do any last minute shopping.

 

High heels are glamorous for a party, but will probably keep you in your seat instead of on the dance floor.

High heels are glamorous for a party, but will probably keep you in your seat instead of on the dance floor.