This year adopt an Olympian attitude towards fitness

Every day, athletes training for the Vancouver games, wake up eager for activity. These individuals are the world’s finest example of athletic prowess — and yet, their dedication to physical fitness is one we can all emulate. For an Olympian, the desire to workout is as natural as the daily need to brush one’s teeth. There is zero resistance to something so essential. So how can the average person adopt this attitude in 2010? By following this typical athlete’s fitness formula:

Workout regularly: Fix a time and schedule other commitments around it. Sporadic exercise may cause pain and injury, whereas a regular fitness workout delivers endurance and strength benefits for everything you do.

Set a goal: Consult experts if necessary to outline the best workout routine for achieving your own personal best and how to build on it.

Be specific: If, for example, swimming is your workout choice, learn how to challenge your body with it. Dabbling in the water is better than nothing, but the true benefits come from knowing what is required to give yourself a sustained aerobic and strengthening workout.

Perfect your form: Focus on the activity and isolate the required muscle groups to get the most benefit, endurance, and enjoyment.

Food is fuel: It’s true that once our bodies are finely tuned, weight gain is a non-issue if our food choices are healthy. The best approach is to welcome this fuel but reject any ‘junk’ that hampers the fitness goals.

Protect health: Athletes dread the thought of a cold or flu at competition time and many are pro-active in fighting germs. Taking a natural, immune-boosting supplement (such as Cold-FX) is common. In fact, it’s reported that 75 per cent of Canada’s Olympic athletes — and many professional athletes too — are taking this cold and flu fighter.

Rest: Take breaks to guard against burnout and follow the advice of a training expert regarding the appropriate rest period from a specific exercise.

Photo © Arne Trautmann