The London Olympics are showing how years of disciplined practice can result in incredible performances that translates into national honor and acclaim. We look to our athletes as shining examples of hard work, commitment and sacrifice.
How do the Olympics apply to you? We watch, listen and read about our athletes without realizing that the principles they’ve practiced also apply to us. We may not have the same physical abilities but we can make similar lifestyle choices to bring us closer to our own personal “gold medal”.
Tips for Olympic Living
Olympians have tremendous drive because they have big goals. Why do some people achieve their health and fitness goals while others do not? It’s about the who, what and why.
Who are you trying to be healthy for? It is easy to let yourself down when you are the only trying to be healthy for yourself. It is easier to stay committed to a program if you want to be healthy for your spouse, your children—any purpose greater than yourself. Olympians train for their country.
What do you want to be healthy for? Do you have to support your family? Do you have activities or hobbies that require you to be healthy? The choices that we make will impact your current and future health.
Why do you want to be healthy? This may seem like a crazy question but it’s an important one. We usually don’t want to be healthy just to wake up in the morning. We all have a purpose, goals, desires and wants that require us to be healthy.
Olympic Health Advice
On average, Olympians eat six meals and consume 6,000-10,000 calories a day. Could you eat like an Olympian? Sure, but you'd have to exercise like one too. It's all about balancing calories and exercise, just on a different scale.
Listen to your body. If something doesn't feel right, your body is telling you something. Figure out what is wrong and immediately fix it. Never say, "I will do it tomorrow".
Do it today. Do it now.
Always train as if the cameras are rolling. Know that your spouse, children and friends are watching and counting on you to be an example. A healthy family is a result of leadership and practice.
Live in the moment. Don't overthink it. A lot of people waste their time thinking and fretting about exercising, just jump in and do it. You'll be finished and healthier before you know it.
Consistency is the key. If you are not consistent, you will only get half—or no—results. Only reward yourself if you’ve put in the time and done the work. Don’t lose your honor by acting as if you deserve a gold medal when you’ve barely participated.
Avoid injuries. Always warm up, stretch and cool down when you work out. Warm-ups energize you and reduce your risk of injuries significantly. Injuries and soreness are the most common reasons for people skipping workouts.
Make sure you are getting enough rest, but not too much. Sleep is designed for healing of the body. It is important to get 6-8 hours of sleep per night. It is also very important to stay well-hydrated. Drink more water.
This column is directed by your questions, comments and inquiries. The health advice provided is in collaboration with the World Health Organization's goals of prevention, maintenance and natural treatment of disease. The advice is for educational purposes and does not necessarily reflect endorsement.
Dr. Cory Couillard is an international healthcare speaker and columnist for numerous newspapers, magazines, websites and publications throughout the world. He works in collaboration with the World Health Organization's goals of disease prevention and global healthcare education. Views do not necessarily reflect endorsement.
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