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London Olympics are over – but we’re still far from athletes

PHUKET: It is all over. The flame is put out, the Queen is back at the Palace, James Bond is back shooting baddies again and the athletes, of course, are enjoying their glorifying and fleeting moment of writing sports history.

Friday 24 August 2012, 06:11PM


But what about you sitting at home? Besides bringing out a sense of pride and nationalism whenever one of ‘us’ wins Gold, what has the Olympic Games done for you?

Has it got you thinking that maybe you ought to be working on your own physical condition or health? Or is it a simple ‘back to reality’ shift and off we are - back to the complete opposite of anything that comes even close to an Olympic athlete’s lifestyle?

How come major sports events like these don’t motivate us enough to change our lifestyle and add just a pinch more health? How come that even though we are watching others write sports history, we celebrate every victory with a Double Quarter Pounder, three mugs of beer and a super jumbo size of rubbery chicken nuggets?

So how can we get people more motivated to add a pinch or maybe even a double pinch of health and exercise to their lifestyle? There is no simple answer to this question, but let me share my view. Becoming healthier is a conscious choice that typically happens in several stages. The difficult stage is the awareness stage.

People that pursue an unhealthy lifestyle are quite comfortable with it and they like the benefits that come with that lifestyle. Motivating them to change simply will not work, because they are afraid they will lose their benefits once they go healthy.

Recently, I have been helping a very close friend of mine to lose weight and it was remarkable how motivated he was. It turns out, he was actually inspired by watching me work out all the time which had helped trigger his awareness stage and now he is on his way to become slimmer, fitter and healthier. And no, he is not on a non-stop diet of sticky rice and carrots.

Inspiration here is key, but to really push someone over the edge, you need to show him/her that being healthy doesn’t mean you have to stay away from sweets, it does not mean you need to spend an hour a day on a treadmill and it definitely does not mean you need to start eating salads all the time.

What if I told you that 15 minutes a day is all you need to get fit, more slim and more energized and you can keep the occasional cheesecake. Would you believe me?

If Yes, then you have entered into the awareness stage and if No, well maybe you just need another Olympics to get you there.

Central Phuket

Let me leave you with a few tips to start off with after the intensive Olympics to get back in shape:

 

  1. Forget everything you think you know about fitness, health, losing weight and/or pumping up- I don’t think that would be hard for the most of you- being healthy is not complicated, despite the fact that most ‘gurus’ tend to make it look that way.

  2. Stop diving into the Men’s Health ‘20 best ways to get a six-pack or to lose weight’ - they seem to have 20 best ways every month or so. Honestly, there is only one way, but different variations.

  3. Prepare yourself for minor changes in your health lifestyle. Don’t freak out: I said minor, but don’t expect to keep your average 5 beers a day quota.

  4. Have a look at your current diet and see where the overlap is and where you need to ‘add’ some health.

  5. Start jogging for 10-15 minutes this week to get you warmed up and reduce the risk of sore muscles especially for those who have been living unhealthily for the past 12 months or more.

That’s it for now. Have a critical look at your diet and your health condition and ask yourself where you can use some more ‘health’ and where you can cut a little slack.

 

 

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