Cherie L. Steffen is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer. She blogs at Cherie Runs This. She is on a health and fitness journey and invites us all along for the ride. Take it away, Cherie.
We’ve waited four long years but the time is finally upon us again. The 2012 Summer Olympics is here! Over the next two weeks, we get to live vicariously through the Olympians as they run, flip, lift, dive, jump, swim, and tumble toward the gold. As a result, they will also show us just how far you can go when you commit to making fitness and healthy eating a big part of your life. Even if you never get the chance to call yourself an Olympian, the Olympics is still an amazing opportunity for us to combine fitness and food and discover the athlete within us all.
Are you as excited as I am but can’t make the trip across the pond? London’s calling—answer by bringing the Olympics to your house!
Get your game face on. One would think swimming, gymnastics and running are some of the only sports contested in the Olympics. Not so! There are 26 different sports that will be featured in London. This means, from table tennis, to archery, to canoeing, there is just about a sport out there for one and all!
Thankfully for you, this means you can set up an Olympic venue right in your backyard or basement with some items you may already have at home. You could even make up your own competitions—hula hooping, jump roping, planking, anyone? Whatever you do, get creative and work up a sweat. At the end of the events, award medals to the finishers or just celebrate the accomplishments for a job well done.
Eat like a champion. Olympians put in hours of work. Hours. Their bodies require thousands of calories to sustain their level of activity. But filling up on donuts, fried foods and ice cream does not make an Olympian’s body ready for competition. They eat clean!
So now that you’ve put in your work, it’s time for a healthy meal worthy of an Olympian. Think lean proteins and vegetables for the meals and fruits for the desserts. How about putting an English flare on it to go along with the theme? Tea and crumpets, fish and chips, bangers and mash, and apple crumble can all be made healthier with just a swap of a few ingredients and baking instead of frying. After burning those calories during “competition,” thank your body by fueling it right.
Dig out your flags from Independence Day and don your red, white and blue. It’s time to get on your mark, get set, and go for the gold! But no matter if you make it to that podium or not, remember we all win when we give fitness and healthy eating our best shot.