The Olympics have been and gone in a whirlwind two weeks that gripped viewers around the globe and now it’s time to see what the legacy of the games will be. So far, the slogan ‘Inspire A Generation’ seems to stand true, with athletics clubs and fitness centres reporting a surge in enquiries and new members signing up in a bid to be the next Jessica Ennis or Mo Farah.
If you too have been inspired to be more active, then keep the momentum going with my guide to some of the Olympic sports that you can try out in your free time. You may not get gold, but you can still be on track for a medal-worthy body and fitness levels!
This is probably the Olympic discipline that anyone can get involved in, all you really need is a decent pair of running shoes. Of course running a marathon in 2 hours 23 minutes a la Tiki Gelana requires a lot of training and skill, but you can still improve your cardiovascular health, lose weight and tone up while you’re trying.
While running can be as simple as pounding the pavements, you may find it a good motivator to sign up for an event or to even join a running club if you’re taking it more seriously. Park Run is also a free weekly 5k race that is held in parks across the UK, so you can see how much your time improves as the weeks go by. To find your nearest Park Run click here.
Many of the finest Olympic swimmers start young – just look at 15-year-old Katie Ledecky from the USA who beat Rebecca Adlington to the gold in the 800m freestyle race! However swimming is a good choice if you’re after a low impact workout that will tone up your whole body. Rebecca Adlington was training for over five hours a day in the lead up to the games, but even with a couple of swimming sessions a week you should see results.
If you want to replicate the Triathlon success ofthe Brownlee brothers then you need real commitment. Think regular bike rides, running, swimming and strength training to ensure you’re strong enough to make it through this gruelling event. Virgin Active offer Triathlon classes at manyof their gyms in the lead up to their winter Indoor Triathlon event.
Team GB dominated the cycling events, and you too can get into cycling with little expense. It could be anything as simple as a weekly spin class to getting on your bike and taking to the streets for real. Just beware of safety and always wear a helmet if you’re cycling on the road. Expect a lot of commitment if you want to get up to the standard of Victoria Pendleton or breakthrough star of London 2012 Laura Trott though – as much as six hours of cycling and strength training a day!
Have you been inspired to exercise more after the Olympics?