“Take care of your body, it’s the only place you have to live.” — motivational speaker Jim Rohn.
When the New Year came around, I asked myself the same question millions of other people were asking themselves: What are my health goals for the year ahead? With the Winter Games just passed and the Paralympics in full swing, elite athletes are serving as inspiration to get up and moving, there’s never been a better is time to put personal physical activity goals in place. The hardest part about getting active during this time of the year is the weather.
However, anything is possible with the right kind of motivation and these Olympians not only inspire us but teach us lessons about perseverance, determination, and setting our sights on our goals.
“When we stage the Olympics it will inspire kids all over the country. A kid in Scotland or Ireland will be encouraged to take up sport,” said Daley Thompson a British decathlete and 2-time Olympic winner.
If you are not sure how to get started, begin with something reasonable.
- An exercise schedule can help you fit workouts into your busy schedule. For even the busiest people, a small period of exercise is beneficial.
- Everything is more enjoyable with company; encourage a friend or family member to join you. This allows you to view exercising as a fun time rather than a chore. Exercising with a friend will also help you to stay with your goal; it is much easier to quit when no one is watching.
- Remember to let your body adapt to exercising. If you’re trying something new such as cycling, skiing, or swimming make sure you are giving your body time to get used to this new movement.
- Check with your doctor first to ensure you’re healthy to participate. Its important to listen to your body, you are the only one who knows your limits. Don’t be afraid to get involved in a variety of different exercises so you “cross train” and don’t overstress particular joints or muscles.That way you are building balance, strength and flexibility and improving your overall health.
- Ensuring your safety is extremely important, so if you’re involved in contact sports it’s important you let athletic trainers or other medical professionals assigned to your team know if you’ve had a hard hit to the head which could cause a concussion, if you’re having shortness of breath or any other signs and symptoms that may indicate head, heart or other traumas should also be reported.
Keep in mind that every athlete that participated in this year’s games, one of them started just like you. In the wise words of Herb Elliott, winner of gold medal at 1960 Olympic Games: “It is the inspiration of the Olympic Games that drives people not only to compete but to improve, and to bring lasting spiritual and moral benefits to the athlete and inspiration to those lucky enough to witness the athletic dedication.”
Delaney Cooper, Athletic Training Student Aide and 11th Grader, Penn Trafford High School