With the next Winter Olympic games only a few days away, the media is already fawning over the super-toned men and women who will represent their countries in February. In a survey performed by a London gym after the 2012 Olympics, nearly 89% of members were more motivated to work out after watching the games. But what can the average gym-goer take away from the games to get more fit? Here’s what you can do to reach your Olympic potential.
One thing all summer and winter Olympians have in common is a copious amount of weight training. Scott Caulfield, the head strength coach for the hockey team at Colorado College, underscored how important hitting the weight room is in a 2014 interview with online fitness journal LiveScience. Hitting the weight room, he says, will keep people (and especially older people) from seeing a decline in their abilities. Hitting the weight room doesn’t have to be intimidating, either– many gyms and YMCA’s offer machines in addition to dumbbells– and you can even invest in a cheap pair of dumbbells for your home if you don’t want to splurge on a membership. Planning to work on all muscles groups around three times a week is a great way to get started weight training!
If you’re like the average American, you are more than likely dehydrated. In a study conducted by CBS, nearly 75% of Americans were found to consume less than the recommended eight to ten cups of water per day. Olympians, on the other hand, keep track of their water and are sure to stay hydrated to perform at the best of their abilities. The United States Olympic Committee has even released a fact sheet on their recommendations for athletes and their hydration. Included in those recommendations is drinking two glasses of water with every meal and carrying a water bottle with you throughout the day to encourage optimum hydration. Need more tips on how to keep your hydration up? Consider buying a cute water bottle to drink from or download one of the many apps available to keep tabs on your drinking habits. Drinking a glass of juice with breakfast or having some herbal tea before bed is also a great way to get hydrated if you don’t like drinking water.