Olympic-sized fitness goals

Some tips for setting and reaching ambitious athletic goals

In honor of the Olympic Games in London, here are some tips for the everyday athlete looking to set (and reach) ambitious fitness goals:

• Find your inner child: If you’re just getting back into sports activi- ty, go with something you used to like as a child. If you liked swimming, get in the pool again. If you liked getting dirty, try a mud-run obstacle course.

• Mix it up: It’s easy to get bored with a rigid exercise routine, and you will make smaller gains as your body adapts to doing the same old thing every day. Shock your body with exercise it’s not used to—if you habitually like to hit the weights, try taking a spin-cycling class.

• Drink lots of water: Dehydration during a workout can lead to cramping and muscle failure. Drink plenty of water before, during and after your routine, especially if you’re exposing yourself to the sun.

• Resistance training: Even if your main focus is cardio, resistance training is a must. Stronger muscles burn more calories, pre- vent injuries and build stronger bones.

• Learn proper form: Poor technique is a good way to get hurt. Don’t just assume you’re doing an exercise correctly—have a buddy watch and make sure your movements are smooth and controlled.

Info: http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/summer olympics-12/slideshow-fitness- beginners