Go for the gold and train like an Olympian!
Go for the gold and train like an Olympian!

Going for the Gold -- 
Train Like an Olympian

Most of us will spend at least a few hours on the couch in the coming weeks watching the Olympics and saying things like, “Look at those abs!,” “How’d she do that?,” “Honey, you’ve got to come see this!,” and “Oh no! All that training and now this ….”
Every athlete competing in the games has his or her own unique story about how they got to Rio. Odds are, none of them involve extended periods of time sitting on the couch watching TV.
World-class athletes like those we’ll be watching during the Olympics all have one thing in common, no matter their sport,” said Dr. Amy Phillips, one of our OB/GYN doctors at UAMS. “They have all worked really hard to get where they are. They may have a bit of a genetic advantage, good coaches, supportive parents and financial backing, but the primary difference between these athletes and the rest of us is their hard work and commitment to their training and their sport.
Olympic athletes from summer and winter games have shared their advice for armchair athletes who want to improve their game, get in shape and live healthier.

Know your Body 

If you feel discomfort during an exercise, stop and ask yourself if it’s pain or just soreness. It’s OK to work through soreness, but if it’s pain, you need to stop and find the cause. 
When you feel discomfort, don’t stop working out – just change your exercise. Swimming is a great low-impact exercise that’s easy on your joints yet provides a good cardio workout. If you have a leg or foot injury, take this time to work on your upper body strength and core muscles. Sore back or arms? Change your routine to ride an elliptical bike.

Don't Hold Back

To reach your fitness goals, you need to balance what you hope to accomplish with what you’re willing to put in to make it happen. If you don’t have clear goals or a plan that will help you reach them, you can easily get frustrated and want to give up.
Some days will be better than others, but don’t let a “down” day keep you from your goals. Sleep, diet, stress and other workouts can affect your strength and endurance day to day. Try to figure out what’s affecting your workout and adjust for it at your next session.
However you’re feeling, don’t forget the warm up and cool down. These are essential parts of your workout routine. If you’re short on time, do one less set of each exercise to save a few minutes.

Grab a Partner

Olympic athletes often train together for several years with a partner or in a group. Research shows that those who train with a friend, co-worker, spouse, or in a class or small group stick with it longer. Training with others makes you more accountable to your plan and your goals. Having a friend with you can also help boost your enthusiasm on days when you’re not at your best.
If your sport is synchronized swimming or diving, a partner’s a must. Even if your sport doesn’t require perfect synchronization, a consistent workout partner can help you achieve your goals. Someone who knows you and your typical workout routine can give you a boost on those off days and provide encouragement when you need a little extra push.

Do it Right

Remember this motto: Right is Better than More. You’ll help prevent injuries and get better results if you take the time to focus and do your workout with the proper form rather than rushing through it. For weight training, follow these do’s and don’ts. These exercise tips can also help keep you in the gym and out of bandages.

Add Some Jams

Every workout is better with music. Try some of gymnast Simone Biles’ favorite tunes or Gabby Douglas’ playlist of upbeat Christian music.

And Don't Forget

  • Exercise early in the day. You’re less likely to talk yourself out of it.
  • Drink enough water to replace fluids lost by sweating. An average person sweats about 1 liter an hour during exercise. (A 24-ounce bike water bottle is the same as .7 liters.)
  • Eat healthy. To maximize performance and energy level, start with a breakfast of complex carbohydrates (whole grains) and lean protein (Greek yogurt, low fat milk and egg whites). Eat again every three to four hours and within 90 minutes of working out.
  • Good sleep is important. Before any athletic event, make sure you get quality sleep. Try to get eight to 10 hours of sleep in a dark room. Don’t watch TV or look at your phone or computer screen for 30 minutes before you go to sleep.

Support the Home Team

If you happen to take a break from your workout during the Rio Olympics and want to watch the games and cheer for the Arkansas team, look for these men and women, who are among those who have Arkansas connections.
Golf – Men’s
Former Arkansas Razorback David Lingmerth (Sweden)
Golf – Women’s
Former Arkansas Razorbacks Stacy Lewis (USA) and Gabriela Lopez (Mexico)
Modern Pentathlon
Isabella Isaksen of Fayetteville (USA)
Margaux Isaksen of Fayetteville (USA)
Track and Field – Men’s
Men’s Long Jump – Arkansas Razorback Jarrion Lawson (USA)
Men’s Triple Jump – Former Razorback Clive Pullen (Jamaica)
Men’s 5,000 meter run – Former Razorback Kemoy Campbell (Jamaica)
Men’s 110-meter hurdles – Former Razorback Omar McLeod (Jamaica)
Men’s 4 x 100 relay – Former Razorback Tyson Gay (USA)
Men’s 5,000 meter run – Former Razorback Kemoy Campbell (Jamaica)
Men’s 400-meter hurdles -- Michael Tinsley of Little Rock (USA)
Men’s 400-meter run and 4 x 400-meter relay – Kyle Clemons, born in Jonesboro (USA)
Track and Field – Women’s
Women’s 10,000 meter run – Former Razorback Dominique Scott-Efurd (South Africa)
Women’s Pole Vault – Former Razorback Sandi Morris (USA) and Razorback Lexi Weeks of Cabot (USA)
Women’s 800 meter run -- Chrishuna Williams (USA)
Women’s 4 x 400-meter relay team – Razorback Taylor Ellis-Watson (USA)
Women’s 200 meter run and 4 x 100 relay -- Former Razorback Veronica Campbell-Brown (Jamaica
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