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Ideas for taking up a new sport

Wimbledon, Euro16  and the Tour de France are over but very shortly the Olympics will be under way. What an inspiration it is watching these wonderful athletes. Then the Paralympics and this is the time I watch in awe and give myself a mental shake to stop “complaining” about my aching, tired body!

Many people will take up a new sport after watching these role models on the field, track and in the pool. And we couldn’t ask for better for our children, and we as adults, to aspire to be like. (As long as we admire the ones who are clean from all drugs of course).

A new health regime, a new sport, a new fitness class – all have to be considered carefully, safely and not rushed at. Improving fitness and stamina will not happen overnight and the longer you have left exercising the more care needed to avoid injuries and disappointment.

Walking is a great way to start slowly and build up gradually. It won’t take long before you see yourself walking further for longer and quicker. You can do it on your own, with a walking buddy or a walking group.

Running magazines regularly have “How to start” articles or of course there is the Internet. Check out the local running club, it’s a great moral boost to meet up and take part with people of a similar level who will encourage each other week after week.

Gym memberships are varied and can accommodate your needs. Many come with an induction to get you started.

Personal Trainers focus on your weaknesses and strengths and you desired outcome. They bully, cajole and reward as appropriate. Developing a good relationship is important so that you work together.

Fitness instructors offer beginner level classes and set the pace so that you can keep up and enjoy it. Always inform them of any health issues before you attend if possible or at the beginning of the first class so they can make adjustments as suitable.

Cycling is a wonderful way to get fit. The whole family can go out together even if it’s just round the park or along the tow path of the canal. Before long you’ll be using the car less, considering buying a better bike and even joining a cycling club. The Tour de France riders all started at a basic level.

Swimming is easily accessible and there are lessons for babies right up to OAPs. My Grandmother learnt to swim after she retired! Everyone should be able to swim for safety as you just never know what might happen by the river or the seaside. Cost effective with no fancy equipment and a great all round exercise.

Tennis clubs are inundated after tennis season and often have special offers during the six week school holidays.

These are just a few ideas, there are many more sports and fitness classes to consider,: yoga, squash, fencing, football, rugby, hula hooping – whatever gets you moving your body every week.

It’s a good idea to start exercising now so that you are comfortable and used to the regularity and reaping the health benefits before the seasons and weather change and it becomes harder to find the enthusiasm to leave the warm sofa on a dark and dismal evening.

New resolutions don’t have to start on 1st January!