We can certainly be proud of Team GB’s performance at this year’s Rio Olympic Games. Not only did we come second in the medal table, showing that we’ve improved on our ranking every year for the last four tournaments, but we also won gold medals across more sports than any other country. With so many great athletes to be proud of, it’s a great time to feel inspired to do some exercise or take up a new sport. There are many great Olympic sports you can take up at any age, and whilst you may not take home a gold medal afterwards, you will certainly come home with your own personal best.
Every single member of the 15-strong track cycling team came home with a medal, and seeing greats like Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome return home with medals provides enough inspiration for anyone to get on the bike. Whether you choose to cycle competitively or for fun, cycling provides a great workout, is good for the environment and allows you to explore some uncharted territory in your local area. For those not looking to head outdoors, you can always enjoy a bit of indoor cycling, use a turbo trainer or even take part in a spin class.
Whilst you may not want to go into a ring with someone, boxercise and exercise classes based on boxing techniques provide a great all-round workout, encompassing cardio, strength and flexibility which are perfect if you’re looking to get fit and lose weight. There are many leisure centres and gyms which offer these sorts of classes, and they’re a safe way to give boxing a go without actually having to face another opponent!
Horse riding is fantastic for leg toning, requires balance and stability and encourages everyone who takes part in it to adopt good posture! Horse riding can be taken up at any age and is something which all the family can get involved in. The more advanced you become, the more likely you’ll be to try the higher skilled disciplines like showjumping and dressage.
If you’ve been inspired by our athletes’ performance in the pool, you should head straight to your local and give swimming a try. If you don’t know how to swim, there are plenty of adult learning classes available to help you feel at ease, whilst experienced swimmers will be able to develop their techniques. Swimming works nearly all of the muscle groups, is gentle on the joints and is ideal if you’re overweight or if you’ve recently suffered an injury. Try some swimming sprints or long distance swims to help build your fitness and stamina, whilst many new waterproof devices mean you can enjoy listening to music whilst swimming too.
Britain’s rowers have been leading the field for decades at the Olympic Games, and it was another stellar year for them this year. Rowing is another great workout which engages multiple muscle groups, particularly your arms and core. It can be taken up at any age with plenty of local rowing clubs available. Even if you don’t fancy taking to the water, a workout on the rowing machine is the perfect way to tone up and to enjoy a fat burning cardio activity.
It’s worth taking a look at the clubs which are available in your local area – most are always looking for new members to join, and if you have kids who want to take part in a sport, going together as a family is a great way to bond and help them get started. Want to know which Olympic sport you’re best suited to? Try the NHS’ ‘sport aptitude’ test to measure which sport you’d be best suited to based on your interests and personality. It will also show you how to get started in your local area too!