Using television as motivation

What? Watching TV? Really? Yes. There are a few things this time of year that are very inspiring. Running from June 30th to July 22nd, the 99th Tour de France will be made up of one prologue and 20 stages and will cover a total distance of 3,497 kms. Although there are some shadows over the event pertaining to drug use every year, it remains a very exciting event to watch, and drugs or not, the skills and mental toughness required to complete the race are impressive. It’s like a three weeklong chess game on bicycles. The race will nearly be over by the time you read this, but it can be the most exciting part to watch from now until the 22nd.

Then, the next thing you must do after watching the daily race, is get outside on your own bike. It doesn’t have to be an epic ride of ridiculous proportions, but use the motivation from the race to inspire you to move.

Another awesome event coming up fast is the Olympics. Starting July 25th and running until Aug. 12th, the Olympics are worth staying up late or getting up early for. Certainly my eyes will be focused on the triathlon events on Aug. 4th and 7th as some of the folks I have been on team Canada with will be competing for the good old maple leaf at the biggest race of them all. I certainly hope that Simon Whitfield can pull off another gold medal and Paula Findlay from Edmonton has been dominating the sport for the past few years and it will be pins and needles to see if she has a great day.

The Olympics is so inspirational, not only because of what people can do, but for me, what it took to get there and the humanity of the challenge. Shot putter Dylan Armstrong missed the podium in Beijing by one centimetre. Can you imagine? For the past four years I figure he has been working on throwing that shot put farther by just the width of a pen. The sacrifices these people make – balancing work and training – as most Canadian athletes are not sponsored, funded or taken care of, so they must carry jobs to compete. That alone inspires me more than athletes of some other countries whose highly funded athletes walk the red carpet to the Olympics and do well. It kind of makes us underdogs and I like that somehow.

After watching the Olympics I cannot help but be inspired and want to head out and do something.

Here’s a challenge for you — Watch the Olympics and at every commercial break – exercise. Break the cycle of the couch. What if you did 10 push up burpees, or jumping jacks, crunches, lunges, squats or shoulder presses at every commercial? Can you imagine? Are you up for it?

The Olympics are 19 days long. A typical 30-minute block of TV time now includes 22 minutes of programming and eight minutes of advertisements. If you watched Olympics for just one hour a day and we assume the eight minutes of commercials was split into two times four minute segments, that would mean you could do four sets of burpees an hour for 19 days. If you managed 10 push up burpees in each four minute set, which is totally possible, then you could perform 760 burpees during the Olympics. COOL! What if you did 13 burpees per commercial break during the first 10 days, then 14 per commercial break for the next nine days, and on the last commercial break did 15 burpees, you will have completed 1,025 burpees. Not only will you have enjoyed the Olympics but I guarantee you will be stronger and more fit at the end. Now, what if you watch two hours a day?

Scott McDermott is a personal trainer and owner of Best Body Fitness in Sylvan Lake. He can be reached at 403-887-7667 or check out www.personaltrainersylvanlake.com for more information.

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