So the London 2012 Olympics are in full swing. After a spectacular opening ceremony, with a whole heap of medals already given to the top elite, it’s hard not to get in the spirit of things. As we screaming at the TV, with our country men and women giving blood, sweat, and tears to achieving their ultimate goal.
Being an Ankylosing Spondylitis(AS) sufferer I think it’s pretty safe to say that our condition would stop us competing in the 2016 Olympics in Rio next time around. But that shouldn’t stop us being inspired by the occasion. After all, that is the message of the games – To inspire a generation.
So you may be revelling in Great Britain’s current dominance in the cycling, and are considering getting back on your bike? Maybe Michael Phelps is your hero as the most decorated Olympian of the modern games, giving you the urge to go for a dip? Or perhaps you fancy taking a leaf out of the many young gymnasts books, doing double somersaults over the living room, using your sofa as a gym horse? Yeah…….. don’t fancy that last one either.
So what can we learn from these perfectly sculpted, and often annoyingly good-looking individuals?
Well in short if we want to be the master of your own body, and ultimately our illness, then exercise if the key!! As the old saying goes, ‘if you don’t use it, you fuse it’.
Here’s five things we can learn from them in order to achieve the best results for our labours:
Discipline – If an athlete lets this slide then their results suffer, and they find it harder to get ‘on form’. We risk the same problem if we let our discipline slide, with our symptoms transgressing into a previous state, making a harder uphill battle for you to get back to where you once was.
Hard work – This one is straight forward. Unfortunately there is no ‘quick fix’ to cure your AS; even with today’s modern medicine, and the remarkable anti-Tnf drugs available. Along side these treatments you should still be putting the work in. You need to do it yourself! No one will ‘magic’ you better. Be prepared for the long haul.
Have a Routine – This will help us put in the hard work with our ever increasingly busy lives. You will certainly also need discipline to stick to it, but routine will help you find out how your body reacts to the stresses you are putting it under. This will help you to gauge just how your going to feel at certain points in time. You can then adjust routine accordingly to get the best results. Ad-hoc exercise will not be efficient, and is likely to have no long-term benefit.
Determination – This might seem a silly thing to say, but, you have to really want to get better. We all want the pain to stop, but moaning about it isn’t going to solve anything. In the true definition of the word, you need a ‘firmness of purpose’. This is not done by negativity, PMA people!
Eat like a Winner – Now I’m not saying you need to start stuffing your face with 6000+ kcals a day like most athletes do. You need to look at your diet and eat balanced meals, keeping an eye on your kcal intake may also help you loose weight in a healthy way, unlike some of the fad diets you may have previously tried. This will ensure you are not depriving your body of what it needs, which may ultimately cause your symptoms to get worse. Keeping a health BMIwill also help to reduce the stress and weight you put on your bones and joints. Obviously this is a huge benefit in the long run.
So, how like an athlete are you? Are you already doing these five things? Is there anything else we can learn from the elite?
What’s been your favourite event so far of the Olympics? And what are you looking forward to in the coming weeks?