Trickle-down Olympic fitness for the rest of us

Mon Feb 15, 2010 10:10am EST
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - It's thrilling to watch those Olympians perform in Vancouver, but what have their superhuman feats to do with the fitness needs of us mere mortals?

Industry experts say the Olympic example can be a tool to uproot couch potatoes and fire the workouts of everyday athletes.

"Millions of people who are watching the games will start to think about the importance of regular physical activity," said Kara Thompson, spokeswoman for the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA).

"The Olympics demonstrate how we can push our bodies physically and how perseverance can yield extraordinary results," she said.

The lesson is translatable to the world of fitness.

Thompson said health clubs can use the Olympics to invigorate clients' workout routines.

"It's certainly an opportunity for clubs to connect their in-club programing with the Olympics and create excitement."

Jennifer Burke, a personal trainer with Crunch fitness club chain, believes in the Olympic effect.   Continued...

<p>Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic skates during her women's 3000 metres speed skating race against Japan's Masako Hozumi at the Richmond Olympic Oval during the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics February 14, 2010. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez</p>