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10 fitness tips from Olympic athletes and coaches

By Jenny Scott
Boots Feature
Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks

Can London 2012 inspire us to incorporate more exercise into our lifestyles?

The Olympics are usually a time when top athletes showcase sporting feats of brilliance to the world... while the rest of us sit and watch them on TV.

Could this Olympic Games be the prompt we need to tear ourselves from the telly and get into sport?

Olympic Games: Fitness tips from athletes

"Not everybody wants to do as much training as an Olympian but EVERYONE is capable of getting fitter and achieving in sport!" says Debbie Flood.

Debbie is part of the Great Britain Olympic rowing team and won silver in the quadruple scull in the Beijing Olympics.

Fitness tips from Olympic London 2012 stars

"There are so many different ways of keeping fit, from joining sports clubs or going to the gym to keeping fit at home and doing exercises in your front room or being out in the fresh air and countryside," Flood adds. "The key is finding the thing that you are most happy doing."

Here Flood - and nine more top British Olympic athletes, including heptathlon star Jessica Ennis's coach, Olympic gold medallist Tim Brabants and the coach of gold medal winner Christine Ohuruogu - give their tips for training success:

Debbie Flood, Olympic rower on setting a goal

"Give yourself a challenge or a goal, however big or small, and that will be your main motivation. Come back to that goal when it gets hard!

"When I first started rowing I was rubbish. But remember, it takes time to improve at something and see the benefits. The more committed you can be towards your goal, the quicker you will see those improvements and benefits.

"Respect your body, get excellence out of yourself, and have the courage and determination to give it a go and stick with it. Sport and exercise are good for your body, mind and spirit and you CAN do it. Challenge yourself today to a healthier lifestyle."

Training tips from Olympic heptathlete Jessica Ennis' coach

Jessica Ennis, World heptathlon champion, is the poster-girl of the 2012 Olympics.

"To be truly fit, training has to be progressive," says Ennis' coach Toni Minichiello. "Doing the same training day in day will not make any progress towards your intended goal. Regular, yet different, training and exercise is important. Training and fitness has to become a habit, a lifetime habit, but all habits can be fun."

The importance of warm-up by British Olympic runner Jenny Meadows

Jenny Meadows is the European and World medal-winning 800m athlete.

Warming up is essential before your training session. "If you don't warm up, you're more likely to injure yourself," says Meadows. Meadows' own warm-ups consist of slow, low-intensity movements in which she gradually increases the rhythm and the intensity of the stretches.  She spends about half an hour warming up before a training session. "A warm-up also helps you to feel energised and focus on your training," adds Jenny.

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