Examiner.com: Are the Olympics Getting You in the Mood?

ESPN: The Body Issue, 2012

Are the 2012 London Olympics getting you excited, motivating you to head to the gym after work, take a few extra laps around the block – all with the intension of getting your body into better shape? The majority of us won’t be qualifying for 2016 games, so what is it about watching the highest level of athleticism and competition on television that gets us in the mood?

The Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) argues that “Sports provide an excellent opportunity to observe athletes in positive and negative situations; and watching the 2012 Summer Olympic Games and beyond can be a source of valuable life lessons.” And motivation?

Physiotherapy New Zealand (PNZ) President Gill Stotter adds: “The Olympics is one of the biggest sports events in the world today and it often inspires those of us watching to do more. The athletes can act as great role models and really help us dream a little more and set some of our own goals.”

And the statistics support the feeling:

  • On average, there has been a 25% – 37% increase in gymnastics student enrollment in each of the Olympic years.
  • In China, gyms across the country have reported a spike in new members already, with many residents inspired to get in shape by their new Olympic heroes (specifically those coming from their hometowns).

This phenomenon has also been proven by a recent national survey by 24 Hour Fitness. According to the corporate gym franchise, 89% of those surveyed are motivated by the Olympic games and admit that watching the athletes gives their fitness routines a boost and encourages them to live healthier lifestyles.

So what did members of the South Florida community have to say?

  • Adam Ardenfriend of Delray Beach said: “I’ve been watching the Olympics and I love it. The athletes are amazing, inspiring, and simply a pleasure to watch. I have to admit that I am quite addicted to the games, all of them, regardless of the sport. The athletes have certainly inspired me to achieve even more with my own personal fitness.”

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