By Kristin Sidorov
The 2012 London Olympic Games are finally here, and as we cheer our favorite awe-inspiring athletes, we're reminded of just how dedicated they are. Sure, we may never make it to the Olympics, but the healthy habits these competitors follow can easily be incorporated into your own daily schedule.
Swimming. Swimming is a full-body workout that's exceptional for muscle strength and tone (and you don't have to synchronize with anyone else!). Propelling yourself through water is like a full-on resistance exercise that helps improve flexibility and is easy on your joints. It's also a great calorie burner, keeps you cool as you work out, and is proven to aid in cardiovascular health.
Cycling. Not only is it an efficient and healthy way to get around, cycling provides an intense, full lower-body workout and builds strength and muscle tone throughout. It builds stamina and cardiovascular health, and is easier on your system and joints than running.
Boxing. Put 'em up! This total body workout doesn't leave any muscle untouched, and helps with coordination and balance, too. Boxing gives you an interval strength and cardio workout without you having to even think about it-you'll be too busy focusing on kicking some serious butt. Boxing is (obviously) a great stress reliever and a great way to drop some unwanted pounds.
Tennis. The perfect summer workout, tennis is a fun workout that lets you really get into the competitive spirit. Research has shown that tennis is one of the most healthful activities out there: It stimulates your brain and your body by requiring alertness, tactical thinking, and using pretty much every muscle group. Bonus: It burns more calories than aerobics, inline skating, and cycling.
Beach Volleyball. Sun, sand, and a few friends-please, could you ask for a better workout? Volleyball is a great form of aerobic exercise, and provides an awesome strength workout. The sand is also a bit easier on joints, providing a soft place to land on those digs, while the fun factor is perfect for mixing things up and avoiding the monotony of workout ruts. You also might make a few friends!
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