So how many of us watched the Olympics in awe of these incredible athletes and their total commitment to their sport? 

 And how many of us did it inspire to get off the couch to get out and get active? 

Believe it or not, you are not alone! After any televised big sporting event the spectator is often transformed into an active participant!  In fact, historically, viewing the Games results in a discernible jump in athletic activity, which takes a couple of different forms, from increased general exercise to trying entirely new sports.

One absolute measurable effect of the Olympics phenomenon is the surge in gym memberships and increased participation in exercise classes. Simply put, viewers are inspired to simply get in shape and it can take many forms; yoga, indoor cycling, kickboxing classes in fact the actual activity may have no relation to the sports being competed at the games.

The reason so many are inspired, particularly by the Olympics, is that the sportsmen/women are more relatable to the “common man” than a professional multimillionaire pro.  In so many cases the athletes at the games are amateurs, many are college or high school students, Moms or Dads or people with day jobs who make little or no money from their sports and have been working out and practicing daily for years simply for the passion and opportunity to compete. The dedication these athletes show is incredible given the fact that, even though they have been training for years, the majority obviously come away empty handed. They almost have no statistical chance of winning any medals, and for most competitors, leaving without one is a foregone conclusion. Yet they still do it. It is this example, that relates to the regular person, it inspires us to also do it anyway!

Since the beginning of the pandemic home fitness options have exploded in quantity and quality. Many company’s have recognized the inspiration an Olympic athlete provides to so many regular people and have partnered with Olympians to host classes for the home audience.

The second way in which the Olympics regularly have a big impact on spectator participation is when the audience is exposed to new sports. With each new Olympics new sports are introduced that are fun to watch and have rarely been shown on TV.  It will be interesting to see if after Tokyo we see an increase in surfing and rock climbing. Both sports were introduced this year and for the average spectator they are incredibly accessible. You can take a beginners surf class pretty much everywhere and since the climbing format used for the Olympics is on an artificial wall, pretty much every town and city has an indoor wall for you to try.

So let this year’s Olympics be your inspiration to try something new that will lead you to a healthier and more active lifestyle.