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A Little Bit of Pain's Okay...And Four Other Things to Take From the Olympics

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At the time of writing, the real glorious game is drawing to a close. We've laughed, we've cried, we've lusted... (well, Boris has anyway). And so the legacy talk commences. No doubt many health conscious, five-a-day-munching health and fitness pros will now be advising our obese population to take a leaf out of speedy Mo's book and 'get grafting'.

Not quite so simple. Most of us have neither the time nor the inclination to spend 40+ hours a week training like Mo, Jess & co. But we can use London 2102 to set about achieving our own personal bests on a daily basis, that's for sure. And it's up to everyone to from Team GB to Chelsea FC to start talking about a do-able solution - let's involve everyone. As the Games have gone on, the UK has decided to turn on its usual stars (footballers, reality TV stars, X-Factor contestants) for some reason.

But rather than get waylaid with slating faces we loved a few weeks ago, far better to acknowledge there's room for them all. A couple of the girls from TOWIE raving about the effects of the cross trainer could be as influential as Jess Ennis's heptathlon gold six months down the road.

Which is kind of how it should be, I think. If the legacy is simply, "let's give moving more a go" that's a hell of a start. Last week, there was talk of 2 hours compulsory PE a day. REALLY? That's not a legacy - that's a fast track to exhaustion and illness. As far as knee-jerk, nought-to-sixty responses go, that's the fitness equivalent of binge drinking (kids, I can get you fit, slim and full of vitality on a whole lot less than 10 hours a week).

So as one who likes to briefly consider the problem before moving swiftly onto the solution, here are my suggestions for creating a lasting Games legacy in your own home:

Set a new goal. So maybe your goal isn't going to be Rio in 2016 but you might want to up the ante now. Whether you've been toying with the idea of moving from a 10K to a half marathon, or swapping a Zumba class for a more taxing spinning class, let the Games inspire you to push yourself a bit more this Autumn.

Get some support. Most of the medal winners could be heard thanking someone, be it their physio family or coach. It goes to show what a support network can help you achieve. If you struggle to stick to your planned exercise sessions, ask a friend, colleague or partner to join you for a few weeks to help get you going. If childcare's an issue, find some child-friendly classes or leisure centres or call on family or partners for extra help just while you get started.

Never give up. Just because you're out of breath running for a bus today it doesn't mean you won't be able to run a 5K race by November. Take it slowly, push yourself just a little bit more each time and most importantly, be consistent and 'keep on keeping on'.

Be your own hero. Take inspiration from your Olympic heroes by all means but take the most pride in your own achievements and overcoming your own odds. Taking the kids swimming at the weekend when you'd rather be at the cinema is heroic, as is turning up for your salsa class when it's pouring with rain.

A little bit of pain's okay. I'm not talking about injury pain obviously but pushing yourself is essential for making progress. So load up that bar in BodyPump, squeeze in that sprint at the end of your run and progress to the 'Advanced' section of your fave fitness DVD.

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