London 2012: be inspired

Dame Kelly Holmes

Dame Kelly Holmes dreamed of Olympic glory after watching Sebastian Coe cross the finish line to win the 1,500m at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles.

This article was part of a special report on the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics. It was archived in July 2013 and will no longer be reviewed.

That dream became a reality when, 20 years and a lot of hard work later, she won two Olympic gold medals running in the 800m and 1,500m in Athens in 2004.

Whether you've got similar ambitions or just want to keep healthy, Kelly says that the London 2012 Olympics are a great opportunity to get active and boost your fitness.

"London 2012 has the ability to inspire people from so many walks of life, and so many abilities and disabilities, to get involved in sport," she says.

"A lot of swimming, cycling and running projects are going on at the moment to get more people involved in physical activity in their local area."

Get fit with the Olympics

Following the unmitigated success of London 2012, now is an exciting time to get involved in sport and fitness.

In Get fit with the Olympics, we showcase many Olympic and Paralympic sports, from archery to wrestling. There's information on their health benefits, how you can get involved locally and useful website links.

You'll find many inspirational stories of how sport can change lives, from a London woman's first marathon experience to how table tennis gave Darius Knight the direction he needed to avoid a life on the streets.

If you're in a rut, you don't do enough exercise or you just want to become more active, find the sport that's right for you with the Olympics-inspired What's your sport? tool. You can create your personal profile using tests that assess your personality, aptitude and reactions

For the first time, 60 Olympians and Paralympians, past and present, have been brought together to give their personal tips for health and fitness in Health tips from Olympic athletes.

You can also download the NHS Choices fitness widget. This small application sits on your desktop and gives you a daily suggestion to help you get active. It includes fitness ideas that you and the whole family can try.

Public Health Minister Anne Milton says there's never been a better time for people to get inspired about being active.

Milton says: "The Olympics-inspired What's your sport? tool encourages people to try something that suits their abilities and personality, but which they may never have previously considered. Whether you're bored of the gym or don't normally exercise, there are recommendations for everyone for things to do locally.

"This will hopefully mean that many more of us will follow in the footsteps of our sporting heroes as well as cheering them on."

Olympics: be inspired

Dame Kelly Holmes talks about the power of the Olympics Games to inspire people.

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  • Find out what sport you're best suited to with our new Olympics-inspired What's your sport? tool.
  • Watch a video of Dame Kelly talking about being inspired by the Olympics. 

  • Getting started

    Regular exercise is important for your health. To maintain good health, adults need to do a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week. Children and young people should do at least 60 minutes a day.

    Find out more about activity levels and how to get started in our fitness section. You'll find lots of articles and videos on how to gradually increase your activity level.

    For many of us, including Kelly Holmes, finding the time and motivation to keep fit is easier said than done.

    "I find that now, not being an athlete any more, trying to fit activities in is so hard because of lifestyle demands and a lack of time," she says.

    "But when you think about it, if you want to look good, healthy and energetic, you have to make exercise a priority."

    Being active is great for your physical health and evidence shows that it can also improve your mental wellbeing. Find out more in Get Active for Mental Wellbeing.

    Go to Get fit with the Olympics for the complete list of articles on how to embark on an active lifestyle.

    Page last reviewed: 02/07/2013

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    The 1 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

    User802427 said on 10 September 2013

    It's a shame that the government has cut so many projects to encourage young people to do sport. London needs far more sports & fitness facilities for young people who can't afford private gym memberships.

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    Services near you

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    Find the sport that's right for you

    Link to What's Your Sport tool

    Get fit with the Olympics

    Get into the Olympic spirit and kickstart your active lifestyle

    Media last reviewed: 10/09/2013

    Next review due: 10/09/2015