Ottawa Local and International News

The 2018 Winter Olympics is in full swing in Pyeongchang, South Korea and athletes from across the globe are dazzling audiences worldwide with their incredible feats. Whether it's landing a triple axel, racing down the giant slalom, or gliding around the speed skating track, these world-class competitors have prepared their whole lives for this moment. They also have a team of trainers and coaches helping them reach their peak.

"Most of these athletes have been training for years to get where they are and many have been training for decades just for that one competition," Dr. Tim Miller, director of the Endurance Medicine Program and associate professor of orthopaedics and sports medicine at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, told CBS News. "It usually starts from early childhood or at least early adulthood. So obviously it's a long haul."

While most of us are never going to compete in the Olympics, experts say we can still benefit from incorporating some aspects of elite athletes' training into our everyday workouts.

Set goals

Olympians train with a very specific goal in mind: to be the best in the world at their particular sport. Even if your exercise goals are far more modest, experts say it's helpful to have a goal to work toward.

"It can be helpful for a number of reasons," said Dennis Cardone, DO, chief of primary care sports medicine at NYU Langone Health. "Psychologically, attaining goals is certainly a good feeling. Keeping a timetable also allows you to see when you're meeting your goals and how you're improving."

Whether your goal is to run a half marathon or master a series of yoga poses, set it early on, plan out a strategy to get there and make sure to chart your progress.

Cross-train

While Olympic-level athletes compete in specific events, their preparation often involves training across a variety of disciplines.

"If you do the same workout every day or very regularly, eventually you'll start to develop overuse problems. That means the tendons, soft tissue, and bones can start to get overworked and develop some damage or degeneration," Cardone said.

Varying your workout routine helps lower the risk of these types of injuries.

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