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The Olympic Games is almost upon us. The preparations are all in place and the world is focusing in on Beijing - and Hong Kong as well, as we host the equestrian events.
While the world is watching, the best of the world's athletes are gathering and getting ready to perform their feats to the very best of their abilities.

We are not all Olympic athletes. Only a very few select individuals will ever reach that point. However we should all aim to do something that they all have in common. Exercise.

The Hong Kong government is currently promoting sport and exercise among the community. They are doing this by waiving the fee for booking many sports facilities for the next three months. Its all part of the activities related to the coming Beijing Olympic Games.

It’s a nice gesture. I do hope that everyone really will go out and get some exercise. It doesn't have to be playing a sport. Hiking has always been free although it might be a bit too hot for that - or too wet given the recent weather. Or there is simple walking. Get off the bus a stop or two early and walk, take the stairs instead of the elevator. Finding the time to exercise can be difficult, but there are so many little things we can do.

I want to emphasize here the importance of exercise. I've spoken before a little bit about healthy eating, but exercise is a very important part of a healthy lifestyle. It doesn't need to be a hard intensive game or workout, even a brisk walk counts. The key to what counts as exercise is what it does to your body. If it makes you sweat, heart rate increased, breath quickened, then yes, you are exercising. If you can do it for 20 or 30 minutes a day that is great.

I hope we already know what the benefits of exercise are. Do I really need to talk about that here?

It is good for you!

If you can't do 20 minutes a day how about 15? Or how about 20 minutes every other day? It's not as good but it is certainly better than nothing. And anyway besides being good for you exercise is also fun.

As a company we've been out a couple of times to play squash and table tennis. We had a good time together and even back in the office it gives us a better spirit and sense of friendship. Yes, we had dinner afterwards. I know some will frown upon that. Food is absorbed more fully after exercise. Is that true? I'm not sure. Well anyway, we weren't exercising primarily for weight loss so does it really matter? We had given our hearts and muscles a good workout. I doubt if dinner will spoil all of that.

There are so many benefits to getting plenty of regular exercise that the drawback of having my dinner absorbed is not such a bad thing. And let’s not forget the benefits of having a good time together. Socializing is an important thing and being happy and having fun is vital if we are to live happy and fun lives!

Simeon