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What can we learn from David Beckham?

Last weekend saw the curtain finally come down on one of English football’s greatest ever players, David Beckham, who finally said ‘au revouir’ to Paris St Germain. Beckham truly is a global superstar, and his retirement has led to many thousands of column inches, being dedicated to his many achievements within the game.

He has played for some of the worlds biggest clubs, (as well as Manchester United), during his glittering career, becoming the first Englishman to win league titles in four different countries. He is also the holder of the most England caps for an outfield player, with a total of 115.

But how will Beckham be remembered as he leaves behind his playing days? As a style icon, (sarong aside?), as a villain for being sent off in the 1998 World Cup? For marrying a Spice girl or for his last minute free kick against Greece to secure England World Cup place at the 2002 World Cup?

In his own words, he just wants to be remembered, “ as a hard working footballer”. And that he was. At the age of 38, Beckham is the product of constant and sustained hard training and healthy eating boasting a physique most 28 year olds would be proud of. His professionalism and dedication to keeping his body in optimal condition should be an inspiration to all of us. In a modern world where football players are now seen as megastars, surely our children can also use this side of Beckham’s character as a great source of motivation.

It seems as a nation we are doing less to keep our children active. Indeed, in a recent survey, half of parents who drive their children to primary school live less than a mile away. In our area of London there is surely no excuse for this? Our roads are already full to bursting, and with summer hopefully set to arrive, walking to school must be one of the easiest ways for both us and our children to get some easy exercise?

As well as our children, it’s important that us, as adults, also take a leaf out of David Beckham’s book by following as healthy a lifestyle as possible. Cardiff University recently found that the incidences of type 2 diabetes amongst the under 40s has trebled in the UK between 1991 and 2010. A sedentary lifestyle coupled with a poor diet are two of the major contributing factors to this form of diabetes, a condition which can eventually lead to problems such as blindness, kidney failure and amputations.

It’s plain to see that as a nation we are becoming fatter, lazier, and more prone to life changing illnesses. As one of our nation’s true sporting heroes, maybe we should use David Beckham’s retirement as something more than just a reason to give him the huge praise he so richly deserves? Maybe we should us it as a source of inspiration to make ourselves and our children just a little more like him? Sure, by following his healthy and dedicated lifestyle we probably won’t ever play for England or marry a Spice girl, but hopefully one day we will all have the confidence to wear a sarong out in public?!

Sam has been a personal trainer for 13 years since graduating from the University of Surrey with a degree in sport science.
Since joining KX in 2005 he has gone on to develop his knowledge with Premier Training in both postural correction and ante/post natal training. He also specialises in Strength & Conditioning with a PICP level 1 qualification as well as a soft tissue insight doing the Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT) jump start course.
He believes that training should be fun, tough, but ultimately rewarding. He brings his down to earth personality and enthusiasm to every session, pushing his clients to reach their full potential.

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