You’ve probably heard it before: the key to success in any new endeavour is setting realistic attainable fitness goals. Fitness is no different, and choosing achievable targets from the outset will make your journey that much smoother. But how do you know what’s achievable? Well, you could try asking yourself some challenging questions first… In order to set effective fitness goals, you must first understand your current abilities and limitations. This isn’t as straightforward as it sounds, because so many of us have been led to believe that exercise should be painful or otherwise challenging. If this were the case, then how on earth would anyone ever get fit? This article outlines some of the most common pitfalls for beginner exercisers and provides a few tips on how to avoid them. After reading through these pointers, you’ll be armed with everything you need to start setting realistic fitness goals from day one…
Define Your Goal
This is the first step to setting any kind of fitness goal. Ask yourself: Why do I want to get fit and healthy? What will this achieve for me? There are many different reasons why people decide to start exercising, and there is no “right” or “wrong” reason. Different goals and motivations will also lead to varying exercise regimens, so it’s important to be honest with yourself about what you want out of your journey. If you’re not sure where to start, try asking yourself a few basic questions: Why do I want to get fit? What benefits does being healthy and fit bring to my life and my loved ones? How will this improve my quality of life? How will this help me with my other goals, like my career or relationship? What can being healthy and fit do for my self-esteem and confidence? How can this make me a better friend?
This is the most important point on this list: be realistic with your goals. When you’re starting out, it’s important to set targets that are challenging but realistic. For example: if you’ve never done any sort of regular exercise before, it would be unreasonable to expect to run a marathon in 12 weeks. First and foremost, there are some basic health considerations to bear in mind. If you have any preexisting health conditions or injuries, it’s important to speak to your doctor before beginning any new exercise routine. The last thing you want to do is exacerbate an existing condition or aggravate an injury. It’s been said a thousand times but bears saying again: consistency is key. If you’re just getting started, you may experience some initial discomfort as your body adjusts to regular exercise. That’s normal, but if you’re in any pain you should probably see a doctor.
Don’t Be Afraid To Challenge Yourself
This is a tricky one. If you set your goals too high, you could end up feeling defeated and demotivated. If you set your goals too low, however, you could be missing out on some important growth opportunities and you might not feel like you’re making any progress. Because of these potential pitfalls, it’s important to find a balance between setting realistic goals and daring yourself to push harder. If you’re just starting out, you probably don’t need to go for a personal best every single time you exercise. In fact, it’s probably best not to. You can still challenge yourself in other ways, though. For example, you might want to consider stepping up the intensity or duration of your workouts. If you really want to challenge yourself, you could try switching up your exercise type, such as adding in more resistance training.
Set “stretch” goals too!
It’s important to set challenging goals, but this shouldn’t come at the expense of setting realistic goals. However, you can also set “stretch” goals. These are challenging but attainable goals that you really want to achieve. For example, let’s say you’re currently running 3 times a week at 30 minutes each. You may want to challenge yourself by increasing that to 5 times a week at 45 minutes each. This is a challenging goal, but it’s definitely attainable. You could also “stretch” yourself by setting a more ambitious running schedule. You could try increasing your running to 6 times a week, but bump each session up to an hour long. This is a significant “stretch” goal, but it’s still doable.
Know your limits
As you progress and your fitness improves, you may find that you can meet and even exceed many of your original goals. Don’t be afraid to push yourself, but do be conscious of your limits. You don’t want to push too hard and risk injury or burnout. If you’re experiencing any discomfort or pain in your muscles or joints, you may need to reconsider some of your more ambitious goals. Exercise should make you feel good, not bad. You don’t want your fitness journey to be a source of frustration or stress. If you find that you’re pushing yourself too hard and you’re not making any progress, consider dialing back.
It’s Not All About Cardio
Cardio training is a crucial component of any healthy and balanced exercise regimen. However, it shouldn’t be the only component of your program. You should also be working on strength-building exercises, like resistance training and weightlifting. This will help make you a more well-rounded and balanced exerciser. Working on your strength and power will also help you progress faster. This is especially true if you’re aiming to lose weight. If you’re working on your overall health, though, it’s not a bad idea to incorporate cardio into your program.
Commitment and consistency
You will fall off the wagon. This is normal. It’s not a reflection of your worth, and it’s not an indication that you were on the wrong track. It’s just part of being human, and it happens to the best of us. The important thing is to get back up, dust yourself off, and get going again. If you find that you’ve fallen off the fitness wagon, the best thing you can do is forgive yourself, recommit to your goals, and try to find a new approach that works for you. You may have set unrealistic goals, or your schedule may have changed and forced you to make changes to your program. Whatever the reason, the important thing is to keep going. Exercise is a lifelong journey, not a destination. It’s a journey that gets easier and more enjoyable as time goes on, but you have to be consistent with it if you want to see results.
The Bottom Line
It’s important to keep in mind that many of us start exercising as a New Year’s resolution every year. This means that many of us are also breaking our New Year’s resolution as well. To avoid getting caught up in the hype, you should begin your journey towards better health and fitness a few weeks before the New Year actually arrives. If you’re just starting out and you’d like to make 2019 your healthiest year yet, the most important thing you can do is set goals. You’ll be amazed by how much easier it is to stay focused when you have something to work towards. The best way to do this is to create a fitness plan.
Look out for more fitness related blogs in the future! Remember, with COREFX, the gym is where you are.