Do you work out regularly? If so, that's great! If not, setting fitness goals is a great way to get started. If you do work out regularly, how do you know you are becoming more fit? How do you measure your progress? While getting 3-5 workouts a week is a definite success, setting a fitness goal can help you improve how you feel, how you look, and your overall health.
Setting a fitness goal can help you break through a fitness and/or weight loss plateau. Your body gets used to doing the same exercise every day at the same intensity. As it gets used to it, it stops working as hard. You may not reach your aerobic heart rate and you may not burn as many calories. A fitness goal can help! Here are some ways to set your fitness goal:
- Set a heart rate goal. Determine your aerobic heart rate and be sure to measure that during your work out. If you find you are not getting to that target heart rate, it's time to up the intensity or change the workout!
- Be specific about the changes you wish to see. For example, how many pounds to do want to lose or how many inches off your waist? Be sure these goals are realistic and healthy! If you have a larger amount to lose, set smaller goals on your way to the larger goal!
- Measure everything! Not only should you measure your heart rate and possibly weight, you should measure the amount of weight you lift in strength training and the number of reps you complete. Keep a log so you can see the improvement! Measure the distance you walk or run and the amount of time it takes you. Write this down as well. Track how many aerobic or yoga classes you attend in a month. Whatever you do for your health, keep track of it so you can see how you are doing over time.
- Allow for time to rest, recover, and re-evaluate. Your body needs rest and time to recover if you are working out at a moderate or vigorous intensity. Taking time to rest actually will help prevent injuries. Re-evaluate your workout routine if you are not seeing the results you hoped for.
Setting a fitness goal is an important step in improving your health. Be specific and realistic when setting your goals and be sure to break down large goals into manageable steps. Track all progress over time.
Don't worry about occasional setbacks. Those are normal. The journey will lead to a healthier and more fit you!
Note: Before beginning any exercise program, consult with your doctor or healthcare provider about what's right for you.
This article was published in the September 2016 edition of the Healthy U @ Work newsletter from WorkingWell. Courtesy of Complete Wellness Solutions. WorkingWell is a network of occupational health services and part of Franciscan Health. With locations in Northwest Indiana and Greater Indianapolis, WorkingWell’s team of professionals provide high-quality medical care to business and industry, with a primary goal to work closely with employers to ensure employees are “working well.”
Wellness Library - Fitness