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How to Set a Fitness Goal That Will Last?

How to Set a Fitness Goal That Will Last?

Setting a fitness goal is important to keep you on track and keep your eyes forward to what you want to accomplish. The best acronym to help you figure out how to set your goals is the SMART principle. First, you want a specific goal that is clear that you can understand. Second, a measurable goal that you will know when you have accomplished it. Third this goal could be attainable for you.

I will discuss the could part below. Fourth, it should be relevant to you. Thus, you are motivated to do it. Lastly this goal should be set with some sort of time frame in mind. Especially for older adults it is important to continue setting goals to improve or maintain your fitness level. I will use an example of planning to go on a trip to hike the Grand Canyon to drive home how this way of setting goals that will last can work for you.

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The More Specific Your Goal Is, The Clearer Your Know Where You Are Heading To

Making a goal to go on a hike somewhere or for a walk is not specific enough. Pick a specific place. The goal of hiking the Grand Canyon is specific. This is a specific place that you can research on how to best prepare hiking at. How many days would you hike it? How much mileage would you want to cover? You don’t to start mapping out the specific routes, a general target can work. Possibly adding that you want to do two moderate difficulty trails and two easy ones can assist you and one of difficult level can help you make the goal even more specific.

Make Sure Your Goal is Measurable, So You Can Recognise Your Progression and Achievements

The goal has to be more than go check out the Grand Canyon for a couple days. When it is set to hike specific difficulty trails of a certain number you have a goal to meet. You will know after hiking those trails that you can check off that goal. Also knowing the number of trails you want to hike and the difficulty you can decide how to decide which trails you hike on a given day. Possibly you would do the one of most difficulty on its own day. Then the following day you can do two easy trails and maybe one of moderate difficulty. Be strategic!

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Even before you hit the trails you will be able to track your progress how you are training for that trip. Your cardiovascular endurance to be able to walk a longer distance will improve. Your practicing hiking trails with walking poles will increase your fitness level and also your confidence in navigating uneven terrain.

Don’t Beat Yourself Up! Goals Need To Be Attainable To Be Motivating 

Perhaps there are some mobility problems or you are recovering from a knee replacement right now. Hiking the Grand Canyon may not be attainable in a month. However, setting a goal to enjoy five of the trails of easy difficulty 9 months from now could be attainable. Make that goal high. There is an argument that the goal should be within your reach enough that you have to stretch to get it – but not so high that it is not within your reach. On the other hand if you set your goal out of reach, even if you didn’t reach it you will raise the bar! If you need to improve your balance, then give yourself an attainable date to improve it by. Set yourself up for the success of enjoying that trip and not having to focus on your feet instead of the gorgeous scenery.

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Your Reason Is Your Ultimate Motivation

Finding your “why” as to why you want to achieve a goal is important. A why for this amazing hike is to improve your fitness level. Perhaps you are not motivated to just workout at home every week. You see training for this hike as a good way to spark the fire. This goal will motivate you to be more in touch with your body and raise your fitness level!

You Cannot Stay With One Goal Forever

You want to set a deadline or a date for the goal. This time aspect in this instance would largely depend upon not only your schedule but also the weather. Make sure that you are honest with yourself about how long it will take to get in the physical shape to hike all of the trails that you want to hike. You may need to make investments to assist you. Working with a Functional Aging Specialist such as myself can help you improve your balance, agility and mobility for that trip.

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Also, that professional has the perspective of useful tools such as proper shoes or hiking poles that can be make the hike less painful for your knees or hips. Lastly, he or she can help you with your plan, keep you on a consistent plan and be your personal cheering section!

When SMART fitness goals don’t work

If a fitness goal is set that is solely based on numbers it can set you up for failure. For instance, the goal is to lose 10 pounds in 2 months. During this time, the focus is entirely on that magic number. That focus on weight loses the big picture of the importance of moving better. I would challenge you that the byproduct of setting a goal of finishing a 5K or hiking the Grand Canyon will still facilitate fat loss when you are sticking to it. In addition, let’s say your goal is the lift 200 pounds. You have succeeded in lifting that amount but your upper body is so tight that your posture is affected. Thus, be careful with making numbers as your goal. You don’t want to have other aspects of your health suffer to meet that number. Think of the big picture.

With that in mind when you set your fitness goals – make it a goal of a kind of test that will show how far you have physically come. Between day one and when you plan to reach your goal you have to line up the aspects of your health, wellness and fitness and make sure that your address each of them.

Your goals are yours – don’t take someone else’s. If yours is to be able to get up from the floor to standing is your goal that is a great goal. Think about the work that it would take to make that happen. As always add consulting your doctor as you are thinking about your goal or after you have decided it. Reach out to Functional Aging Specialists that understand how to work with the older population to help them train f

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Damien Joyner

Fitness Professional for the diverse 40+ Population!

How to Set a Fitness Goal That Will Last? If You Take Care Of Your Need, Age Wouldn’t Be A Problem To Your Fitness Routine Age Shouldn’t be Your Restriction When It Comes To Exercising

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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