Everyone has different fitness goals, ranging from generally trying to stay active to viewing fitness as a lifestyle. With a New Year comes a lot of new plans and goals and plenty of eagerness to get started. Don’t let your enthusiasm be the only thing that carries you through. Levels of motivation fluctuate like the tides, with steady ups and steady downs. If enthusiasm is the only thing keeping you committed then your likelihood to quit is higher. You need a good plan and a process. If you really want to succeed than it’s important to have fitness goals. These goals will keep you on the right track and help you to look at the big picture in your approach to incorporating physical activity within your life.
1. DO IT FOR THE LONG RUN
At this moment, you might be thinking about hitting the gym hard or you are doing it right now, getting yourself into the best shape of your life. But, it won’t always be this way, so just focus on this; that fitness should be a part of your life for years to come. A number of people refuse to ease off in the gym, going all out and then quitting exercise cold turkey. Obviously, there are others who never take up healthy exercise habits in the first place. Too many people (who were too busy to exercise) pass away in their early 50s because they never took care of themselves, Don’t end up leaving your beautiful children, wonderful wives and the enjoyment of life because nutrition and fitness were never incorporated into their lifestyles. Realize that fitness should be a lifetime commitment with ever-changing goals and expectations, and it should help you live a longer, healthier life.
2. A HEALTHY NUTRITION PLAN
Nutrition goals are essential to achieve success. Picking out an effective nutrition plan depends on what your fitness/health goals are, but the general idea of getting more fruits and vegetables in your diet, along with plenty of protein and complex carbohydrates is something most people will agree on. Working out how much to consume of each will depend on your specific fitness goals. Do your best to limit processed foods, sugar, junk food and other sources of empty calories.
3. KEEP YOUR VITAL STATISTICS IN CHECK
This is in reference to your blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and resting heart rate. Many people don’t keep these numbers in mind, and it is difficult to monitor all of these on a very consistent basis. However, these vital statistics become especially important as you get older, and it’s in your best interest to make sure your numbers are good now so nothing sneaks up on you some day. Health and longevity are extremely important and should be your priority.
4. CONSISTENCY IS KEY
Having a set workout routine is integral to optimizing your results and should be one of your main fitness goals. Once you establish a program that works for you, you’ll become more efficient, and making tweaks to your routine shouldn’t be too difficult as you make progress. If you aren’t sure where to begin, know that just showing up to work out is more than half the battle – you can adjust to a more specific schedule as you move ahead. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or haven’t trained for the last several years, getting into a serious rhythm always makes things more successful than if you constantly start and stop.
5. IMPROVE YOUR FLEXIBILITY AND BALANCE
Many people lose flexibility and balance with age. When your flexibility decreases the integrity of your joints are compromised leading to joint injuries, muscle tears, broken bones, etc. Flexibility and balance aren’t normally at the top of the list for people as they try to improve their fitness, but it’s something that certainly comes into play as a person ages. This is a tougher goal to attain because it’s hard to quantify, but there are times when your next fitness goal will require a stronger base of flexibility and/or balance than your body can handle. Make sure all parts of your body are on the same page.
6. IMPROVE YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
In a lot of ways, this one could be a goal that flanks a lot of your other goals. Part of the reason you work out is to feel better, so naturally, exercise can work to improve your body’s resistance to a number of diseases. Various studies have found that physical activity boosts your immune system, which obviously helps you now, and maybe even more as you get older.
7. TAKE YOUR TIME TO ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS
We all have friends who burn themselves out quickly – going on crazy diets only to go back to eating junk food within a month, or getting to the gym every day for a couple weeks before giving it up. Be reasonable when you set goals. It’s nearly impossible to make a sudden, drastic change in lifestyle that will stick, and it’s pretty much impossible to get noticeably stronger and faster every day. Both of these concepts apply nicely to anyone’s fitness regimen, so bare in mind that any one day’s workout won’t make the big difference – it’s the accumulation of many of them.
Best of Luck and Happy 2015 – May it be your best year ever.