Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Creating Realistic Fitness Goals

Most of us are aware of the benefits of exercise, yet it is so hard to start a routine and stick to it. I also struggle to commit to a program, but I believe part of the problem is most of us do not have a clear direction. We may know that we would like to fit into those skinny jeans again, or that we would like to live a healthy lifestyle, but how do we get there?

Realistic Goals
The first step is to set realistic goals. While this may seem like a no- brainer, many individuals I have assisted in developing a fitness program have unrealistic goals, and when those unrealistic goals are not met, the individual loses motivation and drops the program all together. Fitness should not be a short term goal, but a life long habit. Don't worry about summer, or a reunion, just set a realistic goal such as "I will walk 20 minutes everyday for 2 weeks". Once you feel comfortable, increase your goals. You should constantly review and adjust your goals (and increase them). You can also set long term goals, but short term goals will give you a sense of accomplishment along the way.

You can break down your goals by categories as it relates to fitness:
  • Cardiovascular Goals: Cardiovascular fitness gives your lungs a workout. This can lower blood pressure and prevent heart disease. Activities that will meet your cardiovascular goal's including waking, jogging, swimming and any activity that will raise your heart rate.
  • Strength Training Goals: Strength training improves your muscle tone and endurance. This will also help increase your metabolism. Exercises include weight training, use of own weight (squats, lunges) and use of exercise bands.
  • Flexibility Goals:Flexibility can reduce joint pain and stiffness. Stretching before and after exercise is important. Include this at the beginning and end of your exercise program.

Goal Relevancy
When setting your goals, you wan to make sure they are relevant. Setting fitness goals are unique to each person. Do not set goals to change who you are as in "my goal is to look like_____". Set goals that will benefit your health whether it is to lose weight, maintain fitness or other goals.

The next step is to take your clear goals and make sure that they are measurable. How and when will you track your progress as it relates to your goals?

While you are working on becoming physically healthier, remember the following:
  • Don't over do it! 
  • Find activities you enjoy, such as soccer, hiking, etc.
  • Don't give up if you miss a day, it happens.
  • Aim for 30 minutes of exercise 3-5 days a week. 
  • A little bit of exercise is much better than no exercise
  • Go at your own pace
  • Be creative- many of us are unable to join a gym but there are so many at home options and programs.
  • Think of ways to involve the family (walk the dogs together, go to the park, etc.)

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body.”

*We will talk about the importance of nutrition in combination with fitness soon.

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  1. It is difficult to find a routine in this cold and rainy weather. Hopefully, now that the weather is starting to warm up, I'll find the will to grab those dusty sneakers and jog with my little girl.

    1. Yes it is hard especially during the winter!


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