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MWi Hacks:

  • How to set a list of realistic exercise goals
  • SMART goals for fitness

Do you have trouble motivating yourself to go to the gym? Part of the problem may be that you’re trying to do too much. Working out one time is not going to transform your health; Exercise is something that you have to do repeatedly to see results. One of the reasons why consistent exercise is difficult for most people is that they set their expectations too high. The most effective way to achieve your fitness goals is to tone down your workout to a more realistic standard.

When you begin an exercise session, what are your intentions? Do you try to lift more weight than in the past? Are you trying to run a longer distance than before? Having a specific objective for your exercise sessions is rather important; However, these objectives need to be achievable. If you plan to accomplish more tasks than you are physically able to achieve, you are setting yourself up for failure. The American Council for Exercise has a handy acronym that will help you stay on track with your fitness plan and will be more sustainable in the long term: SMART.

S – Specific

M – Measurable

A – Attainable

R – Relevant

T – Time-bound

Specific goals are those that are clear and easy to understand. When constructing a fitness goal, you should not be vague in what you want to achieve during your sessions. “Being healthy” is not an effective intention for physical activity. The health objective you are trying to accomplish with exercise should be relevant to one specific aspect of your health, such as weight loss or cardiovascular health.

When exercising, the activities you do should be measured by simple metrics that are easy to follow. For example, if you are going our for a walk you can use a pedometer to try and reach 10,000 steps during your session. You need to have some device or measurement tool that can put a number to your progress. Any figures that you collect on yourself should be charted in a progress log so you can compare your results to previous exercise sessions. This will help you see progress.

The fitness goals that you set for yourself have to be attainable. This has to be determined using by using a measured statistic, such as your percentage of body fat, the distance you can run in under ten minutes, the amount of weight you would like to bench press, etc. Pick a value that is certainly within your reach and can be completed in a relatively short period of time with regular training.

Make your fitness goals relevant to your current life situation. Are you at a healthy weight? Then don’t focus on altering your body fat percentage. Do you want to pick up your child without struggling? Then lift weights to build your muscle strength. Do the exercises that will help you supercharge your day-to-day life activities.

In order to accomplish your goals, it is important that you have an end time in mind in order to keep yourself accountable. Exercise is much easier to check off of your weekly tasks when there are defined increments to your activity. Going on a two hour run seems rather daunting if you are pressed for time, but going for a fifteen minute jog eight times a week is much more doable.

Keep these five steps in mind when setting realistic intentions for exercise. Your results should see drastic improvement and you will have an easier time achieving your fitness objectives.

MWi would like to thank the following sources that support our community:

A SMART guide to goal setting. Retrieved from https:// www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/lifestyle/blog/6763/a-smart- guide-to-goal-setting

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