Planning for Your Health and Fitness
Are you thinking about starting an exercise routine and improving your health and fitness? If you are, then one of the most important things you should do before you get started is spend a bit of time thinking about what you are aiming to achieve. I don’t know about you, but I have a lot of things going on in my life. I want to make sure I’m using the precious time I’ve put aside for exercise as effectively as I can. Making sure you’ve really identified what you want out of your fitness plan can save you a lot of unproductive time. Once you’ve worked out your goals, then it’s just a matter of working out the best way of achieving them. Even if you are already exercising, regularly reassessing your plan is a must.
Identifying Your Goals
There are a lot of reasons people decide they need to start an exercise program:
- Doctor recommends you lose weight and improve your fitness. Being overweight can put you at risk of a number of diseases and conditions.
- Maintain your independence as you age.
- Have some things you’ve always wanted to do that require a certain level of fitness. You may have always wanted to run a marathon or do an Ironman race, or some other physical challenge.
- Your goal could be just to be fit and healthy. That’s a really valid goal!
These are just a few of the things that might make you decide to change your lifestyle. Once you have the big picture of what you want to achieve, you need to break it down into small, achievable mini goals. Remember, any goal is better than no goal at all. So even if you just want to maintain a level of fitness, have a think about what that actually means. It still requires some level of planning!
Breaking It Down
Let’s say your goal is to run a marathon. If you’ve never run before, that’s a massive goal. Breaking it down into smaller, more easily achievable pieces will give you a much greater chance of eventually running your first marathon. An example of how you might break it down is by signing up to run a 5k and training for that. Next, you might enter a 10k, and so on, until the final jump to the 42k marathon isn’t so massive. Another example: maybe you want to lose some weight. If you don’t want to overwhelm yourself and lose motivation, break it down into small, achievable mini weight goals. Each time you reach one of your mini goals you’ll feel a sense of achievement, which will help keep you motivated.
Best Path to Your Goal
This is where it can start to get tricky and confusing. Be careful that you don’t waste time following the wrong exercise plan or falling for the latest fad. Choose carefully where you get your advice. This will save you a lot of time and may be the difference between you reaching your goal or not. There’s a lot of health and fitness information out there for you to digest. Often the simplest plans are the most effective. If it’s too complex, it’ll usually be hard to maintain over the long term. Health and fitness and well-being is an ongoing process, so it needs to be sustainable. If you’re just starting out remember that, like most things in life, improving your health and fitness is a process, so don’t be in too much of a rush. You don’t want to build a house of cards which might collapse at any moment.
Choosing Where to Get Your Health & Fitness Information
There are a lot of self-proclaimed gurus around, especially since the onset of the internet and social media. Don’t just follow blindly. If you see someone on the internet that you think might be able to help you, do some research. Checkout their background, experience and qualifications, etc. If you can get a recommendation from a friend who has had a good experience with a trainer, that’s always a good start. This might not always work, though. Your goal might be a lot different from your friend’s goal, so still check if their trainer has experience in what you’re trying to achieve. It’s also important that your trainer understands that it’s your goal and not theirs. It’s super important that your trainer understands and is fully onboard with your goal. Remember it’s about you, not the trainer.
Randomly choosing an exercise plan can very quickly waste your time, and have you end up not heading toward your goal at all. In future articles I’ll give you some ideas of what a training plan might look like for some specific goals.
If you have a goal that you aren’t sure how to achieve, you can contact me through the link below and maybe I can make your goal the topic of a future article.