Exercise and Goals

Man aiming bow and arrow

Aim at a big goal but break that goal down into smaller targets that are closer and easier to hit.

A number of issues become more of a concern as you age. But the overwhelming majority of those issues stem from overuse or lack of use.  This is why exercise and goals are so important. If you sit on the couch snacking on chips and exercising little, you deprive your body of the nutrition it needs and the movement it craves. However, if you run five miles every day for eight years on concrete, you beat up your joints and pound your muscles and wear them down. Balance is the key. If you are a competitive runner, then there are things you can do in the off season to heal and restore your body. But that’s an article for another day.

It is never too late to start an exercise program and the health benefits are worth the effort and consistency. You joyfully fit your clothes or drop a size and you shore up your immune system and, as a result, get sick less often.

At times, regular exercise may feel like a chore. If you don’t make it a priority, you can easily lose track of why you actually need to do it. If you are new to a regular exercise schedule, surrounding yourself with like-minded people will boost your commitment and focus. A friend or family member can create a little competition and make the exercise process more fun. You can participate in a boot camp or join a running club. In all cases the support will make you look forward to the sessions.

Any exercise regime needs health goals or fitness goals to be successful and yours is no different. Is it, like mine, to maintain? If so, you need to mix it up because maintenance can be boring. Personally I toss in P90X sessions in the colder months and park workouts and track workouts in the warm months. I also run the stadium steps, preferably college stadium.

For others, a fitness goal can be as simple as running an five minutes or at a faster pace every week or skipping a reality tv show in favor of a healthy walk. Having a monthly or weekly goal will help you maintain your commitment. Small health and fitness goals build to large goals. Having an end goal of  “I will have washboard abs” or “I will lose 20 pounds” may be too daunting if that’s the only goal you have. You reinforce yourself when you break that goal into more achievable and trackable components that make you feel like you are on track. For example, the 20 lb. weight loss goal could be broken down into a 2 lb. weight loss each week. The washboard abs goal could be broken down into a waistline shrinkage of 1/2 inch every 2 weeks or more definition in other body parts.

Just remember, if you have to battle to achieve your health goals, you WILL lose. If you structure your goal achievement so that you RECOGNIZE and build on your success, you will succeed. Success begets success. So structure your exercise program and achievement tracking accordingly.

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