Monday, January 11, 2010

Setting Realistic Fitness Goals

Setting goals of any kind is a valuable process. Self-help experts would say it's a very powerful process. However, it's not automatic. It has to be done right. A goal that you don't really believe in is not going to get you anywhere. Neither is a goal that seems attractive but which doesn't really serve your best interests once you get there.

When you set a fitness goal, one key factor is whether you are willing to work as hard as it takes to reach that goal. I think a lot of people start off with goals that are a big stretch for them and don't really understand what it takes to reach them. Others have an idea of the level of work it takes but, don't fully realize what it takes to commit the time and energy in their daily lives. Another important consideration is whether your goal is realistic for your body. Setting goals that are a big stretch is OK as long as the end result is a healthy body. Even if you do reach them, you fitness accomplishments will be on shaky ground without a foundation of health.

Any goal you strive for that leads to being unhealthy is not one that you will be happy reaching and not one that you will be able to maintain. This includes setting a goal weight that is too low. It also can mean setting goals to workout at a level that is too demanding for your current fitness level.

Educate yourself on what a healthy weight range and body fat percentage is for you. Use that information as a guide to set your goals. Educate yourself on how many calories you should be eating every day to support your body in functioning well. Learn as much as you can about exercise and how to make yourself stronger and fitter. Consider working with a personal trainer or a nutritionist to give you information and an objective perspective on goals that make sense for you.

The most important thing to remember when setting your fitness goals is to put health at the top of the list. All the rest of it is secondary. When you set good health as your foundation many of the other fitness goals that you want for yourself will follow naturally.

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