Setting Long Term Fitness Goals: A Better Way to Work OutPosted: Jan 14 in Lifestyle by Staff
Many people start exercising with good intentions but end up abandoning their fitness programs before they get anywhere near their fitness goals. The reason is that they have unrealistic expectations of how much they can and should accomplish. They look only to the short term, expecting instant results, and so throw away their long term possibilities. While it would be nice to drop inches off your waist in just a few days like weight loss ads and fitness influencers claim, getting fit is actually a slow and steady process that requires you to set realistic goals and display patience and commitment.
Unrealistic Fitness Goals Demotivate You
Setting unrealistic weight loss goals for yourself can be a demotivator. Once you start falling short of those goals, as you inevitably will, you become disillusioned about the whole fitness program you are using and abandon it altogether, throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Gradual weight loss, with small, easily attainable goals that add up over time, is actually a much more reliable way to lose weight.
The same thing is true for other fitness goals. If your idea of progress is getting six pack abs in a month or adding inches to your biceps in weeks, you’re going to be disappointed, and disinclined to put a lot of effort into your fitness program over the long haul.
Extreme Calorie Cutting Is Counterproductive
The key to weight loss and high levels of fitness is burning more calories than you eat. There are two ways to do so: exercising more and eating less. Most fitness programs involve a combination of both. Many people, though, feel that it’s a lot easier to refrain from eating than it is to exercise, so they cut their calorie intakes down to ridiculous levels. This is counterproductive. When you eat too few calories, your brain thinks that you’re starving, and starts storing everything it can as fat. The result is that you make a lot of progress at first, but quickly start gaining as much as or even more than you lost, while feeling like you have no energy. You end up yo-yo-ing between loss and gain, and you never make any real progress. When you only trim a few calories from your diet and exercise more, the weight you lose tends to stay lost.
Get Expert Advice on Setting Long Term Goals
When you set long term fitness goals for yourself, you are more likely to meet them, even if it takes a long time to do so. Forget thinking in terms of losing so many pounds by the end of the month, or of having a trim, toned body before a big party. When you start thinking in terms of where you want to be with your fitness in the long run, you take the pressure off of yourself and you are much more likely to maintain the progress you make.
The best way to set the kinds of goals you need is to get some professional advice. Talk to a fitness trainer with a good reputation, and also to your doctor. Tell them what you are trying to do, and ask for their help in setting reasonable, realistic goals that will get you there. They can help you develop a fitness program that is fine tuned to your long term fitness needs.
Getting fit and maintaining a healthy weight is a marathon, not a sprint. If you don’t think in the long term, you’ll burn out before you even see the finish line. However, with long term fitness goals, you can more easily become a healthier you, even if you need a little patience to do it.