Whether you consider yourself a gym rat or a couch potato, whether you spend all your day sweating at work through manual labour or sitting at a desk beside a computer screen typing away and only getting up for a sip of water or a toilet break, everyone cares about their health. At the very least, those who want to live a fulfilling life care about their health. The problem with our modern-day physical health is that even though advances in medicine and technology have led to a vast improvement in our lifestyles as well as lifespans, we are also the most inactive that humans have ever been.
Our bodies are designed to move, run, exercise, and sweat. It’s built into our nature, that is why there are some people known as “gym rats” or “workaholics” who just can’t get enough of the high that exercise gives them. Originally, they went in there so they would improve their health or even improve their self-confidence but soon it just became a means to make them happy being themselves. Now, with us sitting on our butts for most of the day and the weather outside turning less than pretty, our options have become much more limited. This is one of those times when it’s more important than ever to be and stay active and with New Year’s just around the corner, here are some goals you can make for yourself.
What is Your #1 Fitness Goal for 2021?
Fitness goals are varied for each individual because each individual is unique. What works for someone who has exercised regularly since childhood playing sports and later taking up weight lifting is not equivalent to someone who just now wants to start off in their 40s, 50s or possibly even later. For one, probably the number one fitness goal for 2021 and the one fitness goal that you should have written down for any New Year’s Resolution is to be in it in the long run.
According to the International Health, Racquet and Sports club Association (IHRSA), 80% of gym memberships go unused. Another similar study by Statistic Brain found that this percentage was closer to 60% yet having 82% of members visiting the gym less than once a week. In short, all those promises made on New Year’s Day wound up being nothing but empty words. The biggest and one of the most important steps you can take in your life is to start doing what you actually say you’re going to do and exercising a major part of that. You shouldn’t go to the gym with the mentality of getting ripped but rather getting used to going to the gym so it becomes less of a task and more of a hobby.
What are Some Fitness Goals Not Involving the Gym?
There’s plenty of ways to improve one’s fitness without needing to sign up for a gym. After all, people were always able to stay physically fit for thousands of years before the concept of gyms was ever invented. For one, get moving! Go out and explore the outdoors! There’s a whole new world waiting for you out there. Whether that be walking, jogging, running, hiking, swimming, or skiing.
The gym may be the most efficient way to improve fitness but in terms of effectiveness, these trump out the gym because they are far less demanding, require far less willpower and make it easier for people to stick to their routine. A couple intense workouts that push you to your absolute limit don’t hold a candle to constantly going out several times every week for a quick jog. The effects are far more profound and long-lasting.
What Should Be the Ultimate Fitness Goal?
The ultimate fitness goal should not be one that focuses on making you look as glamorous as you’ve always imagined your ideal self to look in the mirror but rather feeling better inside. Exercise is not necessarily about building muscle and cutting down on fat. There’s far more that takes place and those two things are superficial since the roots of people’s health problems or lack thereof is caused by something less visible.
How Should I Go About Reaching My Fitness Goals?
Having a consistent approach is one of the major keys to reaching your fitness goals, whatever they might be. First, try to realize your limitations. Don’t tell yourself you’ll start going to the gym 4 days a week for 2 hours each time when you know that your work is spontaneous and won’t allow you that kind of commitment. It’s always best to start small and work your way up gradually.
Trying to push for too much all at once can lead to a very quick burnout. You’ll go in there, work like crazy and when a couple times you aren’t able to because work doesn’t let you or your body still aches from last time, you’ll decide to skip a time, then two and then all of a sudden you’re back where you started.
What Are Some Short and Long-Term Exercise Goals?
A major key and important short-term goal is taking an all-rounded approach. Try to exercise as many body parts as possible, don’t just focus on a specific section. Full-body workouts are more effective unless your goal is body-building or professional sport.
Once you start feeling more comfortable and doing whoever physical activity you’ve chosen doesn’t feel like a chore anymore, feel free to mix it up. Maybe work on your legs more, core, or even arms, but not before you’ve gone through the necessary steps beforehand to be ready for that step. Once you’ve gotten to the stage when you are picking out equipment specifically suited to what area of fitness you want to focus on, you’ll know that you will have already achieved the goal you had a mere one or two years ago.
How Will I Feel When I Reach My Fitness Goal?
Reaching a fitness goal is not a matter of how much fat you cut out or how much muscle you build. Improving your fitness is a matter of reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease, improving your bone health, reducing the risk of diabetes, improving your sleep habits and appetite, reducing levels of anxiety and stress, and feeling better when you wake up in the morning. That is truly what it means to be a fit individual. All you need to do is keep in mind the SMART fitness goals: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-bound.