Fitness goals are often difficult to achieve not because they themselves are difficult, but it is because we don’t set realistic fitness goals and we don’t have a plan.
Good health is often considered as an option – we want to pay attention to our health either when some sort of illness is staring at us or we are motivated by a superfluous desire such as developing a body like Arnold Schwarzenegger.
In reality, fitness means having good health. Fitness is having a body that moves around freely and feels great. A fit body has great resistance to infections and lifestyle illnesses.
If your fitness goals have been eluding you, this advice is going to help you. Just like you take your job seriously, pursue your career goals and attain your education, fitness needs strategy and focus and of course, planning. Listed below is some time-tested fitness advice that will certainly help you achieve your fitness goals.
Find the best motivation to achieve your fitness goals
Why do you want to get fit? How do you evaluate the benefits of being fit? Do you want to remain active for your loved ones? Are you preparing for an athletic event? Do you want to look good in certain clothes? Do you want to enhance your sex appeal? Do you want to lose weight to feel more agile? Do you want to look your best on your wedding day?
Choose your motivation with a clear mindset. It must fill you with enthusiasm. It should make you feel like moving the mountains.
Why do you need to find the best motivation?
Unless fitness is your passion, it is often difficult to pursue it. It can be physically and mentally taxing. You may feel like you could be spending your time doing something more enjoyable and relaxing. Without overwhelming motivation, you will be always looking for reasons to abandon your fitness goals.
Recognize your long-term fitness goals
Fitness is a long-term project. It is not that you’re going to develop your biceps or a six pack in a few weeks. In fact, in a few weeks you may feel exactly the opposite. You may even gain more weight (which is a normal body reaction to initial workouts). Fitness is a lifestyle choice.
Draw up a plan for at least a year. Convince yourself that before a year, you’re not going to evaluate yourself. Talk to a physician or a fitness trainer and let him or her tell you how much weight you should be losing in a year or how much muscle mass you should be gaining, according to your body type and current fitness levels.
Work on short-term fitness goals – focus on attainable goals
A short-term fitness goal might be something like climbing up a single flight of stairs without effort, if right now, you have to make an effort.
This is something that can be achieved within a couple of weeks and you will be happy to notice the difference.
Another short-term goal might be increasing the number of push-ups from 10 to 15. Or even 10 to 12.
Short-term goals are easier to attain and they give you a sense of achievement. Don’t underestimate your short-term fitness goals because these are stepping stones to bigger, long-term fitness goals. After all, only when you can do 15 push-ups, someday you will be able to do 20, and then 30, and then 40 and then maybe 200 push-ups.
This will also allow you to make your short-term fitness goals measurable. If you can climb up a single flight of stairs in two weeks, maybe in the next two weeks, you can climb up two flights of stairs. This will prove to you that you’re progressing even if you cannot see visible signs of change in the body.
Prepare a nutritional roadmap for your fitness
Nutrition is as important a part of your fitness as workouts and weight training. You will need to acquaint yourself with the concepts of muscle building supplements, fat burning supplements and amino fuel supplements. They are an important part of your fitness journey. You can buy different types of sports nutrition products online.
The workout supplement made of whey is a good example of a muscle building supplement. It has natural ingredients and no artificial energy boosters are added. As you may know, whey is the liquid that gets separated when you are making cheese out of milk. It has great protein content. It is quite easy to digest. You can conveniently take it once it is converted to powder form.
You will need to take extra supplements because as you work out, your bones and muscles will need more nutrition than you normally get from usual food. The amount of protein that you need during workouts is a lot more than you can get with the family lunch or dinner you have every day.
Hence, deciding on which workout supplements to take is a big part of achieving your fitness goals.
Work with a fitness partner
If it is possible, have a fitness partner working with you. A fitness partner will hold you accountable. You won’t feel alone because someone you care for – whether it is your spouse, your sibling, your girlfriend or boyfriend, or even a close friend or a friendly neighbor – will be always there when you feel demotivated or in doubt.
Although a fitness coach or a fitness instructor can be a good fitness partner, a fitness coach will be working with multiple people and won’t be able to give you attention beyond a particular point. This sort of personal motivation and a sense of accountability you can only get from a fitness partner you really care for, and who cares for you.
Have a distraction plan for cravings
When you start your workouts, suddenly there will be more craving for sweets and fatty foods. There is a psychological as well as physical reason. As you burn more fat your body will ask for more fat. You also burn sugars when you work out a lot. You will want to eat sweet things.
Psychologically you will feel that since you are quite active compared to your previous lifestyle, a few bites won’t harm and before you know it, it is a complete round of binge eating.
Recognize the problem in advance and have a distraction plan. What are you going to do if suddenly you want to gorge on a chocolate cake or a bag full of tomato chips? Are you throwing this stuff away? Are you making it difficult for you to buy them? Do you have someone who can stop you from giving in to your cravings?
If you want to achieve your fitness goals, you must keep them at par with your career and education goals. After all, what can be more important than your health and fitness?
Having said that, it is also a reality that unless there is something more important than career or education, we don’t seem to be able to set concrete fitness goals. Until that happens, you need an action plan that can strategically keep you on the right path. Hopefully, these pieces of advice can help you.