Whether you’re new to fitness in 2015 or a seasoned pro, setting goals is the best way to keep your fitness regime on track. When setting fitness goals, think of more than just the number on the scale. We’ve all heard “I’d like to lose 10 pounds by summer” or something similar, but your weight is not necessarily a good indicator of your fitness.
Why you shouldn’t pay attention to the scale:
- Your weight can fluctuate up to 10 pounds a day so if you’re constantly weighing yourself, you’re likely to be frustrated by these daily weight fluctuations.
- If you are losing weight through exercise, you are going to gain muscle as you lose fat. So, you may have lost 10 pounds of fat but gained 6 pounds in muscle. The scale will tell you that you’ve only lost 4 pounds when in fact, you’ve gotten rid of that extra 10 pounds of unwanted fat!
- Your weight is not an accurate reflection of how you look in real life. Some people carry weight differently – two people can be the same weight but one has 20% body fat and the other has 40%. These two people are drastically different when it comes to body composition and fitness yet the scale says the same number.
- Many people let the scale dictate their self-worth. Yes, it’s exciting to see the number go down, but what happens if the number goes up? Does that ruin your day or your mood? Don’t let a number take away from all of the hard work you’ve put in and the health benefits that you’ll get out of it.
What fitness goals should I set?
Getting away from the number on the scale, consider some of these goals as a driver for your fitness journey:
- Aim for inches lost or clothes size. This is a good goal when you first start working out as this is where you will see the most change. Who doesn’t like having to go back for that smaller size jeans?
- Out of breath after climbing stairs or playing with the kids? Set a goal to run up those stairs or play with the kids longer.
- So you’ve plateaued – you’ve lost a few dress sizes and inches but you know you have more work to do. Consider entering a 5k or 10k race. Maybe a triathlon or an obstacle course race. These sorts of events are great motivators – you’ll meet other people who are fitness-minded like yourself and there’s no better feeling than crossing the finish line. If you’re local to Columbia SC, here are a few places you can go to find races:
- Strictly Running – one of the best places to find and sign up for South Carolina running/road races. Anything from 5k up to a marathon.
- South Carolina Triathlon Series – if you’re interested in triathlons in South Carolina, this is the place to find them. Don’t be afraid of the 3 sports – many sprint triathlons are as short as a 500 meter swim, 10 mile bike and 5k run. Easy!
- Mud Runs and Obstacle Races – really test yourself with a mud run or obstacle race. Rope climbs, carrying heavy objects, covering some miles in rough terrain – these really are a test of your full body fitness and loads of fun!
In conclusion, set yourself some fitness goals in 2015. Trying to reach those milestones will keep you motivated and on track, and you can look back and see how far you’ve come! Just remember, “Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.”