How to Set Reasonable Fitness Goals When You’re Totally out of Shape
So you’ve been a little bit too lazy in last couple of months and you finally decided to change something about your physical activities?
You’re tired of people calling you bad names like “couch potato” and you know you can do much better than just looking like a grumpy overweight person right?
And so right now you want to prove others, and more importantly to yourself, that once you start working out, you won’t stop until you reach your goals.
But how can you reach them? What should you do in order to become a better looking person, and start something that will tell others you aren’t joking with this stuff?
Don’t Rush It
The biggest mistake people make when it comes to attaining fitness goals is that they usually rush way too much and expect things to happen too early.
When it comes to working out, patience is usually the most important thing along with discipline.
Obviously, you can’t think about having a body like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s in just few weeks. Therefore, it’s important to set reasonable fitness goals—things you can attain to keep the motivation going.
Take Baby Steps
When setting big fitness goals, the most important thing is to have smaller goals that will lead to reaching the bigger one. So, if your goal is to perhaps lose 15kg in the long term, you can start off with cutting out fried and fatty food first, followed by a fun cardio workout.
Eventually, you’ll begin to start losing 1kg every other week, and before you know it, you’ve taken 15kg off your weight. Instead of pushing yourself to lose the whole 15kg as soon as possible, you may want to set 4 smaller goals of losing 3kg instead:
- Your first goal will be losing 5kgs. 3 more goals to achieve and you’ll reach your final form!
- After first two goals, you will restore your motivation when you realize you have already crossed the halfway mark.
Or let’s say you’ve just started working out so you want to add some mass to your chest and shoulders but that goal looks so far away and you’ve already started thinking about giving up. There’s no giving up! If you press 40kgs on the bench press, try reaching 50kgs till the end of this month and in 2 to 3 months you’ll press 70kgs!
The most important thing about setting a reasonable goal in order to bring your body to your desired level is to be honest to yourself, not to expect too much during the beginning stages, and be disciplined!
There is nothing in the world of fitness you can’t achieve so just set few smaller goals and you’ll without a doubt reach that big one!
Do You Need to Visit Your Doctor Before Starting to Exercise Again?
You’ve made the decision to “get back in the game” as far as exercising to improve your health. But do you need to see a doctor before starting if you have not been exercising in a while?
Even if you don’t have any health issues, it is a good idea to get a checkup first if you have been sedentary. Even a walking program can be dangerous if you have certain health issues. That way the doctor can run some tests to see if your lungs, cardiovascular system and joints can withstand the strain that exercising puts on the body.
It is imperative to get checked out if you have any existing health issues that could be exacerbated by exercising, such as:
- Being pregnant
- Have heart disease
- Diagnosed with asthma or other respiratory disease like COPD
- Have Type 1 or Type II diabetes
- Suffering from kidney disease
- Had cancer or currently being treated for it
In either case, your doctor can give you recommendations as far as an exercise (and nutrition) program that you can use to get to your goals for taking back up exercising in the first place. S/he can also provide a list of exercises you should not do because of a physical issue you may have.
For instance, if you have bad knees, you probably should not do high impact cardio exercises, such as running or jogging, but cycling and water aerobics may be fine.
Other symptoms that should trigger a doctor’s visit before exercising is if you notice any of the following:
- Ankle swelling at night
- Diagnosed heart murmur
- Lower leg pain when walking
- Shortness of breath during mild exertion
- Dizziness or lightheadedness when exerting oneself
- Pain or tightness in the chest
- Unsteady on your feet
The American College of Sports Medicine also has a list of conditions that if two or more apply to you, you should see a doctor before starting an exercise program:
- Over 35 years old
- Significantly overweight
- A smoker
- High cholesterol
- Have impaired glucose tolerance, also known as prediabetes
- Have a family history of heart disease before age 60
- You don’t normally exercise for at least 30 minutes most days of the week
Exercising for at least 150 minutes per week (2 ½ hours) and eating nutritious food are two of the best things you can do to reap the health benefits derived from living a healthy lifestyle.
However exercising after being sedentary without first checking with your doctor can be dangerous and can lead to other health issues if not first cleared by your doctor.