Maybe you believe that since the new year is well underway, you can’t set personal fitness goals.
Or perhaps you made a fitness new year resolution. But you’re having trouble living up to it.
These are common thoughts to have. But that doesn’t mean you have to accept them.
The truth is, it doesn’t matter what day it is, let alone what month.
You can always get back on that horse and re-evaluate your fitness goals.
This is important to do. Because let’s face it, exercise is necessary in order to have a fulfilling life.
It staves off cardiovascular disease, type two diabetes, and increases your immune system. Plus it raises your endorphin levels. This consistent endorphin rush allows you to feel happier.
So, what are you waiting for?
Here are 10 personal fitness goals for you to achieve this year. Plus, exactly how you can achieve them.
1. Participate in a 5K race
It doesn’t matter what athletic level you’re at. Commit to signing up for a 5K. And following through with it.
Even if you stop right there and just commit to it, you’re already one step ahead of most people.
According to an Inc article, 92% of people don’t achieve their goals.
So, that’s something to celebrate.
The next step would be to train for it. A 5K is 3.1 miles. That’s a lot! Especially if you’ve never done one.
Start small. If you’re out of shape, run around the block. Next, try running half a mile. Increase your distance when you aren’t out of breath and your body isn’t sore.
You want to keep pushing yourself. Then again, be aware of your physical limit. Some days you may have to walk parts of it. That’s ok.
The achievement is in getting out and doing it.
Who knows? The LA marathon may be next.
2. Bring healthy snacks to work
This change doesn’t take time out of your day. It’s simple. To limit sugar intake, bring your snacks to work ahead of time.
That way, you can only access carrots and hummus or a banana when sugar cravings hit.
Some healthy snacks include:
- Peanut butter on apple slices
- String cheese
- Protein bars (Make sure it doesn’t have a lot of sugar)
- Yogurt with granola and fruit
3. Banish sugar from your diet
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the standard American diet has more than the recommended calorie intake from solid fats, added sugars, refined grains, sodium, and saturated fat.
In order to create a healthy diet, start by slowly weaning off certain items. Start with sugar. That means fewer cookies, ice cream, and sweets.
Also, make sure you read the ingredient labels. You’ll be surprised how much sugar some products have. Certain types of yogurt, for one, have a bunch of sugar.
4. Track your personal fitness progress
You’re already juggling work, meals, family, and friends. Adding fitness to the list can seem overwhelming.
To help you out with this, record your workouts and eating habits.
You can use fitness applications such as MyFitnessPal. Or wear a FitBit. This habit will make it much easier to attain your personal fitness goals.
5. Exercise at least three times a week
You’ll receive all the benefits associated with exercise (i.e. increased mood, more energy…). Plus, this will be a gateway to exercising more frequently. Perhaps every other day.
And then maybe every day except Saturday or Sunday.
This is more effective versus starting to work out five or six times a week. Especially if you’re not in shape, you’ll be less motivated to accomplish this. And you could risk over-straining your body.
Not worth it.
If working out more frequently is your goal, this is a great stepping stone.
6. Achieve one pull-up
Pull-ups are hard. They demand back, arm and core strength. You’re basically “pulling up” or lifting your entire body, hence the name.
Just like with exercising three times a week, first aim to complete one pull-up. Then you can increase your goal—maybe five pull-ups. Again, it’s all about gradual steps.
7. Don’t sit during the entire workday
Sitting 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, increases a person’s death rate by 50%.
There’s also a host of health consequences. Increased cardiovascular disease being one of them.
The solution? Stand up every now and then. And don’t do work consistently sitting at your desk.
How’s this possible? Get a stand-up desk. These desks normally are height adjustable. This means you can adjust it to your height and can comfortably work standing up.
In fact, a study showed that students who used stand-up desks had lower stress levels, were better behaved, and got more work done.
More productivity? Lower stress? It can’t hurt to try it out.
If not, make sure you schedule a 5-min break every 30 minutes. That way, you can stretch and walk around a bit before going back to work. It gets the blood pumping. Plus, it acts as a “refresh button.”
8. Join a sports team
Sports is a way to burn calories, increase muscle tone, and heighten mood—all while having fun.
It’s also a way to get your mind away from the workout part. And more focused on the fun.
This is especially key if you’re not a fan of structured workouts.
Sports allow you that element of freedom while still receiving the same health benefits.
And, on top of that, you reap social benefits too.
9. Participate in an exercise class
Just like with joining a sports team, an exercise class is a fun way of getting your exercise in.
It also is great for those who have a hard time maintaining a workout schedule. This holds you more accountable.
Also, a lot of classes blast music. And the instructor is a source of motivation. Which may make you more likely to work harder and continue going to the class.
Needless to say, you’ll never know if you’re a fan until you try.
10. Do a push-up
We’re ending this list with a classic.
The beauty of this exercise is that you can literally do this exercise anywhere.
To do this, lower your body to a plank position. Then, bend your elbows slightly, allowing your chest to almost touch the ground. Then, come back up.
If you can’t complete one, balance on your knees. From there, you can work your way up.