Purpose. That’s what a goal gives you on the journey to health and fitness. Not having a goal is like getting in your car and driving not knowing where you want to go, but hoping your time and gas will take you somewhere awesome. It isn’t efficient or effective, and exercising and eating well without goals is not nearly as fun or rewarding.
If you are new on this journey, you’ll probably be basing your goals on your weight and/or measurements. If you are more focused on increasing your fitness level, your goal will likely be making a goal based on how you’d like to perform.
Here are some suggestions to get you started.
1. Waist to Hip Ratio of 0.7 for women and 0.9 for men is considered healthy and at lower risk for chronic diseases and is also correlated with fertility. This was my first target goal for my own journey back before baby #3. Calculate the waist to hip ratio by dividing waist circumference by hip circumference. For example:
Waist 32inches/hips 37 inches= W to H ratio 0.86.
2. Weight or inch loss- this is essentially the same as number one except number one is more belly fat focused.
For example, you may want to lose 5 or 10% of your body weight. Or you may choose to lose by clothing size. For women, approximately one inch off of your bust, waist and hips (3 inches total) will take you down one dress size.
3. Cardio mileage-obese individuals will want to start with walking or swimming to ease stress on the joints. I recommend finding a 5k to work toward for your first mileage goal. If you aren’t obese, try working up to jogging the entire 5k. Couch 2 5k is a great tool for working toward this goal.
4. Strength goals-Fit and healthy-weighted individuals can work toward strength goals by doing challenges like the squat challenge or the plank challenge . You can also set weight or repetition goals for yourself based on the results you want. Another option is to follow challenges from free trainers online like the insanity killer challenge
4. Consistency-you may be more interested in establishing consistency before you set a particular goal. I suggest that, if you go this route, this period of time be four weeks or less. You should then create a true fitness goal. For example-aim to exercise four times per week for two weeks and then work into a 5k training routine or do the squat challenge.
So today, make your goal. I am working toward a 10k race in August. I’ve never EVER run that far EVER in my whole life EVER! It’s a big challenge for me, but I’m ready to take it on. Today is my first official training day.
By now you should have a picture and measurements to mark the start of your fitness journey. I encourage you to stay away from the scale and measuring tape for at least one week. Begin to develop a long term mindset. The results will take time. You will feel better before you look better. Make sure to review the Label Reading 101 post and make wise choices at the grocery store this week to capitalize on your workouts. Also be mindful that this is a journey we are on-there isn’t a final destination. After you meet your first goal, and even if you fail, you will make a new one or lengthen your timeframe. When the sweat drips, the struggle comes and you want to give up, look at your picture, measurements and goal. You already made up your mind at the beginning. Discuss your struggles with your accountability partner and talk/think through how you can overcome any obstacles. Then push onward. Remember-this journey is not about perfection, but rather progress.