DEVELOPING A FITNESS PROGRAM
An important step in developing a long-term fitness program is to determine your goals. Is your primary goal to lose weight? Improve muscle tone? Relieve stress? Prepare for the spring racing schedule? Knowing what your goals are will help you develop a more successful exercise program. If possible, try to define your personal goals in precise, measurable terms over specific periods of time. Examples of these goals might include:
Decrease your waistline by two inches over the next two months.
Run the local 5K race this summer.
Get 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise at least five days per week.
Improve your race time by two minutes over the next year.
Move from walking a mile to jogging a mile within the next three months.
The more specific the goal, the easier it will be to track your progress. If your goals are long-term, divide them into monthly and weekly segments. Long-term goals can lose some of the motivational benefits. Short-term goals are easier to achieve and will allow you to see the progress you are making. Every time you reach a goal, it is important to set a new goal. This will lead to a healthier lifestyle and will provide the motivation that you will need to move forward.
Track Your Progress
Now that you have set your exercise goals, it is time to write them down and make an exercise schedule that will help you achieve them. By keeping a fitness diary, you will stay motivated and know where you are in terms of reaching your goals. As time goes on, you will be able to look back with pride to see how far you’ve come.