7 Steps to Achieving Your Fitness Goals
Step #1 - Plan
It is important to start with a set of long term and short term
goals to work toward. Some long term goals are to run a marathon,
enter a Figure contest, do a photo shoot, the good old getting
married wedding goal and even to lose a certain number of
lbs or inches. Short term goals would be a lb per week or an inch
per month, wear a certain item of clothing within a month or 2,
and lift 3 lbs more in a certain exercise or muscle group within
3 weeks. Figuring out your goals and setting them is what your mainstay
will be. You can and probably will adjust them as you go along because
results usually bring new goals!
Step #2 - Benchmark
Before you begin you will want to take photos to show your before
and use this to compare to later photos (usually monthly) so that
you can view changes as they occur. Along with the photos which
are usually front, back and side, you will want to take some measurements
around your right arm, chest, upper and lower thigh and along your
waist at the smallest circumference as well as along the belly button
area. Usually a seamstresses measure tape works best because it
is cloth and you can get this at any dollar store. You want to ensure
you get the tape equal all the way around so you need someone else
to take these for you. Make sure to date these figures and take
them monthly on average to view your results and compare. If things
are going as planned this will also help you see you need to adjust.
Step #3 - Plan
With a little research or the help of a trainer you can plan out
your training weekly, monthly and up to your goals with small progressions
in cardio and weights.
The goals you have will dictate the training you need but you can
work with planning certain areas you wish to focus on but also make
sure to work out the whole body at least once per week. Include
the cardio, warm up, cool down and stretching so that you are covering
all bases. Keeping a log of what you do will assist you in watching
the progress and also help if you need to get advice since trainers
work best with previous info regarding your exercise and diet history.
Extra activities can add up so make sure to log them as well with
dates, times and intensity.
Step #4 - Examine
Logging your diet can really help show you where you need to make
changes. Key points to consider are meal frequency which should
be every 2-3 hours, meal quality which should include proteins,
fibrous green veggies, orange veggies, limited but whole clean carbs
such as tubers, brown rice, oats, yogurts, beans and high protein
breads, some fruits although the type can affect sugars in your
system and fats which should be things like seeds, nuts, avocados,
olives, coconut and their respective oils.
Step #5 - Water
8 glasses per day really is not sufficient but seems to be a minimal
goal because people are so bad at getting their requirements and
instead choose coffee, juice, pop and electrolyte drinks.
I say aim for 2-3 liters per day because if you are exercising
a bit and eating right then you will need this amount especially
if you drink fruit juice or coffees! Fat loss, skin health and overall
wellness depend on this.
Step #6 - Convenience over Inconvenience
Make things simple for you. At first you may be overwhelmed with
all the info you need to know but eventually it does become lifestyle
change and habit so you have to work slowly toward these changes
pegging a few at a time as you get used to things. Carry nuts, fruits,
health bars (watch the nutritional values here or make some yourself),
water and pre cooked meat balls or chicken breasts or tuna so that
you have something healthy at all times you can get into. Prepare
foods a week ahead and freeze what you can.
Keep a towel and workout clothes handy, so if you drive keep them
in the trunk or ready in a bag. Keep your workout pre planned so
that you have an agenda and that keeps it easier to not sway and
miss training but also keep a home workout back up plan by keeping
a ball at home and a band at minimum.
Step #7 - Sleep
The last component that most people ignore is sleep. I know it can
be hard with the reality of work, kids and our busier than ever
lives of the year 2006 but there must be stress put on these healthy
aspects of our lives for the benefit of living a quality life. 7
hours avg really is ideal and if you need to workout naps then do
so but best is to go 7 hours straight if you can. Eating right and
training right will induce proper sleeping habits! Scheduling things
and being organized will only boost this!