Set Your Sights on a Fitness Goal
Whether big or small, setting a fitness goal can keep you motivated.
One of my summer pail goals was to do some hiking. While I’m always looking for good trails in and around Wayland, a few weekends ago I got out of Dodge and went to the Adirondacks where the hills are higher and the trails are tougher.
My friend and I had originally planned a long hike, but got off to a later start than we wanted, so we did Owl’s Head Lookout, which was about five miles round-trip. My friend really wanted to do one of the 46. I had no idea what she was talking about.
It turns out that there are 46 high peaks in the Adirondacks. When you’ve hiked them all, you sort of join a club. I think that’s a pretty good goal and if I lived in the area, I’d start making a list.
Alas, I live in Wayland — not the land of 46 peaks — so I have to come up with some other goals.
Why set new fitness goals at all? Goals help in a couple of ways: First, we get bored with our routines, and changing our goals helps keep exercise interesting. Second, if you do the same workout over and over, after a while you don’t improve. This is the overload principle, which is defined by the American Council on Exercise this way: “Overload, in exercise training programs, means that a training program causes the body to adapt only when the demands are greater than what the body is accustomed to doing.”
I have a friend who jogs the same four-mile route, four days a week. That’s great for maintaining her weight and keeping her heart healthy, but she’s not going to see any changes in her body or her stamina. She needs to shake things up, either with a new route, a faster pace or hill intervals. Even better, she could add a completely different type of exercise — a group class, strength exercises, yoga — into her fitness mix.
I’m guilty of getting stuck in a fitness rut, too, so I sometimes have to set new goals for myself. Right now my newest goal, as lame as it sounds, is to do a pull-up. Just one. Unassisted. All by myself.
So what do you want to achieve? Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Hike all the trails you can find in Massachusetts
- Run a road race or a marathon
- Raise money for a charity
- Do a hundred push-ups
It doesn’t matter if the goal is big or small; what matters is that it keeps you interested and challenges you physically. So, tell me, what’s your new fitness goal?